Anyone who says social media is a disease inflicted upon our techno-savvy generations obviously haven’t been using it right. I discovered a brilliant debut author via Twitter a while back and now I just can’t get enough of her or Part I of her brilliant novella, The Stalker. It’s my honour to introduce Karly Edwards to Caffeine Addled Ramblings:
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This is your first novella – what made you want to go into writing fiction?
I love creative writing - it’s always been a passion of mine from a very young age. I think getting lost in a good novel is one of the most fulfilling ways to relax. I spend most of my working days writing copy for businesses, and there’s no doubt it can be very dry and corporate at times. When I write fiction, it’s a welcome escape to let my creativity run wild, and of course to offer avid readers their own little escape too!
How did you get into copywriting?
I started my career path with a Journalism degree. I then branched out into marketing for two different companies and learnt how to write in a more compelling and persuasive way – that is, in part, the nature of the job after all. I always knew I’d be a writer and decided to narrow my field to copywriting as a freelancer. I’ve been doing it ever since – almost 3 years now and still going strong.
Did you have any odd part time jobs while you were writing or did you dedicate your life to the written word from the onset?
Good question – even as a child I had my heart set on being a journalist. Things slowly took a minor turn as I grew older and realised it wasn’t exactly right for me. But whilst building my career I’ve been a nursery cook, a cleaner, a waitress, bar staff and a marketing executive. It takes time, education and experience to get where you want to be, but they were all stepping stones to help me get where I am today.
You’ve come from a marketing background – how has this affected your strategy for marketing your debut novella?
It’s certainly helped to a degree! But it’s still a new audience I’m trying to engage, so there will always be an element of trial and error when finding the right platforms and discovering where my readers are most active online. The real issue for me is time. As I’m a copywriter by day, my focus still has to be with my professional work and keeping my clients happy, so marketing is definitely a challenge as a solo indie author.
The Stalker is an absolutely brilliant debut novella. What inspired it?
It’s from personal experience. But don’t read too much into that – it’s heavily embellished! It’s based on an older man I met many years ago. His character and the events that took place are inspiration for the book. Combine that with my obsession for the dark and unnerving, and so The Stalker was born.
How much of your protagonist, Zoey, is you? I noticed that you’re both writers of sorts, her a journalist, you a copywriter.
Very much so - although her character is a little bleaker than my own personality. The whole story is an elaborate invention of my own personal experience, so I am particularly involved with the characters and the journey.
What made you want to self-publish as opposed to going down the traditional route of finding an agent and/or publisher?
It’s no longer necessary. The online space opens new doors to people like me who want to dip their toe into the book publishing world. This way, authors own all the rights to their own book and it’s far easier to get out there without relying on a third party. The only downside is having a lack of contacts and the support needed to push the launch and marketing on a consistent basis.
What’s your writing schedule like?
The Stalker was written sporadically over the course of 4 months. With my work as a copywriter, I need to fit it in whenever I can. I don’t have a set schedule and the second part will be much of the same. I haven’t started writing yet, but I have the structure ready to go and will get back on the horse when life allows.
What advice would you give to writers attempting to publish their own work?
Keep going! Writing a book can seem like the most daunting task you could ever undertake. If you don’t feel you have it in you to create a whole novel, consider doing what I did. Create a short, snappy shot story of 10,000 words to test the waters. It’s a great way to see if it’s really something you want to pursue and see how your audience responds to your writing.
How do you beat writer’s block?
Can’t say this has ever really been a huge problem for me. I do have my off days, and when I do, I take a break. I’ll do something I really enjoy or mix up my routine to get a new perspective. It’s amazing how simply moving away from the laptop can bring a flood of new ideas.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Hands down – Stephen King. He’s my ultimate inspiration; I’ve been reading his work ever since I can remember. He’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer in the first place. I instantly fall in love with his books, his characters and his stories. The things that come out of his mind never cease to amaze me. To be honest, it’d be my dream to sit down and pick his brains over a cuppa.
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Do you have a question for Karly? Leave it in the comments section below!
The Stalker is available to buy on kindle here. It’s even free for Kindle Unlimited members!
Keep an eye out for Part II, coming soon!