Thursday, January 12, 2012

10 Questions with Writer Kathy Lynn Hall (@RedMojoMama)

This Author Spotlight features
Sacramento-based writer

Kathy Lynn Hall

author of

1. How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing since I was 11. It was a natural thing for me to do as an introspective kid. Then I had a stint as an agented screenwriter, but never got beyond an option, so I retreated from writing for several years and pursued my “career” instead. Finally, I jumped into journalism with both feet and that propelled me into fiction eventually.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?

It’s screaming good fun, if you let it be. Years of fretting about writing have finally fallen away and now when I sit down to write I’m visiting my best friends (my characters, how sad is that?) and giving them life. My heroines tend to do the things I wish I could do.

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

I can’t outline. It stymies the story for me. I let the characters take me where they will within a very basic idea of beginning, middle and end. During the writing, I keep an excel spreadsheet going where I track ideas and storylines, adding them into the manuscript as I go along.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

I’m very old school in my favorites – Agatha Christie, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley – but I’ve had the very great pleasure of expanding my horizons since Indie publishing and have found some gems – Russell Blake for thrillers, Michael R. Hicks for fantasy science fiction and I love Elise Stokes’ Cassidy Jones series. All of these are new genres for me.

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?


6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?

Forgetaboutit! But I was imprinted by my time as a journalist and in the “biz” you extract anything that will compress the story and save room on the page. I also learned to drop one of the spaces between sentences (I was a two spaces gal from way back) from my first editor. That was painful.

7. What is your book, Red Mojo Mama, about and how did it come to fruition?

This book was the first time I experienced joy in writing because Lydia (Red) just spoke to me. It’s about a widow, who has literally lost her mojo grieving for her dead husband and decides it’s time to get it back. She’s inherited a mobile home park and has visions of selling it and seeing the world but the cast of crazies in the park and a hot handyman throw a monkey wrench into that plan. Oh, yeah, and her dead husband, Mac, returns as a ghost, hanging out with her until he finds his new life.

8. What’s your current writing project?

I literally wrote this over the past New Year’s three-day weekend. I’m polishing it now. It’s a novella entitled (wait for it)… The Great Twitter Adventure – How 5 Tweeps Saved the World. One of my readers has described it as “a rollicking good time.” Yay!

Sounds like a great story. Timely and topical!

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?

I’m reading King of Swords by Russell Blake and Peace Corpse by Andy Christofferson. Blake’s is as fast-paced and detailed as all of his writing is and Andy’s story of his time in the Peace Corps is laugh-out-loud funny.

10. Who or what inspires your writing?

Life in general and I know that’s a boring answer, but it’s the truth. As a writer, I’m always observing and making notes in my head (all my mental file drawers are currently overflowing) and the ideas just burst forth and take me over.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

I never get enough chances to say thank you to Amazon for making it possible for me to publish my books. A life long dream came true because of this paradigm shift in publishing and I know there are countless writers out there who feel the same way.

The books are on Amazon and Smashwords. The newest one “Twitter Adventure” will be available this coming weekend.

UPDATE: THE GREAT TWITTER ADVENTURE is now available on Amazon.

Sounds great, Kathy. Thank you for taking the time to share, and let us know when your next book is ready.

If you are an author/writer/novelist and would like to be featured on an upcoming Author Spotlught, please contact me at


  1. Oh, I love your Excel spreadsheet idea for keeping track of story components! Saw info about your blog on Twitter. The Great Twitter Adventure sounds like great fun. Goodie! Something new and fun to read!

  2. Yes, the Excel spreadsheet idea is a good one. Organization is one of the biggest obstacles for writers. See Queen Latifah in STRANGER THAN FICTION.

  3. Following you, so follow me if you wish?

    Have a good day,

    Dave Perlmutter