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#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?
Absolutely. It would be my dream to have writing as a career. I’ve avoided it for so long, thinking that I should do something more “acceptable” and more likely to lead to steady success. But I wasn’t happy. At the back of my mind, I knew what would make me eager to wake up every day and actually look forward to Mondays. So I finally thought, what do I have to lose? I should do something that makes me happy. And so…here I am!
#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
Oh, revising for sure. I free-write my first drafts and I go into this writing fugue state that a lot of writers can probably relate to. I get sucked into my own worlds. Then, once finished, I have to go back and actually read critically. And correct, and add scenes, and delete. But this doesn’t just happen once. It happens at least eight times, so much that by the end of it I am literally holding one hand down with the other so I don’t chuck my laptop across the room. BUT once it’s completed, once you look at your finished product, your blood, sweat and tears all on display in a pretty, formatted document, wow, it’s the best feeling in the world.
#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
Yes! I found a critique partner on a writer’s blog, actually through Query Tracker. Her name is Malia, and she made my book so much better. Dark Souls actually started with a 17-year-old protagonist living in a small town, but after working with her and hearing her suggestions, I decided to change it to a 19-year-old and put the book more in the New Adult category. I’m so happy with my decision, and I’m so happy I found her! I highly, highly recommend a critique partner, or beta readers—people who can read critically and notice those gaps that you just can’t see anymore. She made such a difference.
#4 – What is next for your writing?
Dark Souls Book #2! I’ve had the whole series in my head for so long, I’m so excited to get to work on the second book now that the characters have been established. I can get to the grit, the romance, the action! I have so many plans for them…
#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
Oh wow, yes. A million times yes. I love reading. I’m that crazy person who doesn’t have a particular genre, I literally pick up anything. Thrillers, romance, historical, fantasy—all of it. I just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and it was amazing, of course. She’s such a beautiful writer.
DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:
Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her.
This or That?
#1 - iPod or Mp3? Mp3! Because then I can play music on an iPod OR on anything else.
#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? I love chocolate as chocolate, but when it comes to cake form, I’m going for vanilla.
#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries? Unfair question. Buttery, creamy mashed potatoes or crispy, salt and pepper fries dripping in ketchup – I can’t let go of either!
#4 – Comedy or Drama? Drama. I like that gut-wrenching feeling you get when you really connect with a character.
#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks? Danielle Steele.
#6 – Fantasy or Reality? Fantasy, all the way!
#7 – Call or Text? Text. I’m a shy person. I love that I can just text instead of hold awkward conversations. But if a friend is in need, of course I would be calling. I’m not a cold-hearted hermit!
#8 – Public School or Home School? Public school. I went to private school in Australia for three years, and when I went back to public school, I practically fell at the front of the steps in relief. Headmasters are scary, man.
#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Coffee!! Coffee coffee coffee.
#10 – eBook or Paperback? I love the option of carrying 1,000 books in a handy little tablet in your purse, but there are always moments when I crave a paperback. I love that smell. I literally fan the pages in front of my nose sometimes… it brings a lot of amazing memories with it.
The writing bug never left her—and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write—so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.
As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through—especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.