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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Free For All Friday - Meet Author/Poet Kellie Winzinowich!

Today I'd like to introduce my friend, fellow Ass Cheek Angel blogger,  writer of fantastic Contemporary Romance and wonderful poet, Kellie Winzinowich!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kellie in Orlando at the 2010 RWA conference, and I've since had the pleasure of reading some of her gymnastic based contemporary stories. So without further ado.......Take it away, Kellie!

1.How Long have you been writing?
All my life I've kept journals with short stories, poems, and musings on my life - a diary of sorts. I won a poetry contest in school when I handed in a poem I wrote about a foster child who left our home. Poetry writing is like therapy for me. I only entered that poem because I fooled around in English class and didn't write anything! I went home and chose that one from my private collection so I'd have something to hand in. The teacher, unbeknownst to me, entered it in a contest, so along with my good grade, I won a bit of cash, too. I love to read romance and as well as write it. I've always wanted to write a romance novel, and have written several in the past 4-5 years. I just think the world needs more happy endings!
2. Have you always wanted to write?
I've always written, but for myself. Someone told me once that I'd never make a living at it, and I was at an impressionable age then, so I didn't pursue it seriously, until I began to show my poetry collection to people (10 years later) and someone told me I should consider publishing it. I toyed with the idea for a few years until I finally decided to just go for it! I had friends who self-published a book and did quite well, so with their encouragement, I went that route with my poetry collection SIMPLY REFLECTED. I had no knowledge of the publishing world at that time, and even though the easy part was getting the book printed, I learned a lot about marketing, promotion and what it takes to sell a book. Now that I'm a part of the Romance Writer's of America, I've learned so much more about the publishing industry.  Digital versions and possibly audio versions of SIMPLY REFLECTED will be available in the next couple of months, so I'm excited about that! For updates, you can check out my site www.kelliejwin.com, or join my fan page on facebook (Kellie J. Winzinowich), and you can check out some of my newer poetry, too.
3. What genre do you write?
Right now I write contemporary romance. My first series of books deal with people in the gymnastics profession. All of my critique partners, and beta-readers have loved them, so I'm crossing my fingers that an editor or agent will, too.
4. Which author influenced you?
My favorite author is Eloisa James, not only because of her exquisite writing, but because she was instrumental in getting me to join the Romance Writer's of America. She has always answered all of my questions, and it was a real thrill to meet her this past summer! If I hadn't taken her advice, I never would have met my fellow Ass Cheek Angels. When I grace the stage (notice how positive I am) for a Golden Heart or RITA award, she will be one of the first people I thank.
5. Tell us about yourself.
I live in Manitoba, Canada - right in the middle of my country! I live with my four kids (2 boys, 2 girls), and my prince charming. I've been a gymnastics instructor for 23 years now (I started young), and taught everything from preschool to elite athletes. I gave up coaching for more of a normal family life, but I taught university for 3-4 years, and I still teach seminars for teachers and university students. The sport won't let me retire! My motto is: Keep dreaming, keep believing, and I instill this in my kids and others I meet. I believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it!
Thanks for being my guest, Kellie!
For more info visit Kellie at:  http://kelliejwin.com/

14 comments:

  1. Hey Kellie, I am still really glad we decided to room together ar RWA, your are such an amazing person. I know what you mean by Eloisa; she is awesome!

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  2. Hi Kellie,

    I don't think I've read any of your books, so I'll have to check it out. I love reading romances.

    You mentioned critique partners. I'm curious. Do your partners write in the same genre as you do?

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  3. I'm so glad you shared about writing in separate genres! Over the last several years, I've heard negativity about not picking a genre. I think that's changing with the internet. So many people read a wide variety. I'm looking for a great writer when I go to the book shelf, not a book in a particular genre. Thanks for introducing yourself to us!

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  4. Kellie,
    Thanks for the information.
    I was interested (in all)especially, the recording of your poetry book. I drive alot and use recorded books while doing that. How do you get it done? Are you self publishing that too?
    I used Vista Print. Com to make up an oversized postcard of a recent poem. I thought they turned out beautifully. They give you 4 free items you pay shipping only. If you order large quanities you do pay more. That order I got 50 oversized cards, a t-shirt,a wraparound mug, and a 12 month desk calendar for $7.43 shipping. This is a great way to promote your books,etc. You can use their designs or upload your own design(small up-load charge$1.99 or so) and logos. I do not want to offend anyone but I use them often and maybe should have passed the info. in an e-mail to you. We have been hearing about author self promotion a lot in the writing groups I attend Ozarks Romance Authors, Sleuth's Ink, Springfield Writer's Guild.

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  5. Hi Kellie,

    It was great to meet you at the 2010 RWA and keep in touch through FB and the ACA blog. It was nice learning more about you today.

    I admire your positive outlook and your motto: keep dreaming, keep believing.

    I know that editors will love your work and I look forward to your first book signing at an RWA conference. :-)

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  6. I thought I should let everyone know, Kellie said she might be sans computer today :( But she was really looking forward to reading everyone's comments!
    Thanks!!

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  7. Hey everyone! Thanks Jenn for asking me to be a guest, and to all of you who commented. YOur intro was awesome - I had to look around and make sure you were talking about me. I had tears in my eyes from all the nice things some of you said! LOL
    Today has been one of those crazy days, so I'll try to answer everybody before I'm off again for a few hours!
    Kasey - I'm glad we ended up roommates, too. I loved hanging out with you, and I hope that in 30 years from now we'll still room together at conference!

    Elke - it was wonderful to meet you at conf. and I've also loved keeping in touch with all of you Angels. For so long, I felt like I was alone in this writing thing, and now I feel like a part of a big family!

    Shirley - I said I've written 4-5 five books, but nothing is published yet. Until I joined RWA, I kept hitting a wall in the publishing world. Now, I feel a little closer. :)Plus, I'm much better now... My critique partners, so far, have not been in the same genre. I think writing is about telling a good story, regardless of genre. Basically, when I critique, I just try to pick out things that I don't think fit, and vice versa. I read all genres of romance, so I know what I like about a story and that's how we try to help each other out.

    S.C.- thanks for checking out today's blog :) I think writing comes from the heart whether or not it's romance, poetry, etc. Poetry is just something that's therapeutic for me. My poetry is very simple, and I think that's why people like it.

    Janet Kay - I have used Vista Print for my business cards. They do nice work. I haven't tried much else with them yet. I've recently spoken with a gentleman who has expressed interest in helping me go audio and digital with my poetry book. It would be considered self-published, too, but I can get it on Amazon, so that's a bonus! It's just an exciting prospect - one I hadn't considered before. I do have a handful of paperbacks left...

    Thanks everyone for commenting! I'll check in later. If anyone wants to email me directly my email is kjwinzinowich@yahoo.com (I married a good old haybale-throwing-Ukrainian/polish boy!)

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  8. I also wanted to mention that next week on my fb page as well as my site I will be posting an "inspirational" gymnast video. You won't want to miss it!

    Oh, and to S.C. - Margaret Lawrence, a Canadian author, said in an article on her that she doesn't like the attitude that if you write one genre people often think you can't write poetry or children's books. She feels it's not true, and that you should write from what's inside. (This is not a direct quote because it's been a year or so since I read the article.) I believe you should just write what is in your heart!
    Thanks for stopping by everyone and thanks again Jennifer for interviewing me :D

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  9. YAY for Kellie! You are an amazing writer, capturing your sport with a real touch that draws you right in!

    I'm very glad that I changed my mind that night at RWA and decided to go meet you ladies! Yay for the angels!!

    HUGS
    Trish

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  10. You said it, Trish! I loved meeting all of you:)
    I'd also love to have the rest of you Angels as guest -- anytime!
    A big thanks to Kellie for being here with us today!!
    Hugs :)

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  11. Thanks for having me, Jen! I always enjoy your posts, and look forward to more. Trish, I'm glad you and Lori joined all of us that night. The Angels are a wonderful support system! Hugs to all :)

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  12. Thank you ladies for being such great inspirations and having the opportunity to "hang out" with you. I look forward to the wonderful years of friendships ahead!

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  13. Hi Kellie,
    Sorry I'm late to the dance :) Good interview. I enjoyed getting to know you better. (BTW nice poetry book cover.) I really like your determination and devotion for writing. Oh, and I agree about Eloisa James' books. Love to hear the details about her.

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  14. Always glad you can join us, Barb! I can't wait to get to know all of you better as well. A friend of mine, an excellent photographer, does all of my professional pics. The cover design was her idea. It turned out better than what I had in mind.

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