Meet the Author – Cait Collins

Meet the Author  

Since the creation of WordsmithSix as a critique group, we have evolved in many ways. While every member is like family and brings their own valuable insights to the group, sometimes there are changes. Some of our members have moved on in their life’s journey, however their contributions continue to influence our writing forever. Others have filled the empty chairs and have started their journey into the world of writing.

Each member of WordsmithSix is excited about our writing journey. For the next few weeks we will dedicate a Sunday blog to letting our readers know a little more about who we are. Each author will be asked a few questions to help you understand their desire to write and what motivates them. Maybe their answers will influence you in your writing.

This week we are excited to feature one of our original Wordsmithsix members. An established writer, she lists three documentaries, a thirteen-week local television series, commercial copy and news copy on her writing resume. She has also written Bible application stories, puppet plays, and two 15 minute plays for her church youth group.

Please welcome Cait Collins

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was in grade school. Then I fell in love with Illya, the Russian agent from Man from U.N.C.L.E, and wrote “romances” based on the show.

Why did you choose the Genre’ you write in?

I like suspense and romance, so I began writing romance with the suspense twist. I recently tried writing memoirs of growing up during the 50’s and 60’s. My nieces and nephews have no knowledge of how different my childhood was. Some of the memoirs are for the kids.

What’s the best thing you’ve done to help your writing?

First was taking a creative writing course at Amarillo College taught by New York Times Best Selling Author, Jodi Thomas. Jodi is a great teacher and mentor. I also began attending writers’ conferences and workshops. Wordsmith Six, my critique group, is the best. If you don’t want honest critique, you don’t belong in the group. We have a rule; give the good before pointing out the weaknesses.

What’s your writing routine like?

I’m not one to force myself to look and the computer daily and get frustrated when the words don’t come. I tend to go on writing binges when my characters are talking to me and demanding I tell their part of the story. I don’t sit down after a critique session and make the requested changes. I’d rather keep going forward, and editing when the inspiration is just not there.

How do you reach that personal place that allows the writing to flow?

Silence the phone, put on some music or turn on the news (the news is easy to block out). I read a few paragraphs from the last point, and start writing. Once I get going, I don’t stop until I need a break for food or something to drink, or until the session ends itself.

Are you an outliner?

No. I make lists or do timelines, but outlines stifle my creativity. I find myself writing to the outline instead of responding to my characters nagging.

What has been your biggest writing challenge?

Coming from a broadcasting and business writing background, I find settings and details are often overlooked. When the action is moving forward, I will neglect the setting and concentrate on the action.

What are you working on currently, future?

I have a memoir and a novel I’m trying to edit and I’m actively writing book five, a suspense novel with the working title Three by Three.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Write your story. Don’t disregard the advice of critique partners or beta readers, but remember it is your story. If you think the character would not respond as a reviewer suggests, stick to your guns. If you are honest with yourself, you will be able to make the right choice between your gut instinct and the reviewers’ suggestions.

What’s the most positive thing you could tell writers today?

Opportunities are unlimited for writers. Network studios need material. The Netflix and other independents have opened doors for us. Ebook outlets are exploding. Movie studios need original material. Don’t overlook opportunities in magazine articles, technical writing, and training manuals. I truly believe we are limited only by ourselves. That said, do your homework. Learn what the media and publishers are looking for. Watch the trends in releases. And above all, be sure your formatting, grammar, and facts are correct before submitting to an agent or editor.

 

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