Interview: Spencer Hill Press

On August 11th, 2012, Kate Kaynak and Trisha Wooldridge will host a workshop at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA. The workshop, called “There’s Magic in This Workshop,” will discuss the craft of writing, editing, marketing and offer a critique of pitches and queries. The excellent Kendra L. Saunders interviews the two presenters, Kate Kaynak and Trisha Wooldridge.

I had the honor today of asking Kate and Trisha a few questions relating to the upcoming event and other exciting projects going on in their writing universes.

Hello Kate and Trish!

First off, Kate, you have your own cool news in the form of the rerelease of Minder. How did it feel to look over your manuscript with fresh eyes after a few years?

I cringed at every adverb. I wrote Minder long before I became an editor, and I think that the revised version has much stronger writing now. It’s strange seeing a book from the other side, as an editor, rather than an author, and enough time had gone by that I could read it with that editorial detachment.

Trisha, I noticed in the press release for “There’s Magic in this Workshop” that you’re offering a discount for Broad Universe members and New England Horror Writers members, among others. Can you tell us a little about your connection to Broad Universe and NEHW?

Well, I’m current President of Broad Universe, which is an international non-profit dedicated to promoting, honoring, and celebrating women’s contributions to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I adore this organization because I truly believe in our mission to boost women’s voices – current authors as well as historical ones. We mustn’t forget the excellent maternal lines in genre fiction! I could wax poetic about Broad Universe for hours, but on the most personal level: I would not be the professional author I am now were it not for the organization’s resources, nor would I be as educated and socially aware human being as I am now. I took on the mantle of president because I want to share that positive experience with as many others as possible.

I became involved with New England Horror Writers through Broad Universe, actually. Morven Westfield, who I knew as a local area Broad, introduced me to NEHW through their book table at Worcester’s Rock & Shock.  After that weekend working with NEHW, I found another “tribe” that I could feel at home with.  It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though – our genres share the same maternal bloodline to Mary Shelley!

Kate, you’re the founder of Spencer Hill Press, a YA publishing house with a pretty incredible fanbase of loyal readers in all age groups. Where’s the farthest that you’ve heard or seen a Spencer Hill Press book travel?

We have some amazing fans in Australia, and we get photos from readers all over the world–Europe, Asia, Africa. South America. One of my favorites is of a guy reading one of our books on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland–he pulled it out just as the camera that takes that picture they sell after you get off the ride–it’s pretty epic. Now all we need is someone to send us a picture from Antartica, and we’ll have the full set of continents!

Trisha, you seem to be a one-woman magical circus in the world of writing. You’re a writer, editor, Broad Universe queen, reader and speaker at writing conventions and events, among other things. What aspect of literature was your first passion? Is there some aspect of the lit world that you’d still like to dabble in but haven’t had time yet?

I have loved every aspect in the literary and publishing world that I’ve worked on: writing, editing, reading, teaching, but writing has been, and likely will be, my very first passion. I remember, clear as day, running home from elementary school with my vocabulary sentences just so I could share them with my Mom!  I can completely lose myself when I’m writing – I will sit down at 8PM and then, all of a sudden, I hear birdsongs and can look out the window to see the first rays of sun.  Really!

I’ve started some scripting for comic books, too, and I definitely would love to find some time to finish those and work with an artist.  Besides that, I would also love the chance to work with television or movie writing and scripts.  It’s a medium I find magical to watch – and I just want to be part of that magic.

Kate, you’ve traveled the world. I mean REALLY traveled the world. As someone who has traveled all over the United States already, I know that there’s a freedom and surreal aspect to packing up and heading elsewhere on a regular basis. There’s an even stranger aspect to returning to a place, though, after a lot of time. Is there any particular place you’ve visited that you wouldn’t want to return to, because it would replace your special previous memories?

Oh, interesting! I actually had that happen with Prague. I was there in 1994, and it was MAGICAL–a city filled with culture, beauty, and potential, with people building new lives after the fall of communism. There was such an amazing energy about that place! I returned several years later, and it had a much more Disneyfied feel–there were souvenir sellers everywhere, and it felt very touristy.

Trisha, today I sort of accidentally came up with the plot and setting for a hypothetical movie on my Facebook wall in the space of about ten minutes. Can you write us a blurb for a made-up movie you’d like to see, right here?

Can I totally hijack this for the logline for my first novel coming out from Spencer Hill Press in 2013?  Please? It would make an AWESOME movie that I would definitely want to see!

Eleven-year-old Heather MacArthur lives in a historical castle, complete with actual faeries and ghosts. (Cue pretty pictures of old castles in Scotland).  The problem? She lives in a castle, complete with actual faeries and ghosts… and now the children in the nearby village are going missing. (Cue picture of evil, child-eating horse. Cue title: THE KELPIE, December 2013)

Thank you so much, ladies, for your time!

Trisha and Kate will be at Annie’s Book Stop on August 11th in Worcester, 10am – 4:30pm. I hear there’s a packed lunch involved too (who doesn’t love that!?) Sign up at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester in person, by phone (508-796-5613), or send an email to info@anniesbookstopworcester.com for information on how to sign up via PayPal.

Kendra L. Saunders is the author of magic realism novel Inanimate Objects and host of the quirky literary podcast, 13 1/2 Minutes. She’s been published in Snakeskin Magazine, Steampunk Magazine, and Premier Bride Magazine and writes regularly for Pure Textuality. Find her online at www.kendralsaunders.com

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