I am so excited to be hosting a leg of Carolyn Kaufman’s blog tour for her newly released writer’s reference book, The Writer’s Guide to Psychology. Today’s post features a great new interview with Carolyn (you can see my previous interview with her here). I’m also giving away a copy of her book, so be sure to leave a comment!
The fun doesn’t end there! I will also be posting my review on my blog tomorrow. So be sure to check it out!
But for now, it’s interview time:
CF: Why this book? Why now?
CK: You know, it’s funny. People joke (without much humor) that by the time you get your doctorate you’ll hate your dissertation topic. I didn’t hate mine, and even though writing a manual for writers has been a bit like writing another dissertation, I still love this topic. So much for that theory!
My dissertation described how feminist psychology differed from the psychology presented in women’s magazines, and my book is obviously on a similar tropic – how psychology presented in fictional media is different from real psychology.
I wrote the book because there was a definite hole in the market. Psychologists have been concerned for years about how many self-perpetuating inaccuracies and misconceptions pepper the media, but nobody had yet reached out to creative writers to educate them in a fun, affordable, easy-to-understand way about those problems. Nobody had yet worked to help writers of all levels and genres to get their psych right!
As both readers and media consumers become more savvy about psychology, they also become less forgiving of errors, so I think a book like this is really important. I hope it will also, over time, help reduce many of the misconceptions and some of the associated stigma in our society.
CF: What kind of research went into The Writer’s Guide to Psychology?
CK: LOL — What kind of research didn’t
go into the book? I did interviews, I read journals, I read books, I read manuals, I watched films, I watched TV; I even did tours of mental institutions. The bar is pretty high when you’re trying to help people correct misconceptions and inaccuracies, so I checked and double-checked everything I knew with research, and then talked to people who knew more than me and had them double check my materials for the same reason. Psychology –especially clinical and counseling psychology — is an art as well as a science, so there are some different opinions about what, for example, is the “best” form of therapy, or the “best” way to approach a difficult client. But I even grounded that information in research whenever possible.
The important thing, however, was always to keep the information accessible, even for people who didn’t know much about psychology. It was – and is – my job to make sure all the jargon and academic stuff is broken down in a practical way for writers.
CK: I really enjoy building websites, so the book has its own website: WritersGuidetoPsychology.com. From the WGTP webpage, you can check out a detailed Table of Contents, reach the book’s Facebook page and YouTube channel (which I’m still working on) or, of course, order the book. I’m also doing a blog tour (thanks again to Christine for sponsoring a stop!) with signed book giveaways like the one with this interview! I also do a lot of work with the media, and I always mention the book to journalists and newscasters, and sometimes that gets the book mentioned in a big outlet like USA Today. Finally, I blog with both the QueryTracker Blog, which helps writers work toward publication, and with Psychology Today about – you guessed it! – psychology for writers. Keep an eye on my Psychology Today blog for fun, WGTP-related posts mid-December. I’m also looking forward to book signings after the new year begins. In the meantime, I’m going to pick Christine’s brain on chat opportunities – she’s a master at this promotion stuff!
CF: Do you write other genre’s? What are they?
CK: I also write science fiction and contemporary fantasy.
CF: What can you share about some of your future projects?
CK: I’m working on a proposal for another project that combines psychology and writing, something a little different this time. Since I’m still at the beginning stages, I can’t tell you much more than that right now – I do hope that it will eventually be a really nice companion book to the Writer’s Guide to Psychology, though. I also need to do some work on a couple of fiction queries – and get those sent out!
CF: Quick Fire Randomness:
- Reality TV or Drama TV? Definitely drama – and I’m a CW addict, I admit it.
- Salty or Sweet?
Oooh, tough one. If I have to choose, I’ll go with sweet.
- Ebook or Book? For me, traditional book, but I appreciate e-books!
- Online or Inperson? Definitely in person (come on, I’m a shrink J), though I do love online!
- Blog tour or book tour? Both!
CF: Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about you or your books?
CK: The print version of the book is available now, but a Kindle version is coming very soon – we’re just waiting for Amazon to finish up with processing the files. So if you prefer an e-book, keep an eye on the News section of my WGTP website, or on the book’s Facebook page for an update when it’s released. Or, of course, you can always watch Amazon!
Thanks for the interview Carolyn! I am just thrilled about your book.
Now, the giveaway. Just leave a comment and I will do a random drawing to win one copy of The Writer’s Guide to Psychology – signed of course!
And be sure to come back tomorrow for my take on Carolyn’s insightful book.