Masterclass is an apt title because while I interviewed the delightful and modest Imogen ‘Immy’ Keeper, I kept thinking ‘now that’s a free writing masterclass for my blog’.
Warm, bubbly and generous with her advice, she shared helpful tips and inspirational words of wisdom about her journey from a budding writer to fully fledged published author. Her traditionally published debut book, The Bonding is now available on Amazon.
Captivating, funny and super-friendly, I must add it was from Immy I learnt there was a right and wrong way of taking off socks, and the impact it had on laundry time…a story for another time. And yes, I now know I take my socks off the wrong way.
This was how the inspiring interview went…
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Ha. I feel like I’m still an aspiring writer. Only after my first novel, The Bonding, was accepted to be published did I start to think that maybe, maybe, I could call myself a “writer” but I still kind of stutter at the term. And it won’t really feel real until August 12, 2016 when the novel is actually published. I still feel like I just want to be a writer. If I could go back to when I first started though, and give myself some advice, I’d say write more. Write often. Write anything. It doesn’t matter what… just write.
Are you a full or part time writer?
Well, I’m a full-time mom. I stay at home with my son, who is nineteen months old right now. So I squeeze in writing time when he naps, and while he plays with his grandmother, and after he goes to sleep. It’s definitely becoming more challenging as his naps get shorter. But he’ll start preschool soon. I can’t wait!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sort of. When I was eight, my third grade teacher assigned us to write a story, and I just remember something about my character living in an apartment in the city and listening to the “hustle and bustle of the cars down below.” I remember because my mom asked me how I knew about any of that since we lived way outside of any cities… like our neighbors all had horses and some of them even had cows and I had no idea where I got that from… probably another book. I loved reading and writing even then.
Have you any amusing writing mistake to share that you’ve made over the course of your writing?
Oh my gosh, so many, many mistakes. If it weren’t for critique partners and beta reads, my stories would be a mess. Especially early on, my characters were very emotional. They reacted full-on, balls-against-the-wall to every new scenario… which may be realistic with some of the stories I write… I mean, If I were cryogenically frozen for 500 years and woke up with a bunch of gorgeous male aliens who all wanted to mate with me, and no clue how to get home, I’d probably scream and cry and carry on quite a bit… but no one wants to read that. So my characters have evened out. They’re no longer quite as emotional.
Do you have any dos or don’ts when it comes to writing?
For my own writing? Absolutely… sort of. For other people’s writing? Absolutely not. I’m always amazed by the wonderful things other writers manage to accomplish, so I’d try to avoid offering an opinion on what they ought to do. For my own writing, I try to be true to my character. My characters are just people, a little good mixed with a little bad and at their core… unique, and they all respond to situations a little differently. It’s becoming easier the more I write, to let go of myself, and let my characters take over. So I guess that’s my only real ‘do’ – get to know my character… and my only ‘don’t’ – let my own feelings or opinions interfere.
Great! Thanks, Immy, for your time and sharing your experience. It’s being fabulous having you! And I wish you all the best with the debut novel, The Bonding.