Today I’m happy to host Kelly Hashway. Kelly is a prolific writer of children’s, middle grade, and young adult books, and she’s also the mom to a beautiful little girl. I’ve often wondered how she manages to write that many books, so I was happy when she agreed to be part of my Moms Who Write series, and I got to find out that she is obviously immensely disciplined:

Annette: You write children’s stories and are the mother of a 5-year-old daughter. Did you
write in that genre even before she was born, or are the type of books you
write influenced by your life as a mom?

Kelly: My daughter definitely influenced my writing. Before she was born, I wrote MG (Middle Grade) and YA (Young Adult). But I started reading to her way before she could understand what I was saying. I wanted to instill a love of books. It worked, and she soon asked for stories about
specific things. I couldn’t find books about them, so I decided to try writing
picture books. I was pleasantly shocked when I sold one of them right away.

How do you manage to fit your writing and the related business of book marketing
into life as a mom?

It’s not easy sometimes. When my daughter is at school (last year she went three mornings a week), I spend the entire time writing. No distractions. No phone, no Internet, nothing but me and my manuscript. I do the same thing when she goes to bed. I’ve been known to stay up writing late at night. As for marketing, I thankfully have a very supportive family. My husband and my parents pitch in when I do author events.
My daughter loves to come to them, too. She’s become my photographer. 🙂

Do you actually use the time your daughter is in preschool to write? Or do chores
get in the way?

I can’t think of a single time I chose chores over writing. I’m very focused when I write. I can tune out the world. I write every second my daughter is at school.

Do you have a particular writing routine?

It changes every year according to my daughter’s schedule. Come the last week in August, she’ll be in all-day kindergarten, and my plan is to write all morning and take care of marketing
and editing for my clients in the afternoons.

Do you have a particular place where you write?

For a long time, I wrote on my living room couch, but I melted the bottom of my laptop doing that. Yes, I write that much. So now, I have a new laptop, and I sit at my dining room table with the cooling station under my MacBookPro. I’ve found the chair is easier on my back than the couch was, too.

PS from Annette: Kelly is not only rather disciplined in making the most of the time she was to write, she’s also quite ingenious in capturing those ideas that pop up at the most inconvenient moments. Check out her prior guest blog here.