Karen Whiting is BUSY! Despite having several books releasing in 2021 and 2022, she still took time to chat with me about her writing process.
Thank you so much for your time! What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
God picked it for me. It’s based on what I know in raising kids and being married, so it’s all about the family. He nudged me to share what worked. My brand is Growing Wholesome Families. My tag line is Growing Tomorrow’s Wholesome Family Today.
How long does it take you to write a book? Edit it?
That depends on the book and how many I am writing/editing at once. I like to have 6-9 months but have done books in two months when needed.
If you’ve written multiple books, which was harder: the first book or the following books?
The first book in a series of nonfiction is a bit harder as I have to develop the style, layout, and elements I want in the book.
What conference do you most want to attend? Why?
The Children’s Pastors Conference where I will speak in January because that’s my audience. Children’s ministry leaders make great influencers for my books for families and children. I think we limit ourselves when we only think writer conferences. We need to get with our readers and influencers.
That’s a great idea! Now, what’s your writing day like?
I write from 9 to 4 with breaks if I have interviews. I spend part of the day on marketing.
How do you prepare to write your books: pantser, plotter, both, something completely different?
I design my book and the contents with a spread sheet, so it’s all in one place and it is all sortable. That way I don’t repeat scriptures or activities, etc.. Once that is done, I can just start writing as soon as I have a contract (I never write more than a few devotions, opening units, or chapters before I have the contract). I also develop a proposal even if it is not needed (some of my editors don’t need one for another book in a series) as that sets up my marketing strategy and key book descriptions for marketing once the book is published.
If you have an agent, how did you find/pick your agent? What tips do you have for others looking for an agent?
Rachel Kent at Books and Such is my agent. I have had a number of agents retire. Since I am with Books and Such, if one retires, they match me up with another agent. Love the agency and my agent!
If you are seeking an agent, try to meet up at a conference and certainly have calls to ask questions such as: response speed, what do they do when they get your next manuscript, how do they manage contract negotiations, etc.. Communication is always vital.
What advice do you have for new authors?
Be willing to wait for God’s timing (do you want an Ishmael or an Isaac?). You can work on another book while waiting.
How do you self-edit your manuscript?
I put away the piece for at least a few days. Then I go through the major content to be sure I’m on focus and wrote in an engaging style. Then I check all the verbs. Then I check the format to be sure it is aligned with the rest of the book. I also recheck every scripture used plus I check for my word-of-the-day-itis. I tend to like a certain word each day and repeat it too often.
She’s a certified writing and marketing coach, international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of twenty-seven books for women, children, military, and families. She’s sold more than 800 articles for more than sixty periodicals and is a marketing columnist for The Write Conversation Blog and a writer for crosswalk.com. As a writing and marketing coach, Karen helps clients overcome obstacles, develop a personalized marketing plan, maximize strengths in writing and marketing, find direction, focus on what’s salable, and improve their writing ability.
She’s a mom of five (including two rocket scientists) and a grandmother. Karen enjoys adventure like camel riding in the Canary Islands, white water rafting in Australia, and scuba diving off Bermuda’s coast.