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Fandom Q+A K.M. Hayes Q&A

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Welcome KMHayes! So I really like to write, but the thing is is I never get anything published, even a fanfiction! I find that I'm really excited over a story idea but after I get through the beginning I reach the middle of the story and don't know what to do with it! Have you run into this problem? And if so how do you get around it?

 

Middles are hard! Many authors even call it "The Dreaded Middle." But if you're struggling to get to that place, this is my technical advice: Ruin your character's life.

 

Yes, really. Okay, so more specifically. The beginning of a novel is setting up what your character has, what they want, and how they plan to get it. And then everything goes wrong--otherwise known as the try/fail cycle. If you're struggling with the middle, it may be that there isn't enough conflict in your book.

 

I mean, look at MLP, for example! The very first episode, we know that Twilight has a plan for her life--study a bunch as Celestia's prized pupil and be the awesome student she believes she must...and then ALL of that is taken away from her as she's thrown completely out of her comfort zone in Ponyville. She is constantly trying and failing and figuring out, ultimately reaching her goal but not in the way she expected at all. Those motivations and conflicts are the structure for the story. Think about what your story's are and if they can carry a book:)

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What is your avarage daily work load, and do you find it managable? From what I gather, you're a very busy woman. Work stress can be a big deterrant for some people interested in a possibly stressful occupation, so knowing how to deal with it might help.

 

Also, let's see if we can get you to Cupcake rank tonight!

Edited by TopQuark
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Have you had a chance to check out the various fan animations out there in the fandom? (Let's be honest here, I just want to know if you've seen Snowdrop :D)

 

I haven't, but point me in a direction and I will go;) I can now justify it all by saying it's book research! I am WORKING, guys! Haha.

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Middles are hard! Many authors even call it "The Dreaded Middle." But if you're struggling to get to that place, this is my technical advice: Ruin your character's life.

 

By any chance, are you a fan of Jim Butcher?

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Greetings, K. M. Hayes.

Have you ever been invited to work the Faust and/or DHX?

You're a great writer, and you should totally work with her as a show dev!

 

I haven't! Most of my writing has been novel-minded and I don't know a lot about script-writing. It was be a fun but intimidating learning curve!

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How often do you get negative criticisms of your work, and how do you deal with them? I've always been excellent at ignoring insults and staying level-headed during a debate, probably because I was never seriously bullied as a child and was often complemented for my skills, so I could develop a strong self-esteem. However, many were not so lucky. I would imagine some advice on taking criticism from a fellow anxiety-sufferer might help give them courage.

 

It can be really hard. Most of the time, I just don't go and seek out the criticism. I know there are bad reviews of my books on GoodReads--I have not read them. I don't need that negativity and reviews aren't really for me--they are for other readers.

 

What has also helped me is just knowing that there's something for everyone out there, and not everyone will like everything. That is true of ALL things. You cannot make everyone happy. It's impossible. You have to, first and foremost, make yourself happy as a writer. If you love it, then it's worthwhile and has meaning because it changed you as a person. If your work finds other people who love it, then all the better! It's great to focus on those who connect.

 

What was that T-Swift song? "The haters gonna hate hate hate...but I'm just gonna shake shake shake shake it off." Yeah, that's some good stuff. If all else fails, just blast that song and do a dance and smile it off:)

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What do you find to be the best and worse things about or around the fandom?

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Oh! Before I forget. How is the MLP dress coming along? Channeling your inner Rarity is tops in my book!

 

#characterbias

 

It's going okay! I have it all cut out and ready to go, but I won't have time to get it all together until I get back from a conference I'm teaching at in two weeks. All the prep for that is ruining my free time! But I'm so excited to finish it. I'll be at Salt Lake Comic Con as a panelist, and you better bet I'll be wearing it there!

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Thank you for taking the time to join us tonight, and welcome to the forums!! ^^

 

Not sure what to ask exactly but I'll try, haha.......

 

How long have you been of a fan of MLP? Who is your favorite of the Mane 6 and why? Who is your favorite background character and why? What is your favorite episode of the show?

 

Thanks!

 

I've been a fan since season 1 popped up on Netflix. Twilight is my favorite, mostly because I idenitfy with her the most personality wise. Favorite episode is a hard pick, but my favorite SCENE is Fluttershy losing her temper in the Power Ponies episode and going Hulk. Oh my gosh, even just thinking about it makes me laugh. The animation on that was just FANTASTIC.

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Most of them thought it was fantastic, since my co-workers are made up of other authors who write for teens.

What kind of job do you have, to have co-workers like that?

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I see. This kind of reminds me of all those stories I've heard in the news of kids who were bullied for being bronies, like the kid who nearly committed suicide for being a brony and ended up getting a lot of support from even the show staff.

 

Speaking of show staff, how popular do you think this book will get with the fandom and maybe even the show staff? Do you think any of them will get the book?

 

Oh, and I never said this but thanks for being here.  :) 

 

Oh my goodness I have no idea! I mean, I get a little shy and I can't even imagine any of the show staff looking at it! It's a miracle to me that anyone here has read it at all and then even liked it on top of that? It's so amazing and humbling. I have no idea how it'll ultimately be received. I'm just grateful I got to write it at all.

My mom hates the MLP fandom, so unfortunately.... it's not quite so easy. But I do appreciate the advice, so thank you, Ms. Hayes. Pleasure to meet you.

 

I'm really sorry to hear that. I hope it'll work out and that you can find support in other ways at the very least!

When did you get to the point where you could basically "quit your day job" and become a professional writer?

 

I'm not at that point, actually. I'm just lucky enough that my other full time job is Mom and I am at home with my children. My spouse works full time outside the home. If it was just me working there'd be no chance we'd survive on my meager writing income.

We'll always have that first post though.......*sad music plays*

 

Whats your favorite kind of story to write?

 

What's the genre you have the hardest time writing?

 

How do you feel about ships, and do you have a really weird ship from a cartoon or anime?

 

We will have that first post:)

 

My favorite story to write is an honest, heartfelt, kinda funny one.

 

The hardest genre for me is horror. I'm a scardey cat so it doesn't work out so well.

 

Ships are funny. I don't really get TOO crazy about them, but yeah, ZUTARA FOREVER.

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Oh my goodness I have no idea! I mean, I get a little shy and I can't even imagine any of the show staff looking at it! It's a miracle to me that anyone here has read it at all and then even liked it on top of that? It's so amazing and humbling. I have no idea how it'll ultimately be received. I'm just grateful I got to write it at all.

 

Speaking of which, how's the revenue from Amazon coming? I've heard that they're not great on the author's side of the deal, as they take the relativly high share of the profit. Do you find this to be true? I personally bought it twice; once for the physical copy, which I enjoy collecting (arrived yesterday), and the e-book so I could start reading right away. Finished it in under twelve hours, by the way. :dash:

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What is your avarage daily work load, and do you find it managable? From what I gather, you're a very busy woman. Work stress can be a big deterrant for some people interested in a possibly stressful occupation, so knowing how to deal with it might help.

 

Also, let's see if we can get you to Cupcake rank tonight!

 

Well, it really varies. When I'm on a tight deadline it can be full work days and then some and I still have to feed my kids and take care of them somehow. And then when I'm not under contract it can be a pretty leisurely pace, though I'm stressed I won't ever sell a book every again.

 

But stress is a serious writing occupational hazard. I actually just recovered from a case of stress-induced shingles that were very painful and the doctor was all YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN NOW. Many writers I know have had some kind of stress related illness, and often if they struggle with mental illness that is exacerbated.

 

I try to do yoga and have non-writing activities to help me decompress from my work. It's also really good to take breaks. They are important to fill those creative wells. And it's essential to be aware of your mental health and honest with how it is. It is a real statistic that writers are at a higher risk of suicide. There is something about creative work that wears on you and taking care of yourself is essential.

By any chance, are you a fan of Jim Butcher?

 

Haven't read him. So I'm not not a fan?

Edited by KMHayes
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Alright guys, sadly it is time to say goodnight to the wonderful K.M. Hayes!  The thread will be closed for new questions now (but we might still get a few answers :D)

 

Thanks a ton to everybody who stuck around and gave her way more questions than she could possibly answer.  I can't even begin to say how happy I am with the turnout for this event, and I think I can say with near 100 percent certainty this will not be our only Q&A event here on MLP Forums!

 

Have a great night everypony and watch out for our next Q&A announcement!  If you have any suggestions for future Q&A guests, shoot me a PM!

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What do you find to be the best and worse things about or around the fandom?

 

That's hard to say. I honestly wouldn't call myself a pro on fandoms and I don't like to be critical of anything if I don't have to be. But around the fandom, I guess I just hate that people get judgy about bronies and stuff. I mean, why can't people just like what they like and not have anyone else freak out about it? People are so weird that way. I mean, I don't get all huffy when someone says they're a football fan even though I don't like the sport. If they like it more power to them. I wish that outsiders would just offer the same kind of respect, I guess.

Ms. Hayes, if you haven't heard of already, there is currently a fanfic contest entitled "Spring has Sprung" on the Poniverse Network. 

Do you have any words or suggestions to writers-contestants of the contest?

 

Info --> https://mlpforums.com/topic/128120-poniverse-spring-has-sprung-contest/

 

Hmm, write what you love, ruin your characters lives, and then fix it all up in the end:) (Or don't if it's a tragedy. Your call.)

What kind of job do you have, to have co-workers like that?

 

I'm an author! It's awesome:)

Ms. Hayes, who is your favorite pony?

 

Twlight. Mostly because I was totally like her when I was younger, minus the magical unicorn bit;)

Speaking of which, how's the revenue from Amazon coming? I've heard that they're not great on the author's side of the deal, as they take the relativly high share of the profit. Do you find this to be true? I personally bought it twice; once for the physical copy, which I enjoy collecting (arrived yesterday), and the e-book so I could start reading right away. Finished it in under twelve hours, by the way. :dash:

 

That really depends on your publisher or if you're indie, etc. On this book, my publisher makes most of the profit. If it was indie, I was make most of it. So it really varies based on contract, type of book (ebook, paperback, hardback, etc.), and mode of publishing. (Also, thanks for buying and reading!)

Thanks for having me! I think I got in all the answers:) You guys were so kind to have me and you all asked such lovely questions! See you around:D

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