Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Karen Albright Lin

Karen Albright Lin, Author

1. What was the defining moment that made your realize you wanted to be an author? 

I had success publishing short pieces and poetry beginning in H.S., encouraged by my creative writing teacher. I decided to branch out and become a freelance editor after editing university lit mags, facilitating critique groups, and realizing I loved helping authors midwife their books.

2. What is the one thing you cannot work without? What is your creative vice?

Typically I need iced tea with extra lemon, a pen and paper for rough drafts, and a place where I’m surrounded by people – usually restaurants over lunch.

3. If you could 'revive' any literary figure from the past for a one hour conversation, who would you choose?

Mark Twain, love his humor and his intellect.

4. What is one of your more notable or unusual conference or convention experiences?

I have had so many. I met virtually every agent, producer, Hollywood agent, and entertainment attorney I signed with at a conference, most, in fact at PPWC. Career changing: having Ken Berk hear my pitch in a PPWC pitch workshop and ask me to see him after the workshop only to have him tell me that he wanted me to write my story as a screenplay, that he’d then help me sell it. I learned the craft, he died within a year--very young, but I went on to write many award-winning screenplays, get writer-for-hire screenwriting gigs, consult on others’, and get hired as a script doctor. I never intended to write screenplays until I was encouraged by both Ken and Jan Jones, a writer/filmmaker I met at PPWC.

5. If we asked your friends and family to compare you to a cartoon character, which would they choose, and why?

Mama Berenstain Bear. Perfectionist, reasonable, helicopter mom, housewife, advisor, love to teach

6. What is one thing would you like aspiring authors to know about the road to success?

It takes patience, determination, rhino skin, and the willingness to survive a long apprenticeship.

About the Author: Karen Albright Lin coaches and edits for clients in all genres of novels, screenplays and nonfiction.  She edited the memoir, Walks on the Marginsby Kathleen Brandt and Max Maddox.  Client, Suzanne Handler, published her memoir about a precedent setting mercy-killing case, The Secrets They Kept,ranked # 1 on Amazon within three weeks and has remained on the Amazon top 10 list in three categories for months. Chris Howard, YA author/client was published by Scholastic. YA/children’s client, Ying Chang Compestine, won over three dozen awards for her Holt published books, one based on her life during China’s cultural revolution. Karen is a celebrity memoir ghostwriter, has published and been awarded for her personal essays.  She also writes novels, short stories, and screenplays inspired by her life; many have garnered awards and landed her several top agents.  She teaches Writing Your Life at conferences, retreats, and on cruise lines.  http://www.karenalbrightlin.com


  1. Another great Q&A. I love your answer to No. 6 Karen.

    1. Thanks Stacy. Anybody working in another field would find us crazy for what we put up with for so many years to break in and actually make a living. It isn't a good business model. That's for sure! Loved seeing you this weekend.


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