As you may have noticed, these past few weeks I have been a bit lax on my blogging, marketing, and social media. But here is the bright side of it: It’s all for a good reason—writing. I am making tremendous progress with book 2 of the Pinnacle series, reaching new personal records of writing in 20-hour stretches.
But even when the writing is flowing, eventually I need a break. Among the few go-to places to unwind and catch up with the world is Facebook.
And here comes the wow!
Kristen Hamilton, a professional book editor who proofread Pinnacle Lust, is still keeping my book fresh in her mind and obviously in her hand, even bringing it up in a discussion at a book fair.
I was so happy to see that two years after Pinnacle Lust was published, Kristen still remembers my book. It’s needless to say how excited and honored I was, yet my curiosity to know what it was all about pulled at me. After all, a successful editor like Kristen Hamilton held my book in her hand during a panel discussion.
As I follow Kristen’s work closely, I immediately contacted her, thanking her and asking her about the event.
Then, we thought why not share it with you.
Michelle: What was this event? How did you get involved?
Kristen: This was at the 2017 Boise Book Fest, which is designed for local and regional authors to showcase their work. Each of the authors at the book fest had a table where they displayed their work, and many had their books for sale.
Being a book editor from the Boise area, I was invited to attend the general event as well as take part in a presentation alongside other authors.
Michelle: What did you talk about during this presentation?
Kristen: In a 50-minute presentation I discussed perspective/point of view in writing. This is the difference between which of the characters is telling the story, and if the story is told from first person point of view (“I said,” “I did”) or third person point of view (“he said,” “she did”).
I’ve edited over 300 books by different authors, so I’ve been exposed to many different writing styles, points of view, and perspectives. Many readers—and sometimes even authors—don’t realize the importance of perspective and point of view. A story can be less exciting (and less successful) if it’s not told in the right perspective or point of view. If Pinnacle Lust had been told from Sloan’s wife’s perspective, for example, the base story would be entirely different from the lusty romance it is in Sharon’s perspective.
I also discussed trends in perspective and point of view, and what I’ve seen come across my desk recently. The room was packed with avid readers and budding authors—standing room only in the back. People were taking notes and asking questions. The atmosphere was great!
Michelle: Out of all the books you’ve edited, why did you choose to talk about Pinnacle Lust?
Kristen: Understanding point of view and perspective can be difficult, so when speaking about first person point of view, I wanted to choose a book that would clearly represent this concept.
When I thought over the many books I’ve edited, there were a few contenders, and ultimately I decided on Pinnacle Lust. The plot is intriguing and risqué—an extramarital affair.
Writing in first person point of view is great for books with heightened internal conflicts—like Pinnacle Lust, where Sharon has an affair with a married man. Most people would agree that extramarital affairs are not okay—and people might even shame the woman who has an affair with a married man. But if your readers don’t agree with Sharon’s actions, you risk losing them. They might put down the book and never pick it up again.
The key idea in Pinnacle Lust is to get readers on Sharon’s side—understand why she’s pursuing an affair with Sloan. The only way to effectively do this is to write the book in first person point of view—telling the story through her eyes. This way, the readers can understand what Sharon is going through, and they can feel compassion for her situation. They root for her, despite the immorality of the situation.
Michelle: Last but not lead, what was the audience’s reaction when you discussed Pinnacle Lust?
Kristen: I learn by example, so I hoped that by using Pinnacle Lust as a talking point, readers and writers alike would understand how using first person point of view is effective, especially in a story with heightened internal conflict like this one.
When I picked up Pinnacle Lust and started talking about it, the room shifted. People sat up straighter in their seats, taking notes. In the back of the room, some people whispered the book title to others who couldn’t see past the crowd. It was a magical moment!
Michelle: Thank you, Kristen!
I am so thankful that Kristen chose to talk about my book during the book fest. What an honor—and what a surprise!
Now, it’s on to you...Kristen mentioned that the first person point of view was good to use in my book. Do you agree? How do you think the message of the book would have changed if it was written in someone else’s perspective—like Sloan’s wife?