following is the first ever interview ever presented on the In
My Backpack web site. Back in those days, things were a bit
shorter... seven questions and some quick links. It is my pleasure
to bring this one back to the site...
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to the first “Lucky Seven” interview here at the In My Backpack
web site. I’ve got a real treat for the debut of this piece.
“Lucky Seven” process is simple… I e-mail a set of seven questions
to a person and ask them to answer them. From the responses, and
subsequent e-mail exchanges, I build the article you’ll find here.
The final article might include a biography, links to the person’s
web site or a method to contact them, and even more than seven
questions if some point seems to develop into a separate idea.
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O’Halloran is a woman I met because of my efforts in National
Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). Although
she didn’t participate in 2004, her author profile was still posted
there. I was looking around the NaNo site, ended up connecting
web site, and we began exchanging some information.
Ultimately that led to this interview. (Note: the web site
she ran back when originally posted is different. This link leads
to her current web site.)
lives in Australia, which means that much of her work won’t be
familiar to many of you in the United States. She maintains her
own web site, prepares her writing for submission in several markets,
and also publishes her own online magazine of erotic literature,
late October and early November of 2004, she and I exchanged the
following information. She has some tremendous thoughts on the
subject of writing. There are some fantastic tips for writers
in her answers, and some great comments on the classic advice
to writers as well. But even if you aren’t a writer, Kathryn is
a very interesting, very funny woman.
~ ~ ~
always appreciated the way Kathryn has of presenting things… whether
her fictional writing or a brief passage in her bio. So let’s
just use some of her thoughts…
is part couch potato, part femme fatale. Any day she doesn’t
have to get out of her pyjamas is a good day for her. She was
once told to write what she knows; despite that, she started
writing erotica. Her first effort saw her winning a booty of
sex toys and set her on a seedy literary journey. She finds
the research grueling but she goes at it with guts and determination.
having several short stories published, she is now concentrating
on her first novel – a spicy chick lit novel. In her spare time
she edits an online magazine of Australian erotic fiction.
long have you been writing? And when did you start marketing your
started writing as a child, like most people but stopped in my
teens when I realised that anything committed to paper would end
up in my mum’s hands no matter how carefully I hide it. It took
me a long time to feel comfortable after that. I actually start
writing again online, keeping journals in various forms for about
five years now, because I felt that was safer. I think a lot of
the process is going with things, feeling safe then branching
out of the comfort zone until that feels safe.
the marketing, again I started online, sending things to different
web sites. In the past twelve months or so I’ve become more serious
and now create monthly schedules for writing and submitting work.
I used to hold on to things, waiting until I was “good enough”
to be published but then I realised it was no good just hording
stories on my computer. I needed to release them and create new
things in their place.
were (and are) some of the biggest problems you’ve encountered
in trying to sell your work?
no one wants to buy it! Seriously, the main problem is getting
over the self doubts and fears. I think a lot of people judge
their own work too harshly. Now I send things off and leave it
to the editors to judge whether it is good enough or not. It is
also important not to anguish too much. If a story is rejected
it could be for many reasons – not the right market or the personal
preferences of the editor. When my stories are rejected, I do
a re-read and polish then send them out again.
launched an on-line magazine… Lustre. What brought you
to the decision to do that and how has it been received?
was writing erotica and found that no one was publishing it in
Australia. I thought that was a real shame and so ended up creating
Lustre. I wanted to do something online because I didn’t
want to take on a huge project that would dominate my time – and
a print magazine would have all the extra work of distribution
and printing. So far, it has been received well with lots of positive
hate to use the word taboo, but it is about as close as I can
get to describing the feeling that some may associate with erotic
literature. That’s one of the primary genre’s you work in, and
the dominant one for Lustre. What have been your experiences
working in this field… both in producing it and in marketing it?
haven’t encountered any problems. There is a huge market for erotic
writing that goes from the straight out pornography to literary
work and I’d like to think my work is more on the literary side.
I’ve always published under my own name and not kept it a secret
but, on the other hand, don’t exactly broadcast it around the
workplace or tell my nanna.
far as producing work goes, sometimes you can get a bit jaded.
If I’ve just had a bad dating experience or something like that
then it is hard to put a positive angle on sex. Sometimes I’ve
wanted to change lines from something like – ‘He crushed her tight
against his hard body’ to ‘He crushed her tight against his hard
body because he was a lying bastard who was going to use her then
afterwards crush her like a discarded cigarette butt…’ You get
is the difference between publishing material on the internet
and submitting it to more traditional publishers?
think it varies. Some internet publishers are very professional
while some sites let you upload anything you write. If you are
working with an edited online journal I don’t think there is much
difference to a print publisher. As far as writing erotica goes,
I guess you are more anonymous if you are published in a print
journal – even if you use your real name you are only identified
if someone buys and reads that publication, whereas on the net
your name will come up in a Google search!
do you approach your writing? Do you use a schedule? Do you wait
for inspiration to strike and run with it? Do you procrastinate
until a deadline looms nearby and then hope for divine intervention?
a great procrastinator but try to write to a schedule. I work
on a monthly schedule – not so much a schedule of doing say 2
hours writing a day or whatever, but more a prioritised list of
the things I want to achieve each month. I set this monthly because
I do casual work and don’t know what my workload is going to be
like from one week to the next. If I tried to schedule things
on a weekly basis I’d go mad. Also, I’m working on a novel and
have a mentor that helps me with this and we meet monthly so my
schedule is organised around that. Basically two weeks a month
working on the novel and two weeks on other projects.
find it much easier to work to a list of priorities because I
used to sit down to write and have a bunch of different projects
buzzing in my head and not be able to settle down to just one
thing. Now I know exactly what I’m doing, mostly.
do write everyday even if it is just in my journal.
on how you view the terms, there’s a big difference between being
a “selling” writer and being a “professional” writer. How do you
view the terms? And, what are some of the things you’d pass along
to newer authors trying to get started?
don’t know if there is that much difference. I’ve met a lot of
people recently who talk about writing for the “love” and seem
to be more into the bohemian lifestyle of being a writer than
actually writing. To me, if you are only writing for the love
of it then it’s a hobby. Sure writing is a great thing to do but
to me, you have to prepared to work at the marketing side as much
as the actual craft of writing. I mean, a doctor or a plumber
or a gardener might (hopefully) do their work for the love of
it also, but that doesn’t mean they do it for free.
guess the main difference is that a “professional” has that professional
attitude. Even as a beginner, they go about things in a business-like
manner which doesn’t exclude creativity. For example, if you are
submitting work to an editor even if you have never published
before, you want to look like a professional, someone who takes
their work seriously.
don’t know that I have any sage advice to pass on but there is
a great quote in one of my favourite novels, Hotel New Hampshire,
that I can’t quote verbatim but is something about not wasting
opportunities because you never know when there will be no more
looked it up – “You take every opportunity given you in this world,
even if you have too many opportunities. One day the opportunities
will stop, you know?”
~ ~ ~
want to thank Kathryn for participating in this interview. It
was a thrill to work with her on it, and a pleasure to include
it in the release of Time
Just Drifts Away.
has been busy since we first connected years ago, and I would
be grateful if you took some time to check her out (and her work).
To visit Kathryn’s web site...