Tag Archives: Sarah Ketley

An Interview with Sarah Ketley from the #writecampaign

September 13, 2011 1:42 pm by MRM in Interviews, Writing

This is probably the eighth time I’ve mentioned Rachael Harrie’s Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign in the last four posts, but I’m doing what I can to expand my community of writers and show some #authorlove of my own. What is #authorlove? I’m glad you asked, because for this post I got a chance to ask some questions of Sarah Ketley, the originator of the delightfully hashtaggable idea and fellow indie author (sounds so much better than “emerging artist”) from Brisbane, Australia.



Michael:

Sarah, though I want to talk more about you and your writing, I have to start with what really stands out in all of your posts and why I hear so much from you online – I saw your posts on #authorlove and your contest [disclosure - I have entered her contest]. I think that’s a great way to further connections and really fits in with the model of the #writecampaign. What inspired you to start this, and how quickly did you see it start to pick up?

Sarah:

I started #authorlove and the idea of helping other authors after I realized that some people do not show this attitude. I really believe that if we want the writing industry to continue to grow, we actually need good competition. We need authors to continue to strive and produce top quality work. The best way to do this is to help foster and support authors.

I started #authorlove so I could show my appreciation to new (and some established) authors and help them move along the path to publication and producing great quality work. I believe in Karma, so hopefully one day people will help me. I don’t mean buying substandard work either, I mean by helping me produce great quality work through offering support, advice and encouragement.

I only started #authorlove a couple of months ago. So it really has only just started to pick up, so to speak. However I notice a few people using the hash tag on Twitter and more people doing positive thing on-line for other authors.

Michael:

What do you see happening in the future with #authorlove?

Sarah:

I hope to take this one step further and start a competition about it in the near future. I hope that I can get other authors to basically pick 5-10 developing/established authors that they love and spend a week creating a bit of hype for that author. Share the love so to speak. We all love recommendations and sometimes books that are awesome get a bit lost. I’ll keep you posted when the webpage is up and running.

Michael:

Are there books that you found from trying out fellow emerging writers that still stand out in your mind?

Sarah:

I certainly have these. I must admit that I found my new favourite author through my investigations for #authorlove. I offered to help India Drummond promote her first book “Ordinary Angels”. I really loved her work. Her next book was even better: “Blood Faerie”.

Blood Faerie would have to go onto my top 5 books I have read all year. Perhaps even in the second spot. First goes to Cassandra Clare’s book Clockwork Angel.

Michael:

What inspired you to start writing?

Sarah:

My inspiration to actually do this properly came from a childhood friend, Nicole McDonald who I found was just about to publish her first book. I jumped on the bandwagon and have been actively involved in the online writing community ever since.

Michael:

Was there a moment in time when you realized you could do this – that your words were worth sharing with the world?

Sarah:

That would have to be when I read a piece from my manuscript and I started bawling my eyes out. It was just so sad. I can hardly read that chapter now without a tissue. (It is the moment when my 17 year old MC finds out that she has a life-threatening Leukaemia.)

Michael:

Have you met any famous authors? What did you take away from talking with / listening to them?

Sarah:

Traci Harding would be the only one. Her Ancient Future Trillogy was one of my favourites in the early university days. I have read them many times. We went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Brisbane with about 12 other groupies, perhaps I should say ‘fans’. lol

This was before I started writing and was simply because I admired her books.

Michael:

In what genres do you prefer to write? Can you see yourself switching or branching out into others?

Sarah:

Well if you read this post, I am struggling with this at the moment. I have a great contemporary YA in progress and another up my sleave. However I just love historical or steampunk YA set in the late 1880’s. I have a fantastic project lined up to write during NaNoWriMo this November. If you havn’t signed up for this you should. Basically it’s a challenge to write a novel in a month.

I read the same some of genres that I write. Historical, steampunk, fantasy, some paranormal (not that I write this) and gutsy contemporary YA.

Michael:

I noticed you have an interest in YA. What attracts you to that style/target audience?

Sarah:

Well I read YA. I love the style; it’s easy to read yet still full of guts and issues. That is why I write YA. Can’t write what you don’t love.

Michael:

What projects are you working on right now? Anything close to finished?

Sarah:

Well obviously my Day Zero Manuscript is closing on its first draft, which has taken me some time to write. (Been a busy year)

I do also have a non-fiction book in second draft. This is a book to help new bloggers/authors like myself get into the writing blog-o-sphere. It is a collection of my experiences and hands on advice that I learnt the hard way. I would like to have it out by Christmas 2011.

Michael:

Back to social media things – do you feel like the time you spend on things like #authorlove and #writecampaign intrudes on your writing? What is the hardest thing about putting yourself out there on social networks?

Sarah:

YES it intrudes on my writing. However. I have met some awesome writers on social media. I am MUCH more likely to buy books off people I know on social media. I have bought maybe 15-20 books this year simply because I have spoken to the author on-line in some way. I then felt that #authorlove moment and bought the book. 99% of the time I have been very impressed. There was only one book that I wasn’t soooo fond of.

Social media is very important to me and I will continue to use it. However sometimes I have to shut it off and “Just Write” – My motto for my blog. See here.

Michael:

Do you find it easy to manage your blog?

Sarah:

Hmm well managing the blog isn’t the problem. More managing all the social media. However blog-wise, I have struggled a little finding the voice of the blog. I think I am nearly there. A blog is like a book; it needs a specific voice to attract long standing readers. Finding posts that match this ‘voice’ can be challenging, but I believe I am getting there.

As for the technical stuff. I have learned a lot along the way. I have switched to self-hosted WordPress so I need to know a lot about designing web pages, SEO, spam moderators and so on. I have enjoyed the process.

Michael:

What advice would you give to emerging writers struggling to get noticed?

Sarah:

Buy my book when it comes out J. It’s all about finding your voice and muse in the writing blog-o-sphere. Otherwise, don’t promote yourself, try and support others. I much prefer to see support than promotion and I pay attention to this. Don’t get me wrong I promote my own posts and things as well. Sometimes a bit much, but I try and balance with supporting others as well.

I am doing a post series about this as well.

INTERACT and interaction will bring the rewards of being noticed.


You can see more from Sarah Ketley at her blog, www.sarahketleyauthor.com.

 


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