Kendra: Hello, this is Bev Irwin (aka Kendra James) waving from London, Ontario. Thank you all for taking the time to come visit me today. So you want to know a bit about me? Well, I’ve had one wonderful career as a registered nurse working in many areas of nursing, another career as a mother of three wonderful, now adult children. Thank God we all made it through alive and relatively unscathed. Another career was as a sales representative.
Now I am hoping to succeed at the career that has had to take a backseat to the others.That is my writing career. How long has that been on the back-burner? Forever.
The writing bug bit me early in life. A poem I wrote in grade three was published. After that, I wrote poetry for years that I kept hidden away. In my late twenties I finally shared some and even found the courage to enter some contests and had several published in anthologies. Can you make a career of writing poetry? Only in your dreams.
When I broke my hand getting a horse on a trailer, I think God said. “Here, I’m giving you some time to develop that writing talent I gave you.”
So I a started a real novel. It was a romance I named CITY SLICKER. It wrote about 20,000 words and sent it off for a critique. Not a good idea. I should have finished the whole thing and then sent it off. I should have joined a writing group. I should have taken lots of writing courses. I should have entered writing contests. I have taken care of the should’s and now it is paying off. CITY SLICKER remains a WIP. I will publish it one day.
So that’s my life now, writing, rewriting, editing. But I still find time to spend with my three cats, my three children, and my wonderful granddaughter, Jasmine.
Callie: I think we all have a WIP that we did early on in our career, that we hope to get out there one day. I know I do. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Kendra: I wish I could say that I write everyday, but that is my goal, not reality. When I work, I don’t get at my writing until later in the evening and then go to bed late. On my days off, I try to start first thing in the morning but that doesn’t always work. I seem to get more done later in the day and evening. I really am trying to get my life more organized and hit the keyboard first thing in the morning.
Callie: Ah, but it sounds like you’re more of an night owl, or maybe just a morning person, suffering at night. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Kendra: That I get more done with the television on as background noise. I think I’m a bit ADHD and sitting with my feet up on the chesterfield, my computer on my lap, and the TV on, tends to keep me in one spot. Then I can get my fingers on the keys and keep them moving.
Callie: I think there are a lot of writers who feel that way. I do much better with silence, but if I’m forced to listen to background noise, I’m usually able to block it out. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Kendra: Oh, they come from anywhere. My mind is always racing with ideas that I just wish I had the time to develop. I’ve been a registered nurse for many years working in a several area of medicine, so have many ideas from there. I like to think about the person behind the mask and their motivation for their actions.
And we all have family and friends, don’t we. Therein comes the disclaimer, the names have been changed to protect the innocent, or the not so innocent.
Callie: That’s a good one. I like what one author said, ‘when I dislike someone, I name a character after them, and then kill them off. What does your family think of your writing?
Kendra: Since I live by myself, I don’t have anyone nagging me about devoting, or wasting, my time with my writing. I have three cats and they think I should take their input but their computer key strokes don’t make a lot of sense.
I think my family and friends were actually shocked that after years of me talking about the books I was writing that someone actually wanted to publish them. My mother thought I was wasting my time writing unless I wrote something political or religious. Sorry, Mom.
Callie: Oh dear. Hopefully mom is happy with your success anyway. What author do you think your work is similar to?
Kendra: I think I have different voices depending on what type of genre I’m writing. My MISSING CLAYTON, a women’s suspense, out this year with Black Opal Books, would be similar to Jodi Picoult with different points of character views. My IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS, coming out on Kindle (as soon as I learn how to format it properly) is similar to Gary Paulsen’s Brian series. I like to think that me medical thrillers are similar to Michael Palmer.
Callie: It’s always interesting when authors answer this question, how we see our work in relation to other authors. What are you working on now?
Kendra: Several projects. Two romances, one with a cruise nurse and one about a city girl moving to the country. I have two suspense novels in progress, and two more youth novels. One is about a boy who sees his picture in a missing child poster and walks away. The other is about a girl who attempts suicide. Maybe if I worked on only one project, I might get more finished.
IN HIS FATHERS FOOTSTEPS, a youth adventure story, will also be available soon.
Callie: They sound like great stories. Where do you see yourself, career wise, in five years?
Kendra: On the bestseller list of course, writing one thriller per year and getting a huge advance that I spend traveling.
Callie: Ah, where we all hope to find ourselves one day, and I’m sure we will. I want to thank Kendra/Bev for being with us today, and sharing all her wonderful stories with us.