Lee Warren, author and freelance editor is one of the founding members of
Lee Warren Author and Freelance Editor
Wordsowers Christian Writers. His website says he’s a sportswriter, storyteller and a sentimentalist…and he is. When you delve into Lee’s latest book you’ll hear his heartbeat. Lee will share industry terms and other tidbits on Friday night in order to prepare writers Saturday’s conference. Lee will also teach a workshop and be available for interviews. And don’t miss the opportunity to pick up his brand new book—Common Grounds.
Kat: What prompted you to write and freelance edit full time?
Lee: It wasn’t anything mystical. I just had a strong desire to do so. As somebody who is painfully shy, writing has been my primary means for communicating the way I feel. Once I realized that doing so touched others on occasion, it awakened a desire to do it professionally.
On the editing side, it’s a natural progression for somebody who is trying to make a full-time living in the industry.
Lee’s latest book
Kat: You have a new book coming out soon. I know you have the title. Do you have the subtitle yet? Why did you write this particular book?
Lee: The book is called “Common Grounds” and the subtitle I will probably use is “Contemplations, Confessions and (unexpected) Connections from the Coffee Shop.” A subscriber to my email list sent that idea to me, and I love it.
I wrote this book to see if I was the only one. Am I the only one who is still shy about approaching a woman I am interested in, even though I am forty-eight years old? Am I the only one who just needs to be around people sometimes, even if we don’t have a conversation? Am I the only shy, large person who tries to blend in wherever he goes?
Deep down, I knew I wasn’t the only one in any of these cases, but knowing something and feeling it are two different things. As such, I believe this book will resonate with people who have similar questions about their own insecurities and struggles.
I visited thirty coffee shops to find out the answers to those questions, and more.
For the Guys
I wrote about what I observed and experienced. If I’ve done the math correctly, I spent $136.42 on coffee and a few donuts, which is a small price to pay for the commonality I felt between the patrons, baristas, and myself. And standing on common ground gave me strength in the most unexpected of ways.
in a restaurant and spent time together. Share why you think NaNoWriMo is valuable and why you encourage other authors to get involved?
Lee: Writing groups, email lists, and conferences are great. But in my experience, too many of us who want to write spend most of our free time thinking or talking about writing, rather than actually sitting down and producing content.
Buy for Christmas Now
Participating in NaNoWriMo is a commitment to produce 50,000 words in 30 days. The time for talking about writing is over at that point. Early in the process, you learn the necessity of creating a production schedule. If you don’t, then you will not write 1,667 words in a day (the average you must maintain). At the end of the month, you will have established a writing habit that should carry forward into the next month, and beyond.
Once you have established that habit, you can produce a great deal of content. Even if you only wrote for one hour a day, averaging 800 words per hour, it would only take you 100 days to write the first draft of an 80,000-word novel, or 63 days to write the first draft of a 50,000-word non-fiction book. All of us can write for an hour a day, but it starts by building that habit into our schedule. Participating in NaNoWriMo is a great way to do that.
Kat: You usually write non-fiction and work at editing, but recently you have invested more time in novel writing? Do you find writing fiction relaxing, fun, or challenging.
Lee: Fiction is more difficult for me to write, though, than nonfiction. My
thinking is more linear than creative, so nonfiction is more natural for me. Producing great fiction requires the ability to complete a believable story arc with memorable characters, and since neither happens in a linear fashion, I struggle through that process. I suspect that I’m a “seat of the pants” novelist for this very reason. For nonfiction, I’m a strict outliner.
Kat: Any other thoughts you want to add?
I look forward to meeting new attendees at the conference, as well as catching up with old friends. If you feel a bit lost in the publishing maze, make sure you sign up for an appointment to see me. I’d love to walk you through it.
One more thing … as I make a transition from traditional publishing to indie publishing, I’m looking to engage with my readers, and prospective readers, more than ever. My plan is to offer them the best deals on my books going forward.
(I’m going to offer the Kindle version of “Common Grounds” for .99 cents to my email list for a limited time), as well as to offer giveaways. The way to be eligible is to join my free email list: http://www.leewarren.info/email-list.html.
Interview by Kat Crawford, one of the Wordsowers Christian Writer’s Leadership Team. Lovin’ the opportunity to share in the lives with other writers.