November 2015's Featured Novel Couple: Whitney and Travis McGruder

Discover why it's important to focus on seeing your novel through and more in this interview with husband and wife writing team, Travis and Whitney McGruder!

Happy November, friends!

With the dawning of a new month also comes a new featured novel lady...or, in this month's case, a featured novel couple! Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Whitney and Travis McGruder, the husband and wife team behind the writing blog, Wit & Travesty.

For those of you who are new to She's Novel, here's the scoop. Each month I select one writer (or in this case, writing team) to feature in a special interview. This writer doesn't have to be a professional; they simple must be someone who has inspired me as I've journeyed through my own writing life.

This November, I am so happy to have Whitney and Travis on the blog. I was first introduced to them when Whitney took part in my 30 Day Author Up Challenge. It was such a pleasure getting to know her in our Google + community, and I soon found myself diving into the blog she and her husband run together. It's been such a joy to share in their writing journey ever since!

Now without any further ado, join me in welcoming Whitney and Travis to She's Novel! Take a peek at our fun feature interview below...


Welcome to She's Novel, Travis and Whitney! Why don't you tell us a bit about your writing?

W: I generally focus on fiction/fantasy for a YA or older audience. My head’s currently stuck in old-time fantasy or fairytale retellings.

T: My writing so far has been fantasy oriented, mostly urban fantasy aimed toward YA and adults.

And your current works-in-progress?

W: My current work is going through draft two revisions. It involves my main character, Ilsi, who is hunted down by a cunning military force. Living isolated on an island all her life, she explores other countries and cities to find refuge and find out why they’re targeting her specifically. Will involve Elves, mermaids, dragons, and a crap-ton of magic.

T: My main work right now is a manuscript about an independent archaeologist who simultaneously discovers transatlantic cultural artifacts older than anyone believed possible, and a conspiracy spanning millennia that puts all of modern civilization in danger.

Are you planning to have your novels published someday?

W: I have my sights set for traditional publishing. It’s been a hard and long journey since I haven’t been working with any real, tangible goals this entire process. I hope to be finished with draft two by New Year’s. Hopefully draft three will be quick and then I’ll be shortly contacting a literary agent. It’s exciting to be this close! For now, I get a lot of experience by working full-time as an editor and participating in a writing group.

T: My hope is to take the traditional publishing route. Our plan is to take advantage of some of the local symposiums for networking with editors, agents and other writers, and work from there.

Have you always written fiction or did you get involved more recently?

W: I started writing Sailor Moon fanfiction in middle school! It wasn't until high school that I hoped to someday make a career out of it. I met my husband because of writing!

T: I've been cobbling stories together since elementary school, but never got into my head to write a book until high school, during a particularly exciting brainstorming session with a friend. Been a dream and a work in progress ever since.

What is the best piece of writing advice you've ever received?

W: Wear one hat at a time. I used to write and edit as I go—but that’s why it’s taken me years to finish this novel. Be just the writer and write. Then, be the editor and revise.

T: Push through. Even the pieces you're most excited to write will come with dull, uninspired moments. You've got to push through them and finish, and not let those moments become hangups that stop your vision from becoming a reality.

And you two also run a blog together, right? Tell us a bit about your site.

W: We offer a lot of writing and editing advice on our website, Wit & Travesty—we both study English and editing and I’ve had internship experience with a publishing house, so we draw from our studies and experiences. It’s been live since July of 2014, but it’s been an amazing chance to befriend the novel-writing community. We’re also active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

T: Whitney is actually both the brains and the muscle behind Wit & Travesty. I occasionally try to add some content, but my online presence is mostly personal. I do have a small YouTube channel for my other hobby, gaming.

Now for a bit of fun! If you could only read one book or book series for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

W: I would probably opt for Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars series. It’s a fantastic spin on the Alice in Wonderland books with amazing characters and a clever writer's voice.

T: I would get off in a technicality by claiming Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere shared universe as a "series."


Let's Chat!

A huge thank you to Whitney and Travis for participating in this month's featured novel interview! If you'd like to learn more about Whitney and Travis and follow along with their writing journey, make sure to join them on Wit & Travesty, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Kristen Kieffer is a writer of fantasy fiction and the creative writing coach behind She's Novel. She's made it her mission to help aspiring authors write sensational novels because obliterating expectations is her jam. Her other passions? Coffee and Tolkien, of course!

Kristen is the author of the upcoming The Books of Maveryn series and The Astral Series, as well as several non-fiction books for writers.