Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Authors Write-Kay LaLone

Today I am over at the fabulous T.C Mckee's blog for an interview where we talk Quest, kilts and what do men wear under them. Stop by, visit, (she LOVES visitors!) and enter to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

Now, I am thrilled to introduce you to Kay LaLone as she shares her writing process and a sneak peek at her novel, Ghostly Clues.

I’m Kay LaLone. Ghostly Clues is my first middle grade novel published by MuseItUp. I live in Michigan with my husband and teenage son (two older sons and a daughter-in-law live near by) and two dogs and a cat. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that goes bump in the night. Or anything that interest my characters. Making my characters come to life for readers is important to a good story. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book. I do reviews on the books I read and post them on my website and blog.

What do you write?
I write MG and YA. Mostly mystery with a hint of the paranormal.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I like to use mostly 1st person because I like to read books that are in first person, plus it helps me get into the mind of my characters better. Ghostly Clues is in 1st person. Family Secret, a manuscript that I recently sent to MuseItUp is in 3rd person. So it depends on the story. I haven’t tried to write multiple POVs yet. But I have read some good stories with multiple POVs.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
Mostly a character’s voice will pop into my head. They will introduce themselves with a name. Then other times an idea will pop into my head before a character will introduce themselves.

Do you draft quickly?
Usually I’ll come up with a rough first draft in about a week or month. (depending on how much time I have to write and if the story is flowing) My first draft is not usually too detailed. I rather add detail later. [Ah, I do this, too!]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I research during. I’ll come across something that I might not know too much about and feel the story needs more details to make it believable, so that’s when I’ll do some research. Not a big fan on research.

Do you outline? How?
Sometimes I wish I could outline. It might save me time on revising. Not a big fan on outlining, but I do outline after several revisions to check for plot holes.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I leave comments for myself, so that I don’t lose the flow of what I am working on.

Do you work with CP's (Critique Partners) or Beta's (Beta Readers)? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I work with CP’s. I don’t let them see my work until I’m happy with it. That takes several drafts.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
When I first started writing, I would get a lot of books about writing. The most helpful books I have found are on plotting because that is my weak point. Now I get most of my info online with other writer’s blogs and websites.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
How important critique groups are. I wouldn’t be a published author without the support of my critique groups. When I first started writing, it felt more like an isolated job or hobby. But now I know there are other writers out there willing to help me develop my craft.

Where can we find you?

I can be found at the following places:

My website
My blog

The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom.
Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.
Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.
Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul.
Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead.
Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead. The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.

The house was blanketed in a quiet slumber. I snuggled under the sleeping bag with Allison, trying not to think about ghosts, as I drifted to sleep.
Random pictures floated in my mind like ghostly images.
I tiptoed among tombstones and my heart ached as if I had lost something or someone. He had to be here, somewhere. The gravestones rose like stone walls. No names engraved on them. No dates. No R.I.P. Nothing. Just smooth, flat stones. Ghosts—grayish, smoky forms with black eyes—floated over the tombstones. I shivered, suddenly cold, freezing. My breath visible like a little ghost. I didn’t want to look at the ghost anymore so I looked down at my feet. A tombstone with Grandma’s name appeared out of nowhere. The earth moved. The dirt around the headstone broke away and gnarled fingers clawed their way into the air, searching, grasping. Shriveled fingers clutched my leg.
Something grabbed at my leg—the hand, I screamed and frantically wiggled out of my sleeping bag, bumping MJ as I tried to get away from the hand I thought I felt grab at my leg.

Wow! Sounds great, Kay! Interested in reading more? Ghostly Clues  can be found at the following vendors:
MuseItUp Publishing:

Barnes & Noble:


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Mary. Great questions.

  2. Great interview. I can't wait to read Ghostly Clues!


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