Author Interview with Korynn Wible-Freels
As a writer who is passionate about children, family, and faith, Korynn Wible-Freels finds great joy in authoring anything from Christian picture books to middle grade fantasy novels. Korynn is an established author with Hallmark Gold Crown and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, having written over thirty titles for the two organizations. She is thrilled to be represented by Lauren Miller and the Metamorphosis family as she pursues her own personal writing projects.
How did you become a writer?
Having known since middle school that I wanted to be a writer, I attended college at Indiana University Fort Wayne for my undergrad degree in English / Concentration Writing. In the summer of 2013, I applied to the Hallmark Cards, Inc. internship in Kansas City, MO (eleven hours away from my cozy hometown and comfort zone!). I can’t attribute the timing to anything other than God’s intervention; having said many genuine prayers for opportunities in the competitive world of writing, I stumbled upon the internship just two weeks before the application deadline. I was chosen as the 2013 writing intern and spent June through August at the Hallmark campus.
The internship was an impactful experience. Working at Hallmark was exactly as one may imagine; a corporation of happy, friendly people who celebrated every birthday, promotion, work anniversary, and new pet adoption with presents and cake! Upon the end of my internship, I returned to northeast Indiana as a remote children’s book author for Hallmark. In addition, a connection made with an editor during my time at Hallmark opened the door to my writing career with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
What inspires you to write?
I have two motivations for writing: number one is to further God’s kingdom (whether directly through Christian works or indirectly through secular ones), and number two is to engage and inspire young readers. I hope that my stories enable children and teens to value humor, to see reflections of their own strengths in my characters, and to look for adventures in everyday life.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I find it helpful to plot an entire book or series ahead of time, that way cross-references can be made throughout the piece(s). I typically make a bullet-point list of events while also jotting notes on the side of which elements to connect and where to connect them. As for character development, it helps me to create a backstory and motivation for each person in my piece. How do they relate to their family (single child, multiple siblings, step-parents, etc.)? Where do they live (small rural town, thriving urban city, Midwest, East Coast, etc.)? What motivates their actions in the story (this last one is especially important when it relates to the conflict)?
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
I remember discussing this topic at length my friend and fellow-writer, Kara (we met at the Hallmark internship). After a delicious dinner of Kraft mac ‘n cheese in my extended stay hotel room, we lamented about how difficult it was for a writer to get her foot in the door. After all, agents and publishing houses seek writers with experience. So, if no one publishes your work for lack of credentials, then how do you get the credentials? It sounds like a daunting dead-end, but as with any profession, there is always a way to break into the biz. Hallmark was ours.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
Captain Thin Beard is a natural optimist, so it’s easy to admire the way he takes pride in his crew, despite their ridiculous pirating tactics!
What are your current/future projects?
Along with more picture book titles to accompany “A Pirate Has Written This Book”, I am also excitedly working on a middle grade fantasy trilogy as well as a Christian adoption picture book. In addition, my day job consists of writing projects for Ripley’s, Hallmark, and Rozzy Learning Company.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Not particularly! I used to be a morning writer before our daughter was born, but now that “morning” refers to 5:30 am instead of 9:00 am, I tend to write best during her naps with a warm cup of coffee nearby!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
I wish I could encourage younger Korynn not to doubt herself as an author. A subjective field naturally offers trials and rejection, and there were times when I worried that I had pursued the wrong livelihood. I would remind myself in those times of disappointment that my passion for writing is not a career, but a calling.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Be patient. Writing is unlike most other careers; you don’t just go to college, earn your degree, apply for a job, and make a consistent salary. You will be subjected to rejection, long periods of waiting, and constantly-changing markets. Regardless, don’t give up! If you feel that God has placed a story on your heart, one that will inspire lives and benefit His kingdom, then you need only two things: prayer and perseverance!
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
Please feel free to reach out via my website any time at www.korynnwiblefreels.com. Simply click the comments tab and send me your questions or comments. I love hearing from people!