Author K. A. Fox writes adult speculative fiction, ranging from urban fantasy to fantasy romance and science fiction.
A. Fox is a proud military brat who has lived all over the world but now calls the Midwest home. She uses her psychological training at work to facilitate successful negotiations and at home to convince her husband and three sons that she’s always right. As a new author, she is excited to share that her work has been published as part of a collaborative effort in the seasonal anthology, Snowflakes From Heaven, which features characters from her novel, The Devil’s Own. Her short story, Voices and Visions, was selected for publication in the anthology, Rogues and Wild Fire: A Sizzlin’ Romance Collection, released in July 2018. When not writing, she can usually be found hiding somewhere with a book and a bit of chocolate or chasing after her own adorable Hell Hound. You can connect with her at.
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When asked about her struggles as a writer and how she plans to overcome them Author K. A. Fox had this to say:
Overcoming Challenges – by K. A. Fox
My struggles as a writer are not unique. If you ask any creative person out there, you’d likely get similar answers. Because as a group, the same issues undoubtedly float to the surface and swamp us just when we think we’ve got it all figured out. How we overcome them is what sets each one of us apart.
I’m an author. I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister and an aunt. I have a day job that requires a high level of expertise but also comes with a huge dose of stress, especially at different times of the year. When I step into any of these roles, I have learned that I have to be there. Really, be there. Focus. In the moments I am writing, I am writing. One hundred percent. Put the headphones on, tune out the world around me and give myself completely to the world coming to life on the screen in front of me. The same is true for all the other roles I play.
If I had to present an orderly list of challenges, it would look like this:
TIME, FEAR and SLEEP. No matter what, I always circle back around to these things. When I don’t make time to write, I don’t write. When fear hits me, and I give in to it, I don’t write. When I don’t get enough sleep, my creative energy is nonexistent, and I don’t write.
Here’s how I make the magic happen:
- Start Small – If I think about the giant nature of what I’m doing, I panic and tell myself it’s impossible. Small isn’t scary. I typically write in sprints. Short, scheduled periods of time where the only thing I’m focused on is putting words on the page. I usually sprint for 20 minutes, take a 10-minute break and then sprint Rinse and repeat. I have two evenings set aside for sprints every week. I may write more during the week as my schedule allows, but I always know that I have these times reserved for writing.
- Enlist an Army – These are the people closest to me. When I first embarked on this journey, I told my husband and three boys what I wanted to do, what I hoped to achieve. Believe me, having a seven-year-old look at you sitting on the couch watching TV and saying, “Aren’t you supposed to be writing?” will get you moving in the right direction. I also told other people. Extended family and friends. So they’d know why I might be writing in my chair before a baseball game. Or in the car. Or wherever they spotted me with my laptop in front of me.
- Create a Deadline – Deadlines always get me going. They keep from procrastinating. My first deadline was one month. How many words could I write in that time frame? I counted the words on Day 30 and was pleasantly surprised. More than I’d thought I’d have. And I wasn’t done. So I needed another deadline. This was the bigger My top choice literary agent was accepting pitch appointments at an upcoming conference. Basically, if I scheduled an appointment, she’d listen to me explain my idea. If she liked it, she could ask me for more information, or maybe, in a dream world, she’d ask for the manuscript. Which meant on the off chance she liked my idea, I had to have something ready to give her. I scheduled the appointment. Boom – Deadline. And instantly, pressure. But you know what happens when you apply pressure? Diamonds. (I really like diamonds.) So I wrote. I watched the days tick away. I fixed bad spots. I reviewed. I got it to a reasonable point. And suddenly, I was sitting in front of a person I’d never dreamed I’d meet telling her my idea. And she didn’t hate it. In fact, she wanted to read the whole manuscript. She had a busy schedule. Wouldn’t be able to read it until she made it through her scheduled commitments. Gave me a date to send it to her. Another deadline. It kept me focused. I still use this tactic for my writing.
- Celebrate Every Single Win – A well-known literary agent requested my manuscript. You better believe I celebrated that. I called my husband. I texted my sister and a few close friends. I ate dessert that night every single bit of it. In the end, she chose not to represent it. But, she gave me a lot of encouragement that added up to something important – it was a good story, and I was a good writer. I just needed to find an agent that represented more authors in that specific genre. (I admit after I cried in my car, I ate a little bit of chocolate, and then I celebrated the good things she had to say.)
- Don’t Quit – When I told my Dad the agent had opted not to represent my book, he said, “Well, you tried.” I could have stopped. I could have given up. But, I didn’t. I kept writing. I met other writers. I learned from them. I edited. I revised. I took on challenges that made me write in other I took on challenges that made me write fast. I let other people see what I wrote. And it paid off. I’ve got so many stories I’m proud of now. Stories that will turn into more books.
- Eyes On The Prize – This has been so important for me. When I get down on myself or when the anxiety takes hold, I can fight back when I remember what I’m fighting for. I wanted to be a published author. I wanted it so much that reminding myself of that helped me get up and get back to writing when I was afraid I couldn’t. Being a published author couldn’t happen if I never put the words on the page.
- Support – Without the people cheering me on, this would have been a much harder road. Family and friends have been there to pick me up, to offer me encouragement, to listen when I’m disappointed. Or hurt. Or feeling like I just can’t do this. They listen. Then they build me back up. Choose wisely and build your inner circle. Find the people you can rely on no matter what. And give back when they need you.
- Sleep – Did you wonder when I’d get to this one? Truly, it’s a huge struggle for me. When I’m tired, everything just feels more difficult. More insurmountable. More uncontrollable. When I’m tired, the fear becomes stronger, the gremlins in my head louder and harder to ignore. It sounds simple but taking good care of ourselves is sometimes the hardest thing for us to do. I know that when I’m rested, I can take on the challenges ahead of me with so much more confidence. I’m a night owl, so sometimes, I’m tempted just to keep doing, keep pushing forward with what I’m working on. But then the morning comes, and I pay for it. Too many of those nights add up, and it gets ugly. I’ve learned how much sleep I need and I do my best now to make sure I let myself have it.