Wonder Mom Spotlight is a chance to shine the light on one of our Wonder Mom Success Club members with 7 questions so that you can get to know them too.
One of the things I love about running the Wonder Mom Success Club is the amazing creative talent in the club. Katherine is and mom and author of 19 books and a handful of short stories (more coming).
She has been a lifelong lover of fantasy, having being introduced to Tolkien as a child, which might explain the direction she went in with her writing. She writes from the comfort of her Tokyo apartment, surrounded by miniature giant robots and a constant supply of coffee.
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WELCOME KATHERINE, CAN WE START WITH YOU TELLING US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
I write new adult urban fantasy, which means that the main character is around college age. Interestingly, the people who do most of the people who read my work are older than that. I write for people who want a little bit of escape from every day, who like a bit of adventure and sometimes a little romance.
I also collect bits of world mythology and snippets of folktales to use in my stories. My readers enjoy them as well.
How did you get started in the writing world?
I’ve been reading and obsessed with stories for as long as I can remember. I remember writing scraps of stories and bits of scenes all the way through high school. But as I grew up I gave up my idea of writing novels for a living and went off into theatre instead, because, you know, theatre is a much more lucrative and stable career.
A few years ago I had an especially vivid dream that stuck with me, so I sat down to write it out, just so I could get it out of my head… and I didn’t stop. That was my first novel. With that finished, I poked around online and realized just how easy it could be to get my book into the Amazon e-book store.
What do you find most challenging with your business?
Pretty much everything but the writing, if I’m being honest.
I’ve gotten better at some of it: getting appropriate book covers, writing the blurbs, and so on. I have a long way to go, though, at doing better with my business bookkeeping and project management, but I’ve already learned a ton and can only get better!
What do you love most about your job and how do you use creativity in your business?
I love the writing.
I am addicted to stories, after all, and when I sit down to write it’s like I’m hearing the story for the first time. I often don’t know what’s about to happen until it flows out of my fingers and into the keyboard, even when I have my rough outline right there in front of me!
Creativity? I, um… I write about shifters and mages saving their friends and sometimes the world. And working in coffee shops.
I suppose some of the marketing could be considered creative but to me all that has to be too deliberate and planned to feel very creative.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, in an ideal world and all…
I get up a bit before 6 so that I can have a few minutes of peace before the madness that is getting my ADHD, autistic son out the door for school on time.
So I get up and make coffee and do all that morning stuff that has to happen. I also take about ten minutes to do some journalling. Mostly getting all the stuff out of my head so it doesn’t hang around and make me more anxious. The Anxiety Gnomes have enough ammunition without me hoarding more for them.
I’ll also put a little thought into what my goals for the day are. I tend to pick three major things that I want to have done for the day, like ‘finish chapter three’ or ‘write the blurb’ or whatever, and I jot those down in my planner. I have tried doing it the night before by my brain doesn’t work very well in the evenings. My son gets up at seven, and from seven to eight I’m pretty much focused on getting him up, fed, dressed, medicated, and out the door with everything he’s supposed to have.
After he’s off, I’ll sit down with a fresh cup of coffee and open up my project and ease into it while my husband gets himself ready. This is a lot less intense since the pandemic since he’s been working from home, as well. I use the Pomodoro technique of doing 25 minutes of work and then taking a 5-minute break, and I just try to bang out the words I need. Now that I have my wonderful vacuuming robot, which we affectionately call Miggs, I’ll run that as well for the first cycle or two.
Around 11, I’ll switch over from writing to Business Stuff, and I’ll chip away at that until lunch, which I’ll take with my husband on his lunch break at 1:30.
After lunch, I’ve usually used up my focus, so I’ll do something mindless like hanging laundry (assuming I started any while getting my kid out the door that morning) or watching YouTube videos. Or both. Then when my son gets home, I’ll let him rest for a bit, then get him through his homework.
I start dinner at around 5, aiming to eat around 6 or so, after which my brain has entirely given up and I’ll dither around until bedtime. I try to at least get the dishes done after dinner, but I make no promises.
This is all a very loose rhythm, though, since I’m also the go-to parent for going into the school when they need someone, and you know, life, but that’s sort of an ideal day.
What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier in your business journey?
wow. How long a list do you want?
I think the first thing I wish I had done better is to get some developmental edits on my first book and to get a more genre-appropriate cover. I plan to do both those things in the future and release those first books.
Some of the best advice I’ve heard is that if you want to make your living writing books, you need to treat it like a job. Back then I definitely treated it like a hobby or a random fun thing.
How has being a Wonder Mom helped you at work and at home/with the kids
When I started out my son was younger and needed a lot more attention, so I earned tricks to entertain him (without resorting to the Electronic Babysitter) while I got some writing done. Now that he’s older in school, it’s much more about learning how to do business while still doing life AND parenting. It’s really good to know that I’m not the only one out there trying to juggle all these balls.
Where to find Katherine
Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/katherineukim
And if you are interested in joining The Wonder Mom Success club, you can find out more here: https://wondermomsuccessclub.com/
Othe posts that will help you on your Biz Mom journey:
WIN BACK AN HOUR OF YOUR DAY
AND BECOME A TIME BENDING NINJA
(WITHOUT GIVING UP SLEEP OR INSTALLING ANOTHER USELESS TIME-SAVING APP)