First off, tell me about yourself?
I live in Brisbane, Australia, with my two sons, a Bull Mastiff and a Staffy X. When I’m not wrangling dogs and children, I write. I love people watching, as I am fascinated by what motivates people to act the way they do. I hold a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing, and I enjoy inspiring other people to consider literature more deeply, and get creative with words.
What made you want to be a writer?
I started reading at a very young age and I have told and written stories for as long as I can remember. Reading good writing made me want to emulate the kind of storytelling that makes the reader lose touch with their reality. I also need to write to process my experiences and gets the voices out of my head!
And what attracted you to writing in your specific genre, and do you stick with that consistently or do you change it up?
When I was younger I loved writing horror, but I prefer the Gothic and mystery now. I enjoy mysteries that unfold without giving too much away, because there is so much observation of the minute actions of people required. Although my novel, Return to Tamarlin, is a mystery, I don’t stick to one genre. I go where the story takes me. I am currently writing three novels: one literary, one romantic mystery, and one action romance.
So tell me about what you’ve written, and has it been published/where can potential fans find your book(s)?
My debut novel, Return to Tamarlin, was released in 2017. It is available on Amazon and Booktopia, and can also be ordered through most bookstores. If people want to know more about short stories and other work I have published, they can visit https://kmsteeleauthor.wixsite.com/mysite-2 or follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KMSteele1967/
If you have had stuff published, how has it been received? And what is your opinion of your work now that it’s out there?
Return to Tamarlin has been well-received, and was long listed in the 2018 Davitt Sisters in Crime awards.
Is there anything you’d change or do differently now that it’s published?
No. It is a long haul to publication, so there’s no point worrying about what you could have done differently.
Speaking of publishing, how did you go about getting you book(s) published, and what was your publishing journey like?
Most publishers would only consider the commercial viability of Return to Tamarlin within the Australia market. It is hard to get a publishing deal in Australia, so I decided to independently publish. By the time I published, the novel had been through 8 beta-readers and 2 editors, so I was confident it was ready. Then I researched carefully to ensure the cover art and typesetting was professional.
Now tell me a little about what your writing process is like?
I will draw up loose chapter outlines if I get stuck, but I’m usually a pantser. I go with the characters, and they often do things that surprise me. I also tend to write in spurts and then think about a problem I have with a narrative, until I get the urge to write again. One of the issues I do face is what I call a ‘blank centre’. I usually know how a story starts and ends, but I often don’t have much clue about what happens in between until I write it out. Sometimes those blanks do create writer’s block. I’ll usually move to another part of the narrative until a solution presents itself.
And do you write for any market or demographic in particular?
Not really. When you’re genre, you are aiming at a particular market and demographic, but I don’t think it about it too much.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Just keep writing, and don’t rush publication. The work may be old to you because you’ve been writing it for so long, but it will be fresh to your readers, regardless of when it is published (unless of course, it is topical).
Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?
George Orwell – Animal Farm and 1984 are politically prescient with and packed with wisdom.
Barbara Baynton – Bush Studies is a lesson in economical writing and powerful imagery
Doris Lessing – The Grass is Singing is a finely drawn portrait of insidious racism and marital distress.
Harold Bloom – Where shall wisdom be found? A beautiful contemplation of literature and philosophy.
There are so many, I could continue listing for pages.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t sweat it. I’ve gone for months without writing. I’ve realised over the years that I’m usually working on a problem when I’m not writing. That is, I’m still writing in my mind. Once whatever is blocking me is solved, I sit down and write again.
And lastly feel free to share links to your social media so potential fans can follow you?
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/