Writers On Wednesday: Kelly Hart

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week Australian non-fiction writer Kelly Hart will be answering my questions and giving a little advice for writers. Welcome Kelly ...

Tell me a bit about yourself …

I was writing before I left high school, but finding out that I was passionate about writing came as a surprise.

There we were, a bunch of teenage girls bored in our lunch hour. We were all avid readers of horror and somehow we came up with the idea of writing our own horror novel. Unfortunately the novel we had decided to write as a group never got past the planning stage, but it ignited a need in me to write.  

Tell us about your most recently published book?

Better Critiquing for Better Writing is a book designed to help new writers with the critiquing process. Getting feedback can be scary, but a new writer faces more challenges than just being scared.
I have seen problems occur because a new writer hasn’t been fully prepared before jumping straight into a critiquing group. I’m talking about mental preparation here, not their writing. Knowing what to expect and what will be expected from you is the key to being able to cope with the feedback process.
This book arms new writers with everything they should know about critiquing.

As a writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

I have to say it’s the creation of Better Critiquing for Better Writing. The thought of this book helping writers avoid horrible critiquing experiences makes me feel proud. I think for this reason it will always be one of my greatest achievements.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

Outside of mentoring and editing for other writers, I’m currently working on a speculative fiction novel set on another planet. The main character Talia is dealing with family struggles while confronting enemy tribes trying to steal away her adopted daughter. I’ll be focusing on Talia’s everyday struggles that all of us can relate to, which helps provide emotional impact with the action that follows.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I’m torn between the two because I can see the benefits of both. I love the smell and physical feel of a print book, but I also like the idea of taking my entire library with me anywhere I go.
I think the convenience of the eBook will win me over in the end.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

Independent publishing all the way. I like the thought of having control over what I can do with my books and marketing. I think that authors do the majority of the work anyway and deserve the majority of the royalties.

This isn’t saying that you should do everything yourself. Even though I’m an editor myself, I still paid for another editor to go through my work (as a writer there are always things you won’t see that a fresh set of eyes will pick up). I wanted this book to be quality and that means it needed to go through the same process a traditional published book would.

Any kind of publishing (if done correctly) is hard work, but worth the effort. 

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

This is a hard question for me to answer as I don’t believe any one book is suitable for everybody. We all have different taste in books after all.

For fiction writers I would say Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages is pure gold.
A fiction book I love is The Love Killers by Jackie Collins. I wouldn’t say it’s suitable for everybody though. Definitely a M+ rating.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

A big thank you, for allowing me to share a little about Better Critiquing for Better Writing. I hope you can implement the critiquing and feedback process and avoid those critiquing pitfalls.


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