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Linda Davis Kyle

Please check out the interview between WLT and Ms. Kyle (Click here for the interview. . .)

Linda Davis Kyle is a health and fitness writer whose articles have been published in Canada, the United States, the Netherlands Antilles, Ireland, England, South Africa, Bahrain, Qatar, Bangladesh, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand in award-winning publications such as Professional Counselor Magazine, Golden Falcon, World Travel Magazine, and Healthy Options. She was a staff editor for The Journal of Chemical Education for 18 years. She served on the board of directors of Prevent Blindness Texas for nine years and has done more than 500 hours work for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Kyle holds a master's degree in English and a black belt in Shito-Ryu. She is the author of Change Your Life with Martial Arts and a co-author of The Writer's Friend along with Joseph Gregg and Nancy McAlary, Fun Foods for Kids & Grownups with William Meikle, Scottish sci-fi author, and the e-book, Writing Tips Galore, with Joseph Gregg, William Meikle, and Billie Williams. Kyle is the small press review columnist for Pathways Magazine, a writing workshop instructor for the Writers' League of Texas, and an editor for Davis Kyle Writing & Editing Co. who helps writers make their writing dreams come true.

Some comments follow about Kyle's books, The Writer's Friend, Change Your Life with Martial Arts, Fun Foods for Kids & Grownups, and Writing Tips Galore (www.blueberrypress.com), and her Writers' League of Texas Workshop, "Team Up with Your 'Inner' Editor."

The Writer's Friend: Behind the Scenes with Editors

"Most of all, this book can save writers valuable time in growing from an aspiring writer to one who is busy being published -- and paid." -- Richard Gilbert, Publicity Manager, Ohio University Press

Change Your Life with Martial Arts

"Change Your Life with Martial Arts is indispensable for you and your family when considering enrolling in a martial arts program." -- T. Jeff Chandler, EdD, CSCS*D, FACSM, Associate Professor Marshall University, Editor-in-Chief, Strength and Conditioning Journal

Fun Foods for Kids & Grownups

"Fun Foods for Kids & Grownups is a truly special book. It offers a potential inoculation against the myriad of unhealthy relationships with food that are promoted by our contemporary culture. . . . [This book] is worthwhile reading for every parent and parent-to-be." -- William N. Davis, PhD, Vice-President of Research for the Renfrew Center

Writing Tips Galore: Turn Over a New Leaf for Writing & Marketing Success

"My writing tip: Check out this book! Writing Tips Galore offers something for every type of writer, from magazine and technical to science fiction. An investment in your writing career." -- Julia Bencomo Lobaco, Editor-at-Large, Catalina magazine

Notes from University of Texas Informal Classes Participants of "Teaming Up with Your 'Inner' Editor" Workshop

"Thank you, Linda. You accomplished in a few hours what other teachers were unsuccessful in conveying over the course of many years. I now understand how to energize my writing." Jane Bates, Austin, TX

"Dear Linda, Just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful advice you gave us during the informal class. I really appreciated the opportunity to sit down and go through those warmup exercises. It's funny how easily you can forget how important they are in order to help inspire your writing. Thanks again!" Marisa Escudero, Austin, TX

"Linda Davis Kyle's 'Training Your Inner Editor' has proven invaluable to me. Two of the most difficult facets of writing are getting started and staying encouraged. Linda's class offers a variety of writing exercises that coax more out of you than you'd ever expect, while with her wealth of experience in the professional writing world she is able to convey methods to outfox discouraging behavior. I highly recommend this class!" Peter Voskamp, Austin, TX

Sign up for: January 24, TEAM UP WITH YOUR INNER EDITOR COMPLETED. SEE CLASS REVIEWS BELOW:

"Time moved much faster than it did in Jr. High." Mark David, Baton Rouge, LA

"Thanks, Linda. I appreciate your encouragement and the open environment you create. You do nurture writing dreams." Diane Montgomery, Dallas, TX

"Great job. I would refer this class." Gordon T. Payne, Houston, TX

"Tips to let go of the editor, thus unleashing the writer. Priceless advice for anyone in this field." Erin Prather, Austin, TX

"Linda nurtures the students with individual attention, coaching the spirit and the creative mind." Mary Ann Stafford, Austin, TX

Interview with Linda Davis Kyle

WLT What are the most common style problems new writers encounter?

LDK Voltaire said, "Every style that is not boring is a good one." Style comes from the quality and rich texture of the writer's words and the ability of the word arrangements to manifest images in readers' minds. Trying too hard to make a writing style exciting can create problems. Reaching for exotic words to spice up articles or stories can cause trouble when common, concrete words could serve better. Twain's comment, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug" rings true. Feeling a need to stir readers can cause writers to use excessive adjectives and adverbs instead of merely finding the best verbs and using active voice. Writing positively, simply, and specifically helps articles and stories to flow. Instead of writing the negative, "There were no people in the park," which automatically triggers the reader's mind to see people, try writing, "The park was deserted." Consider changing the pretentious, "The barrister and his ex-wife met atop the Needle in Seattle," to "The lawyer and his ex-wife met atop the Needle in Seattle." Rather than the generic, "The cat was on the car," try, "The Russian Blue lay curled up on the Bentley." Creating one's own style is a goal of most writers. When writing magazine articles, though, writers who profit most are those who can vary their styles to suit disparate audiences. Diligent practice can conquer these and other style problems.
   
WLT What must every story have that it can't live without?
LDK This question reminds me of the late Dwight Swain's comment, "Everything is important." For nonfiction, which is what I write solo, I would say that every article must first capture the attention of the readers then hold their attention with credible information, a logical flow, and smooth transitions to reach a legitimate conclusion to entertain or enlighten. My co-authors of short fiction, Australian Nancy McAlary and Scottish sci-fi novelist, William Meikle, agree that those qualities are musts for fiction, too. A few of the many questions that I consider as I work to continue to try to improve every article or story follow.

(1) Is the title intriguing?
(2) Is the introduction riveting?
(3) Have I used active voice instead of passive voice?
(4) Are the verbs vigorous?
(5) Have I overused adjectives and adverbs?
(6) Have I constructed and punctuated my sentences with care, avoiding comma splices and fused sentences?
(7) When I read the work aloud, is the cadence pleasing?
(8) Are the transitions smooth?
When working on fiction, my co-authors and I also check the development of elements such as character, conflict, complications, climax, and conclusion.

   
WLT How can I tell if my story needs help?
LDK As you go through the questions that I have shared and learn of other more advanced concepts, evaluate each aspect to see what needs to be modified. After you have written, rewritten, trimmed, revised, edited, and polished your article or story as much as you feel you can, then do not hesitate to have an editor assist you. Distancing yourself from your own writing is a great challenge. I was a staff editor for the Journal of Chemical Education for 18 years and have edited more than 4000 typescripts, and I edit for other writers and editors now; yet, I always hire editors to help polish my books for publication after I work to prepare a clean copy. Mindy Reed of the Authors' Assistant in Austin and Guy Lancaster, a former staff editor for Arkansas Review and a published short story writer from Jonesboro, Arkansas, have simultaneously edited my books. I cannot praise them enough. I like having both a female and a male edit, because I appreciate their sometimes different points of view to add variety to the work. Like me, you may be amazed at the bizarre truth of Samuel Johnson's notion, "Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out." Good editors will improve your work every time.
   
WLT How do you find inspiration to write?
LDK I am enchanted by causes. I have written hundreds of articles on everything from preventing falls and arresting gum disease to finding alternative treatments to drug addictions and avoiding the dirty dozen exercises. Causes inspire me to write books, too. With The Writer's Friend and Writing Tips Galore, I wish to nurture writers. Both reverberate with, "If writing is what you want to do, then no matter what anyone says to try to dissuade you or what anyone does to put obstacles in your path, keep studying, reading, and working to improve your craft. . . . When you conquer your fears, sharpen your skills, set your goals, and work to achieve your goals in an atmosphere of positive expectations, you can succeed" (TWF, p. 14). With Fun Foods for Kids & Grownups, my goal is to empower parents and other caring adults to cherish children, to read with them, to build in them high self-esteem, and to help children to develop a rational attitude about foods. I want to help parents prevent creating in children feelings of obsession or deprivation and help them to make every day a celebration. With Change Your Life with Martial Arts, I encourage readers, who have longed to participate in a martial art, to let the book guide them "to embrace the system of their choice to find balance, excellent physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and to find peace with [their] own thoughts and with the world" (CYLWMA, p. 11).
   
WLT Name one thing you have learned about yourself as writer?
LDK I will reiterate from an earlier interview that I know profoundly that "I love writing. It is an activity that frees the mind from the world of chaos for the moments that one truly can engage on that marvelous and mysterious level of creation. I love writing to share information that just may make a difference in the lives of those around me and may empower others even after I am gone" (Kyle interviewed by Dyana Bagby, Visions, Fall 2000). Innocent as it may be, I believe that with careful communication, writers can change the world, especially if we can instill in every child the love of writing. My "Making Writing Your Best Friend" workshop that is included in the Writing Tips Galore e-book explains to students that if they ever feel that absolutely no one has time for them because those around them are either clutching a remote control, have their eyes glued to a computer screen, are hiding behind a newspaper, or are dashing away, that's when they can make writing their best friend. They can write about their problems and their joys. In our bustling society, when some people become invisible to those who should treasure them, they may-with writing-save their own lives. As a writer, I know that I would like to help young and mature, alike, to embrace the joy of writing and to make every day a celebration.

 

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