Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writer’s Talk with Karen Schindler

Karen Schindler writes even when she's not writing. A wonderer, a cherisher of experiences, she lives life with gleeful abandon and pulls others into her wake.  Karen has been or is about to be published at Eclectic Flash, Voxpoetica, WeirdYear, 52 Stitches, Flashes in the Dark, InkNode, Negative Suck, Blink/Ink and various other ezines and print anthologies. You can find Karen and more of her work at Miscellaneous Yammering, or visit her hanging out as the managing editor of Pow Fast Flash Fiction when she's not busy ghostwriting and editing for a living.

Karen says: "Be sure to visit me at Miscellaneous Yammering where there's always something to make you smile."  I concur; & I add: don't forget to check out Karen's poem "Counter Clockwise" over on the Writers Talk blog!

How would you describe the community of writers you belong to?

Oh my gosh, I love the online writing community. I remember the day when I first connected with a group of people who were as prone to flights of fancy as I am. There was a big multi- part fast and furious conversation going on and smack dab in the middle of it, I stopped, dumbstruck with the joy of the experience and said aloud to an empty room “ My god, I’ve found my people.” It was like being struck in the head by lighting, or suddenly falling in love. Or it might have been a bit like those people who snap and run through their old workplace with an uzi….but I think it was more like the first two scenarios.

Describe your creative process?

Most days I feel like there is a meteor headed toward my house and the words, much like rats fleeing a sinking ship, have to get themselves onto the page before the impact. Then there are days where there are no words at all. On those days I go to the park and hug trees. It's a win/win situation.

When did you first realize your identity as a writer?

I’ve been writing my whole life, but I didn’t describe myself as a writer until the last couple of years. These days I introduce myself at gatherings as a writer/editor. The only problem with that is people now pitch me ideas, or ask if they can just “send me a little something to look at” when I have a minute. When that happens it makes me think that I might know a little bit about how a doctor feels when he gets backed into a corner at a cocktail party so the person can show him their rash.

Could you describe your relationship to the publishing process?

I think anything that’s been released into the world whether electronically or in print has been published. I don’t understand the hesitation that people have when they hedge their credits with the words “but it was only published online.” There are an amazing amount of opportunities to get your work read on the web. Some print publications have a smaller audience than a lot of ezines. If you create it, and they come to read it, you’ve done the job you set out to do. You’ve unleashed your words into the reader’s imagination, and that’s publishing as far as I’m concerned.

How has being a writer affected your relationships?

There are two things that I have to watch out for A) noticing the glassy eyed stare of the poor trapped civilian [read: “non writer”] I’ve button holed and duct taped to a chair to make them, once again, listen while I discuss my latest WIP  and B) writing people I know into my stories either consciously or unconsciously before the statute of limitations runs out on whatever it was that they did.

What are your future goals in terms of writing?

My long term goal is to one day have my best selling novel on the shelves of the paperback department of any grocery store that I go into. If the buyer who provides books to Giant Eagle has heard of you, then you’re pretty much a household name.

And….most importantly…. in my book jacket cover I want to be on a pony.

Bonus Question: If your writing were a musical instrument, what would it be?

A flugelhorn.


  1. Karen is a delight to know and a wonderful writer, full of imagination. She hands out balloons and sock monkeys (virtual, of course) to anybody who needs a smile. Thanks for interviewing her, John!

  2. Lovely to be here John. Thanks for having me.
    Karen :0)

  3. Why are there sparkles all over my screen? Oh ... right ... this is a Karen Schindler interview!

    It's always a delight to learn about you. Much continued success to you, Sparkly.

    Thank you for interviewing her, John.

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  5. I've been sitting here for ten minutes trying to think of a more "literate" way to say "Sparkly is terribly funny..."

    But words fail. All that's left is the grin that won't fade. Nice to (sorta) know ya, Karen!

  6. I love the visual of the meteor and how KS hits so spot on to how many writers feel about 'civilians' or those that don;t know one end of the pen from another. She always displays a deft touch with her words - nice to catch a glimpse into where they come from.

  7. Hi Laura, Karen, Linda, Mike & Michael!

    Laura: Thanks--glad you liked it!

    Karen: You are most welcome. Your interview is a delight!

    Linda: Thanks for stopping by--glad you enjoyed the interview!

    Mike: Based on her interview & her Tweets, I'd say she's a stitch! Thanks for stopping by.

    Michael: Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks!

  8. Yes, Karen is a delight to know, tentacles and all. I'm very glad to have met her, and her good spirits are infectious. I don't know what we'd do without her!

    Thanks for the enlightening and sparkly interview, John. :)

  9. The answers to John's questions are vintage Schindler. I've been a fan of her musings for a while and, as was described in the opening, have often been 'pulled into her wake'.

    "…in my book jacket cover I want to be on a pony." That one made me laugh...

    Word ver...yorik

  10. Hi Alan: I found Karen's answers not only funny but extraordinarily sane--such as her comment about virtual publishing. Thanks for stopping by--I liked the pony line too!

  11. You don't need to go to Miscellaneous Yammering for a smile - just find anywhere La Schindler is to be found and she'll make you smile, or break your heart, or make you want to sing, or laugh yourself silly.

    Great interview. Excellent questions - ah...but the answers... Pure Karen.

    This improved my Thursday no end.

  12. Hi KJM: My experience of Karen from her blog & Twitter & a bit from email around this interview makes me agree with you 100%! Thanks.

  13. Great answers Karen! I agree with your "Field of Dreams" sentiment - If you write it, they will read it.

  14. Hi Aaron: Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Delightfully poignant. If a meteorite were to truly fly towards earth the strength of Karen's words would save us all. I can't wait for the day to pick up the latest KS novel at the local grocery store (course I'd want a signature on mine). Great interview!

  16. Most days I feel like there is a meteor headed toward my house and the words, much like rats fleeing a sinking ship, have to get themselves onto the page before the impact.

    That's so wonderful and funny!

    And….most importantly…. in my book jacket cover I want to be on a pony.

    Now that you know what your book jacket will look like, you can set that detail aside and focus on getting those rats to just rush onto the page :)

  17. A+ interview, John! Karen is one of those rare individuals that I would hang around like an eager puppy with my tongue hanging out if I was around her in person.

    Probably a good thing I only admire her from afar, less slobber that way!

    Enjoyed, thanks!

  18. Awesome interview, Karen! I love it.
    You're so right about Giant Eagle. I'd never thought of that...

    And yes, thanks for the interview, John. Karen's one of "my people," too!

  19. Terrific interview! And now I need to look up flugelhorn.

  20. Hi Jodi, HKatz, Shannon, Margo & Jen!

    One thing I've gotta say--Karen sure has some great friends!

    Jodi: Glad you liked it! Karen strikes me as the sort who can make thiongs happen, so you may well be buying that novel. Thanks for following here!

    HKatz: I liked both those lines a lot, too! Thanks.

    Shannon: Thanks so much! No slobber, now!

    Margo: So glad you enjoyed! My pleasure to have Karen & her fans here.

    Jen: Perhaps my fave instrument choice so far (tho there have been some great choices!) Thanks.

  21. Thank you for this interview John, reading more about Karen is always welcome :)
    Loved the questions and answers, there is too much sadness in this world, but Karen fights to bring a smile to everyone's face :)
    She's one of the nicest and most wonderful people I know!

  22. Hi Estrella: Glad you enjoyed! Just based on her writing, I'd say Karen exudes a wonderful spirit.


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