Interview: Three Quick Questions with Kate Forsyth
CF: What would you have done differently to promote yourself when you were first setting out? Do you have any tips for new writers?
KF: “I’m good at that side of the business, because I come from a PR and Marketing background. Ask not what your publicist can do for you, but what you can do for them. For example, would it help if I did a Toastmasters course? Would it help if I got a better understanding of social networking? The biggest misconception people have about writing is that it ends with finishing the book.”
CF: You’re so successful, and yet you still make time for fans and budding authors. Why?
KF: “I feel a kind of karmic debt because along my way there have been writers who have helped me so much – even if it was sympathy or shared feeling. There was so much I had to learn on my own … so in the early stages having needed help and not got it then having received it later – it is the least the I can do – to try to help other people. Then in time they will go on to help others.”
CF: When you were pregnant and then had your first child, how did you maintain the discipline of writing?
KF: “It was difficult, I must admit that. Only my first book, Dragonclaw, was written before I had children. The majority of my second book, The Pool of Two Moons, was written while I was pregnant with my first child and then editing was done after he was born. Because I already had a contract and a deadline, I did what had to be done. I did rewrite the birth scene – it was much bloodier in the second version! I always build my writing routine around my children…”
Kate described the varying sleep patterns of each child (she has three) and how she continually adjusted. Considering The Starthorn Tree was written on no more than two hours of sleep per night and was shortlisted for the Aurealis Award, Kate Forsyth is proof that a tired but tenacious parent can still be creative. She does advocate help if you can get it though!
This interview appeared in Buzz Words (15 August 2010 Issue 90).