Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2012 08:30 Posted by Clash Saturday, 18 August 2012 01:06
Job-title: Author and Editor
Web/blog site URL: www.aprilgardner.com
Give us your job description in 25 words or less. I’m a published author of historical fiction in adult and children’s genres. I’m also a content editor for Astraea Press.
Describe a typical workday. I work from home, so my days vary a great deal, but during the school year, my work day starts after I’ve dropped the kids off at school. I spend scheduled hours answering emails and social networking. This day and age, an author must spend a good deal of time creating and establishing connections with those in the publishing industry (reviewers, other authors, editors, etc) as well as with readers. Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger are three ways I do that (These are a form of marketing), and I schedule those into my day as essential work. Blogging is another vital ingredient for reaching readers, so that’s another to-do on my daily list. Editing for pay gets a couple hours a day. THEN I find time to write my novels. If I had my way, I’d write first, but I love it so much that I’d never quit and do the other important things. So I leave it for last.
What led you to realize that you wanted to do this type of work? As a child, I struggled with dyslexia. I hated reading, and, outside of school, refused to touch a book until I was 12. The day I discovered the wonder of a good book, I never looked back. I’ve had a novel in my hand ever since.
My last three years of high school, I realized I wasn’t a dummy. I learned how to study and test and ended up class valedictorian my senior year. All glory to God. My last two years, I discovered the love of writing, but I didn’t pursue it until years later, when a friend encouraged me to write the book that had lived in my head and heart for several years.
Did you have any heroes or mentors in your industry that you admired? A few authors along the way have inspired me with their writing including Brock and Bodie Thoene whose “teach history through fiction” goal has become one of my own. Every writer needs a good critique group—a group of writers who pick apart each other’s work to improve it. One of mine, Dianna Sharples, was most instrumental in teaching me the basics of writing style.
What type of education or training was required to land your job? A college education is a wonderful thing, but hands-on experience is just as important. The best thing a new writer can do is to find another experienced writer as a mentor and guide. Being humble and willing to accept critiques is essential. As far as editing, a good education in grammar and style is must!
What do you love most about your job? I enjoy mentoring new writers, but what I love most is creating a story in my mind then molding it with words onto paper. Sharing that story with others is the cherry on top.
What one part of your job do you wish you could hire someone else to do? If I had the money, I’d definitely hire a good publicist. The marketing aspect of my work is vital, but takes away from what I love to do most—write!
What advice would you give to teenagers wanting to get into your field of work? Start writing! Today. Write anything. A journal is a good place to start, but if you see yourself writing stories of any sort, make sure you write in that format regularly. Share your stories with others and ask for honest feedback. Find an adult writer who is willing to look over your work and give you pointers.
How does your job allow you to use your God-given gifts? God gave me a HUGE imagination. I’ve been creating stories in my mind since I was tiny. Now, I use that gift to create stories for kids. I always include the Gospel message, which is God’s message of love to us.
Do you have any hobbies or off-hours pursuits that teenagers would find of interest? The kids (ages 10 and 8) and I are on a mission to visit all the National Parks. Our latest was Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. We each have a Passport that we have stamped at each location. It’s a wonderful, cheap way to learn, see our beautiful country, and spend quality time together. You should try it!