1. Congratulations on your new release, North Star. What is the story about?
Thanks! North Star is the story about a woman who returns to the small rural town she grew up in, with her two children after a divorce in search of a new life. But once she gets there she realises she has to face the ghosts of her past before she can move on.
2. Tell us about your journey to publication:
I’ve been writing on and off for 20 years now, since I was 19. But In that time, I’d had kids and would put my writing on hold for a few years at a time, until about four years ago when I decided to do it for real this time! I joined RWA two years ago and from there it was upwards and onwards. I heard about e-pub and thought I’d give it a go. I have since had three books published, with a fourth due out late this year. I’ve also got a new release out with Allen & Unwin for a rural lit line of books. I hadn’t thought I stood a chance with main stream publishers, but when I heard about Allen & Unwin’s Friday Pitch, I thought, why not? I was really shocked when they asked me to send a full MS. As with the e-pub sites, had I not been involved with RWA, I would never have heard about these opportunities, so I owe it all to you guys!
3. Rural fiction is popular right now, why do you think it is so appealing to readers?
I think its always been appealing, it’s just that there was never enough of it. I’ve always loved a good Aussie story, but there were very few authors writing it, and certainly not enough to satisfy an avid reader. Probably, shows like McLeod’s Daughters also helped to promote the interest in rural Australia.
4. Do you follow a writing schedule, or do you just ‘write when you can’?
Usually I write when I can. It’s getting easier with my children getting a bit older, but it’s still very much a case of writing around them, a busy family life, work and husbands! Well, husband, I only have one …at a time!
5. Are you a plotter or a pantser, or a bit of both?
I’ve always been a pantser, until this latest book I’m writing, where I sat down to ‘get organised’. It does have its good points, but I’m really struggling with this book and I’m sure its because I’ve done too good a job mapping it all out. I think I need a happy medium, but I’m still trying to figure out what exactly that is!
6. What is the best bit of advice you’ve received about writing?
Keep writing! Just keep writing!
7. Since everybody needs a break, even when doing something they love, how do you like to spend your time away from writing?
Reading for me was always a treat, and nowadays it’s even more so because I just don’t seem to get enough time to do any!
8. You find yourself stranded on a desert island, what things could you not survive without?
The internet and Facebook! Indoor plumbing would be really nice… are we talking ‘resort’ type desert island here? Because I don’t do the whole camping thing very well!
9. How has being published changed your life, if at all?
It’s made me face a lot of fears about being out in the public (No one told me about this before I sold a book!) I’m not enjoying it, but I’m making myself do it, so I figure it has to get better sooner or later…right?! But other than that, nothing much has changed. I haven’t made enough money to justify giving up work- sadly! And I still have to clean the house and cook dinner! Hello? How many books do you have to sell around here to get a housekeeper?! (Apparently A LOT more than I have so far!)
10. What are you working on next?
Another rural lit for Allen & Unwin. Very excited about it.
11. Where can readers get a copy of your book and/or learn more about you?
You can buy North Star at any book shop, or department store, like Big W or Target, or online. I also have a website you can go to if you’d like to find out what I’m up to at http://karlylane.com
Thanks Karly for taking part in our interview!