And I get to welcome ANOTHER awesome Australian author to the blog today! This time a writer of historical fiction sharing her 'wild ride' to publication!
Here we go...
Kerri Turner is a historical fiction author who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and miniature schnauzer. She trained from a young age to become a ballerina, but life had other ideas for her. After gaining an Associate Degree (Dance) and Diploma of Publishing (Editing, Proofreading and Publishing), she combined her love of ballet, history and books to discover a passion for writing which far outweighed anything she’d done before. She still dances, passing on the joy of ballet and tap dancing to those who never got the chance to experience it—or thought their dancing years were behind them—by teaching adults-only and over-55’s classes.
She loves to share details about her writing process, and the books she is reading, and can be found doing so on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.
‘PART CABARET, PART BURLESQUE, AND LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES IF YOU'VE DARED TO COME, WELCOME TO ...
1945: After the thrill and danger of volunteering in an all-female searchlight regiment protecting Londoners from German bombers overhead, Evelyn Bell is secretly dismayed to be sent back to her rigid domestic life when the war is over.
But then she comes across a secret night-time show, hidden from the law on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Entranced by the risqué and lively performance, she grabs the opportunity to join the misfit crew and escape her dreary future.
At first the Victory travels from port to port to raucous applause, but as the shows get bigger and bigger, so too do the risks the performers are driven to take, as well as the growing emotional complications among the crew. Until one desperate night ...
1963: Lucy, an unloved and unwanted little girl, is rescued by a mysterious stranger who says he knows her mother. On the Isle of Wight, Lucy is welcomed into an eclectic family of ex-performers. She is showered with kindness and love, but gradually it becomes clear that there are secrets they refuse to share. Who is Evelyn Bell?
Who are you and what do you write?
My name is Kerri Turner, and I’m an Australian writer of historical fiction.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I’ve always loved reading and writing, and always thought I would write a book one day. But my plan was to be a ballerina first. I trained my whole life towards that goal, but wasn’t able to make it because I didn’t have the right body to be accepted into a ballet company. It took me a long time to get over the loss of that dream, but in the end it was ballet which brought me back to that early idea of writing a book when I discovered the idea for my first novel, The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers, in the introduction to the book The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
It’s a wild ride! Getting a publishing deal was a long and doubt-filled process that took several years. And then the timing of signing my publishing deal meant I still had to wait 18 months before the book came out. The editing process on both books was done quite early on though, and the best experience where I also learned the most. I was lucky to be given Nicola O’Shea as an editor on both books, who is an industry stalwart. She was able to see things in the books I wasn’t even aware of myself, and knew how to make the most of the stories I’d created. Seeing my books get better and better with each stage of editing was so exciting. The release of both books, despite being a year apart from one another, was similar both times in that it was exciting, terrifying, exhausting, and overwhelming. There is so much that authors have to do themselves these days when it comes to promotion and marketing. I’ve learned to be ready at a moment’s notice to take advantage of any opportunity. It’s also made me more grateful than ever for the work of bloggers, reviewers, and readers. They’ve really lifted me up when I felt weighed down by the process, and I feel as though I owe them so much.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part is when you come off contract. The dream that came true—getting published—kind of resets to the beginning, and once again you have to write a book, pitch and submit it to publishers, and hope that someone will accept it. You do have the benefit of knowing people in the industry this time though, so that does help.
The most enjoyable part is how readers have reached out to me—through my website, my publisher, or social media—to tell me what my book has meant to them, how they connected with it, how they interpreted certain themes, and what they learned. I never expected such generosity of spirit and time, and that people would make the effort to do that has made every last minute of the journey worth it.
Would you go back and change anything?
Way back when I first started trying to break out as a writer, I made it my sole focus and put so much of my self-worth in it, and I don’t think that was a healthy choice. It made every rejection sting all the more, and every month in which I didn’t hear back from a publisher or agent felt like a wasted month. Which simply wasn’t true—that’s just how the industry goes. I eventually shared my focus with other things I love and find value in, and that really helped. If I could go back, I’d do that sooner!
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I’d love to release a historical fiction novel every year. I also have dreams of trying other types of writing: writing a movie screenplay, a television pilot, the book for a musical. Maybe even try my hand at some lyrics. I want to do it all!
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Treasure this moment right now, because it is the most pure writing time you’ll ever have. Being published is a dream, but it also means from that moment on you’ll have the voices of publishers, editors, marketing people, sales teams, publicists, agents, critics, booksellers and more in your head. Enjoy that right now, you get to write purely for you!
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Mayo (even better if it has a squeeze of sriracha in it!)
Night or Day? I’m a night owl by nature, but my husband’s full-on work schedule requires early mornings and I’ve adjusted. So, both?
Inside or Outside? Inside
Dogs or Cats? Dogs (I have a miniature schnauzer called Nelson)
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
Ebook or Paperback? Paperback, but ebook for travelling
Sun or Rain? Rain
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? Comedy
Chips or Chocolate? Chips
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!