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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guest Post on Ryan Hunter's Blog (3rd Stop on Book Blog Tour)

Guest Author on Ryan Hunter's Blog:
Kylee Shields, author of Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles. Kylee has an eclectic writing process, a process she's sharing with us today. Thanks, Kylee, for visiting my blog! 

The Concept: 
I started blogging when I moved to Boston at the age of 26 and I love it! For the next few years I would blog about my travels, my experiences in Boston, my friends, and my ideas. I noticed a lot of people really relating to my blogs—people would bring them up in conversations at dinner, etc.

At the same time I noticed a lot of unhappy single adults around me. They seemed stuck in a cycle of working, eating, going to bed, and doing it again the next day. They were living their dreams or even making goals anymore. They were waiting to be married for
their life to happen. I NEVER wanted to be like this. I also never thought I would be single this long.

So I kept writing, journaling, blogging, and people started suggesting I write a book. My mom was a big proponent of me turning my ideas into a book. So over the course of many years, grad school, and life I turned my thoughts into a book

The Writing:
Once I started to conceptualize my blogs/stories/ideas into a book I had to go find them and gather them in one spot. I copied them all into a word document and started dividing them into different chapters or ideas/concepts.

It was really hard for me to decide how many chapters and what topics were the most important. Some ideas were really important to me but not to the general population of LDS singles. So once I gathered ideas of topics I chose my chapters.

Then I sort of storyboarded my chapters on my wall for about a year. I moved them around and folded up the corners when each chapter was completed. This was a visual way to really motivated me to finish my book

Whenever I would get writer’s blog (which happened a lot) I would take lots of breaks,
listen to great music, and I always went and played my piano for inspiration. I also found having lots of different conversations with other singles stimulated my writing process.

The Editing: 

The hardest part of writing this book was was deciding what to include and what to cut. I sent my chapters to many of my friends and family and asked them for their feedback, what I should cut, what stuck out to them that they loved, etc. I am really grateful for all their time and attention to detail that helped my book become what it istoday.

When I sent my manuscript to my publishers I had already cut many chapters. My editor asked me to to cut 12,000 more words and I ended up cutting 5 more chapters. All that cutting, switching, deciding took a long time and a lot of work.

The Publishing: 

After a few query letters and sending my manuscript out to LDS publishers my book found a home at Walnut Spring Press. With a writing undergrad degree I was familiar with writing and the process to get a book to a publisher but I was way out of my league what happened next. I am grateful for WSP for taking me under their wing and walking me through that process!

Kylee's book can be found on Amazon.

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