Friday, October 9, 2009

K. L. Fogg Interview


A couple of years ago right after my book, The Forgotten Warrior, was accepted for publication, I asked K. L. (Karen) Fogg if she had the time to read my book and give me a blurb. And though she'd never met me before she agreed to do it. She was between writing books and school tours. I was so excited. I remember how nervous I was taking my manuscript to her home, but she set me at ease at once. We talked about writing and she gave me some great advice that helped this rookie author. I am so thrilled that she agreed to be interview for my blog.

I know that you have been a television anchor. Tell us about that experience and why you left it to become a writer? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I was a news anchor for NBC 8 in Columbia, Missouri for several years in the late 90’s. I thought it was the best job in the world. Every day was a new adventure. I got to meet movie stars, dine with the governor, and meet interesting people from all walks of life. Some of the highlights were riding in a hot air balloon and racing wave-runners across the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The only downside was that I had to get up at 3:30 every morning. I left my dream job to move to Salt Lake City, and it was then that I decided that I wanted to become a writer. I had these ideas floating around in my head, and I thought it would be fun to be able to write my own story and not have to fact check everything. I can honestly say I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was four years old. That was the year I wrote (and illustrated) my first book.

Tell us a little about your latest book to be released.
My latest book is a time travel adventure for young adults. It doesn’t really fit into the science fiction or fantasy category, because it’s pretty realistic. I don’t know the release date yet, and I can’t divulge the title because you never know—titles can change!

Tell us about your other books.
Serpent Tide is the story of 12-year-old Wesley, the only child of the billionaire widow Imogene Vandergrift. Wesley feels like a prisoner in his mansion under the watchful eye of his domineering and overprotective mother, until the day he discovers a secret that will change his life forever. He embarks on a journey to find his real family and meets his hero Jack Mackey, the rogue Australian host of the popular TV show The Snake Stalker. Together they try to outsmart kidnappers, spitting vipers, a hurricane, and the clamoring news media. In order to survive, Wesley must uncover the mystery of legendary serpent tide and confront his deepest, darkest fear. The adventure continues in Widow’s Revenge and Diamondback Cave, where Wesley has to outrun a forest fire and find his way out of an underground cave before time runs out.



What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
It’s hard to say. I just love to write. I guess I’m always looking for ways to entertain myself, and the oddest things can trigger ideas for stories. Sometimes I can’t shut it off—I’m a terrible insomniac! I love to read and be entertained by other people’s stories, so naturally I want to share my ideas so others can learn to love reading.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
The list of authors I admire is very long, but J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, and Roald Dahl are a few of my favorites. I don’t think I consciously try to emulate anyone, I just write what the voice in my head tells me write and then edit, edit some more, and did I mention edit?

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
I grew up in Danville, in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent every summer at my Grandmother’s ranch in Jackson, California. Every year my two sisters and I used to hunt and catch frogs, lizards, spiders and snakes and an occasional butterfly. I was never squeamish, and only got scared once when I ran into a scorpion. It never occurred to me at the time that girls shouldn’t enjoy the creepy critters every bit as much as boys. Snakes and spiders are a big theme in my books, and maybe it’s because they fascinate me. I also spent a lot of time on the water, fishing with my dad or waterskiing. Right now I live at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, in Sandy, Utah and I love it here. I’ve lived in every region of the United States and in Tokyo Japan, and I have enjoyed each place for its uniqueness.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting? Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
Picture a small extra bedroom containing an antique rolltop desk with an equally antique computer and so much clutter you have to hunt to find the thesaurus and the mouse. This is my writing space. It can be any time of day, but most likely it’s after 11:00 pm. That’s when I do my best writing. Sometimes music or talk-radio buzzes in the background--I don’t really notice what’s going on around me. Once I have an idea, I get into the zone and sometimes hours will pass and it will feel like minutes. Occasionally I handwrite notes to myself, but I type most of it in on the computer. One of these days I may learn to use an outline.

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I love a good movie. But I don’t think that a lot of today’s movies would be considered good or even make it into the “fair” category. There are so many great books—I’m a little disappointed with what Hollywood chooses to make into movies. My favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’m a die-hard 24 fan, and I also like House, So You Think You Can Dance and The Office. I’m a huge football fan, and my teams are BYU and the Oakland Raiders (I know the Raiders are terrible, but we go way back).

How has being published changed your life?
Being published has given me the desire to take my writing to a higher level, and hopefully make movies out of my books. In the past three years I’ve visited more than 200 schools and talked to thousands of children and adults. If that isn’t life changing, I don’t know what is. This is the greatest job in the world and I love all my fans. They are the best!

Do you have a website?
You can visit my website at http://www.klfogg.com/.
You can also go to http://serpenttide.com/meettheauthor.html.

I thought you might enjoy the trailer for Karen's book, Diamondback Cave.



Thanks, Karen!

3 comments:

  1. Awesome interview, and the book sounds really interesting too!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Heather! Yes, Karen's books are very good.

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  3. I loved reading her stories, but can not seem to find any website that is working. Is she still writing, has she written anything since the Wesley Mackey stories?

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