Interview with Australian Author – Pippa Kay
“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Pippa – I belong to the Coastal Cruising Club of Australia. My husband and I own a yacht and have done some longish coastal voyages from Sydney to the Whitsundays and beyond.
“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?
Pippa – I’ve always wanted to be a writer. At the age of 8 I had a poem published in our school magazine. My mother and my aunt were writers too. When my mother died I inherited some of her unfinished work, and I tried to finish it, but it wasn’t my work and it remains unfinished. I became interested in family history (as was my mother) and started doing some research. Then I attended some short creative writing courses. That was a long time ago.
“Australian Authors” – What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Pippa – People. I’m curious about what makes people tick – what drives them and what they try to avoid.
“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?
Pippa – Of course! I have a couple of projects in very early stages of development.
“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?
Pippa – I like to read crime, and there’s often a crime of some sort in my stories, but they’re not necessarily your classic murder mystery. I also like to write about families and relationships, but NOT romance. I think I’m best at writing short stories and have been successful in some short story competitions.
“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?
Pippa – I like it as a reader and a writer, though it’s still nice to possess a printed book. If I’m unsure about an author or book, or if it’s very expensive as a printed book I’ll get it as an e-book. It’s great for travelling. As an author, I just hope more people read my books because they’re available in a few different formats.
“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?
Pippa – No definite plot – to me that takes away the fun of writing. However, I always have a character, a setting, some sort of problem and some idea how it will end (though this can change).
“Australian Authors” – Pen or type writer or computer?
Pippa – Computer. I learned to type when I was young and it comes fairly naturally.
“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?
Pippa – My characters often hijack my stories, and I think that’s a good sign.
“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?
Pippa – I often use real people but I change important features. For example, I’ll change the sex or age. I may also set the story in the past or in the future.
“Australian Authors” – Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?
Pippa – I don’t think I could do this. I belong to a writing group and we experimented unsuccessfully with writing a collaborative book, but we all decided to abandon the project.
“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?
Pippa – Tim Winton, Peter Carey, Alice Munroe, Graham Swift… I’ve got many.
“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?
Pippa – On writing: Focus on what your characters want.
On publishing: Self-publish if you can’t find a publisher, but don’t forget the smaller publishers. I self-published Doubt & Conviction and Back Stories, and Ginninderra Press have published my latest book, Keeping it in the Family.
Marketing: Even if you have a publisher you are going to have to do a lot of this yourself.