Friday, April 26, 2013

Kay LaLone's Writing Pet Peeve

Author, Kay LaLone

My writing pet peeve
Hi, I’m Kay LaLone author of Ghostly Clues. My first middle grade novel and I hope not my last. Everyone has a pet peeve, right? My pet peeve is people’s attitude or misconception they have about writers. Most people I know think writing is just a hobby, not a job or a career. Writing is hard work. I have worked years on my craft and have written many stories that might not ever get published. But that is not why I write. I write because I love to write and I have a story to tell whether I ever get another book published or not. (Hopefully I do) To me writing is a career, a job.
I’m a stay-at-home mom which is a job that I love also. I have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law (still waiting on grandchildren) and a teenage son still at home. Writing and mothering are very similar because first I must learn to listen to my characters just like I listen to my children. I need to know them, now what they want and need. Once I know my characters, then I’m able to tell their story. Just like my children, my characters need to grow. How do my characters grow? I put them into situations, conflicts, and problems. There have been many problems my children have gone through that have taught them and as a result they have grown. When my characters have grown and are ready, I send them out into the world. Just like my two older sons.  My teen is still learning and growing.
So it bothers me when people think writing is just a hobby and not a career. People don’t realize that writing is hard work especially when my characters aren’t talking to me. (I’ve been there plenty of times with my kids) Then once I do get a rough draft, there is like what a million revisions to go through before I feel it is ready to send to a publisher. Once I send my masterpiece out (we all write masterpieces, right?), then comes the rejections, and then more revisions before I get the courage to send it back out. Then a magical day happens and there is a publisher who wants to publish my story. (thank you MuseItUp) Happy dance time before back to work on edits. Publication day comes and my book is out there for the world so see. How exciting. My job is done. I can sit back and relax while the money rolls in. Umm … no. Now it is promoting time. Getting the attention of my readers to read my book is hard work. Sometimes I find it hard to work on my next project, but I do.
So people can’t tell me that writing is just a hobby. To me my writing is a career and that is the way I look at it. I work at my writing everyday. And I know someday, my attitude will help my friends and family understand that yes writing is a career. It may take a lifetime to make any money at my career. But one of these days, I hope to make a living off my writing. If I don’t make a lot of money, I’ll continue to write because just like being Mom I love to tell my characters stories. Believe me. My characters have a lot of stories to tell.
Thank you, Victoria, for hosting me on your blog.
Media Kit for Ghostly Clues


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.

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.

My website
Barnes & Noble


  1. I totally agree with you, Kay. I'm a stay-at-home mom too. I get up at 5 AM to write, and I write furiously while my kids are at school. Then when they come home, it's all about them. We practice the violin, do homework and music theory. I'm glad not to be teaching school anymore, but it zapped the life out of me and I didn't have anything to give to the kids at the end of the day. Let's hear it for us stay-at-home moms!

    1. Thanks, Suzanne, for stopping by the blog. A stay-at-home mom is the best job ever. It does give you more time to spend with your kids. I'm glad I'm able to be home.

  2. I enjoyed reading your excerpt and most especially about you Kay. I could relate to your situation being a stay-at-home mom, and was impressed by how you always make the time to write. Very inspiring. All the very best with your book.

  3. I loved your post!

    It's true that our characters are our babies. ♥

  4. Mark Ozeroff said...
    "I may not know much about motherhood, but I know do this much. Characters do take on a life of their own -- they live, breathe, and sometimes die. Good post, Kay."

  5. Enjoyed your post. Being poo-pooed because I'm an author is a pet peeve for me to.

    Once, at a swanky affair, a well-heeled lady asked what I did as a profession. I proudly announced "writer," to which she turned up her nose and said:

    "Actors, singers, and artists are all in the same category--they're all bums. Tell me dear, are you going to be a bum all your life?"

    I counted to ten, plastered a smile on my face, and replied: "Well, I suppose so. Tell ME dear, are you going to be a b--ch all yours?"

    Your book sounds great--good luck with it!