It’s been nearly a year since I interviewed Kez Wickham St George about her writing journey so I decided to catch up with her and find out what she’s been doing. I also asked if there were any important lessons she had to share from her experience.
Kez, what sort of year was 2014 for you? It was very busy with local interviews and an interview for the MS Radio Station in the US. The program editor was kind, cutting out the gales of laughter because the interviewer and I could not understand each other’s accent.
I also travelled around the southern wheat belt in Western Australia doing author interviews and creative writing workshops, winding’ up a week-long journey at a children’s festival in Balingup as a guest author for three days.
Then came a request to go to Cairns in Queensland to meet our new baby granddaughter and at the same time I received a booking to talk about my novels at the Cairns library. Fifteen people attended this workshop for an hour, then it was an open debate on the merits of using the Internet as a promotional tool compared with face to face networking. I must say it was lively and we went way over the original two-hour booking.
All fun aside, once home it was time to write once more, knitting my travels and my experiences into my next novel. This is when I really get to use my imagination.
Is there anything different about this particular novel? I began to write a prologue for the first time and found I enjoyed every moment of it. It set the tone for my latest novel, The Talking Stick.
What prompted you to do this? My publisher Autharium.com had seen something in my novels I had not, the world of the supernatural. He encouraged me to write a chapter or two on the paranormal. I was a bit flummoxed at this, as I write romantic thrillers and this is where I learnt a valuable lesson. As I rummaged through my old notes, I came across a film script I had written two years ago. I reread it and ideas formed on how I could use this, with some tweaking, to be my prologue. My lesson— and my advice to any writer—is listen to what your peers have to say. When the experts advise to never throw any of your writing or notes away, listen to them. I’m so glad I did.
I now have a third of my new novel written and the rest of it is rustling at the edges of my mind, bursting to get out there in print.
How is 2015 shaping up for you, Kez? This year is proving to be quite busy, using once again any social media available. I have been invited to either open or be part of exhibitions, plus guest speaker at two social events. This is an opportunity for me to physically network, getting my books known to the public. I know from past experience that personal contact or showing you are a ‘real’ person is vital to sell your work.
I used my holiday time at Christmas to have a web designer look at how we could improve my site and I am so glad I listened to her advice and went with it. I now have an updated web site www.kezauthor.com which has already proved a valuable asset in promotion. I also revamped my Facebook page and book covers.
How important are book covers? The cover is the eye-catcher for sales. It is the first contact with the potential buyer and has to relay what the author is writing about. This is where I work closely with my book cover designer. I sent him the prologue to read and get a feel for the title, however this time was a little different as I had a photo I wanted included. We were both excited about my involvement and between us we came up with a book cover to delight all involved. My publisher now calls my book covers ‘Kez covers’ because they depict my story of adventure, the thrills and spills, to all the armchair nomads, whatever the circumstances.
How have you changed as a writer? Advice from the experts is much appreciated. It has made me a more informed writer. A little more adventurous with my trusty laptop and I’m still learning every day, still adding a chapter every day to my next novel, and still loving what I love to do: write.
The Talking stick, to be published October 2015
Between us and the paranormal lies a thin curtain. Lift that and things happen that cannot be explained. Journey into the territory of the paranormal in this novel that is not about bumps in the night but a cry for help from the world of shades to be heard, to tell their story.