Writer’s Desk Issue No: 4: Cara Putman
We’re so excited to have Cara Putman featured on this week’s writer’s desk. Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently writing book 33 and dreaming up future books, not hard when she sees what-ifs everywhere.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW and gives back to the writing community through her service on Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, full-time lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and an all-around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband, and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for more about her most recent release plus a chance to win a copy!
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
I usually write in my home office though I’ve been known to move around as needed to get inspiration. If there’s too much chaos at home or in my office, it can be hard to create, so I’ll go somewhere like a coffee shop to get jumpstarted. When I’m on deadline I write about every day, but unlike Tricia, I write in the evenings. It’s the time that works best.
When are you most productive?
When I’m on deadline. Just kidding…sort of. I’m most productive when I can block an hour or two to write. That means I’ll do it whenever I can, except early mornings. I used to be an early bird, but now I’m more of a late-night owl.
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
This sounds so crazy, but my writing food is almonds or a sliced apple. I’m also a sucker for nachos, but those are hard to each while writing. I primarily drink coffee, hot tea, or water. I know. Exciting 😉
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I’ve learned to do one of a couple of things. 1) I press through. Sometimes I don’t have time for writer’s block. 2) Step away for a bit. I’ve learned that it can be a sign I need to step away and think about something else while I let my subconscious work on the book and characters. It seems so counter-intuitive, but it really does work for me. 3) I’ll go take a walk. If it’s nice, always outside. If not, then on my treadmill. I’ve found there’s something about the physical movement that helps, too.
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
I’m somewhere in between. I can plot when the publisher requires it – and frankly, those books are easy to write. But I can also be a pantser. I find those books are harder though. With my next book, I really want to go back to plotting. That basically frontloads the work and makes the writing faster and cleaner for me.
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Write and read every day.
What are 3 tips you would give to anyone who is trying to launch their writing career while still plugging along at their day job?
- Be consistent.
- Don’t be discouraged. If you follow #1, you will finish your book.
- Pick one social media platform that you enjoy and become an expert at it. Don’t try to do them all right out of the gate.
Favorite thing to binge-watch: Right now, Castle and the Marvel movies in order
Favorite song right now: The Blessing by Kari Jobe
Favorite thing to order at Starbucks (or wherever you get your coffee/tea fix!): When I’m not making them at home, a caramel macchiato with half the sugar/sweetener.
Enter to win a copy of Flight Risk from Cara Putman*
More about Fight Risk:
Bestselling author Cara Putman returns with a romantic legal thriller that will challenge the assumptions of truth tellers everywhere.
Savannah Daniels has worked hard to build her law practice, to surround herself with good friends, and to be the loyal aunt her troubled niece can always count on. But since her ex-husband’s betrayal, she has trouble trusting anyone.
Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a false newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Now a fierce champion of truth, Jett is writing the story of his journalism career—an international sex-trafficking exposé that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.
Connect with Cara Putman
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above