A Day in the Life of Women’s Mainstream Fiction Author Kathryn Shay
A Day in the Life is Literarily Speaking’s newest feature. Here we get a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of authors, industry professionals, editors, agents and publishers. Today’s guest is Kathryn Shay, author of the women’s mainstream fiction novel, The Perfect Family.
A Day in the Life of Author Kathryn Shay
by Kathryn Shay
Thankfully, my days vary a great deal but I’ll try to give you a flavor of them.
I usually awaken between seven and eight in the morning—no alarm clocks for me—grab some coffee and watch a little bit of Morning Joe. Then I go to my office to check email and answer anything pressing. Sometimes I read posts if I if don’t have a packed day. After that, I get my laptop and start writing.
I don’t have a set number of words or pages that I have to complete per day. I know my deadlines and work accordingly. Sometimes I write a scene (rarely any less) but I’ve been known to rough out a whole chapter in one sitting. If it’s a scene, I polish right away. If it’s longer, I polish in consecutive days instead of writing new material.
Almost every day, I have some activity planned. I take yoga class twice a week with my best friend, walk my dog after I’ve done some writing, or swim in the pool in the summer. I also have volunteer work I do weekly. I serve guests at soup kitchen for a few hours on Mondays and answer the hotline at a battered women’s shelter on Tuesday afternoons. Sometimes I go out to lunch on Fridays with my friends.
When I get back from my midday event, I polish the work I’ve done that morning, answer email, or work on promotion for my next book. Dinner is at seven with my own personal hero almost every night. I belong to a church and we sometimes have night meetings and I have a book club once a month. (I read at night, usually, or weekends.)
On free evenings, I watch some TV, again with my husband. I love The Closer, Rookie Blue, Dark Blue and Grey’s Anatomy. I go to bed between ten and eleven o’clock.
Weekends do not follow this routine. I spend the time with my family and reading. Both my children are adults, but live nearby, so I usually see them or do something with them every weekend. I also read more on these days.
I suppose this sound lack a crazy schedule, but believe it or not, to me it’s much simpler than when I was teaching full time and writing full time. I got used to having a lot on my plate, writing in short time periods and writing a significant amount because I really didn’t have any choice. I think that’s why I have so many things going on daily. I couldn’t imagine staying home all day and just writing.
This balance between writing and real life has worked for me as I’ve published 37 books in fifteen years—including my latest, THE PERFECT FAMILY, out now from Bold Strokes Books.
Thanks so much for letting me share my day with you.
Read more about Kathryn’s books at her website at www.kathrynshay.com.