Writers on Wednesday: Keith Austin

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I am putting my questions to Keith Austin, author of Grymm, Snow, White, and Jago ...

Tell us a bit about yourself …

Well, I’m from East London originally (so a Cockney born and bred) but I’ve lived and travelled all over the world. I’ve been living in Australia for the past 20 years. I have been a journalist for 37 years and have wanted to be a published author since I was about 11.

Tell us about your most recently published book?

JAGO is the horror story of two street urchins – Demelza Cotton and Jago Quinn - in 19th century London who find an iridescent, rainbow-coloured lizard and what happens to them when certain rogue elements want to take it off them. Those rogue elements include the underworld crime figures the Cray twins and the mysterious Adamina Wollondilly and her army of Eyeballers. Then it turns out the lizard isn’t exactly what it seems.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

I was first published by a traditional publisher (Random House UK) in 2012 when my book, GRYMM, came out. It was the achievement of a lifelong dream so I was a very happy bunny.

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

Well, being published was pretty cool. And getting a two-book deal for GRYMM and SNOW, WHITE. It’s hard to say really. I was proud when a reviewer said he’d never before read anything quite like GRYMM, which was exactly my aim. I didn’t want people to say ‘oh, it’s like Harry Potter, or Hunger Games, or Twilight’. I wanted to write something nobody had read before so it was nice to know I had succeeded.

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

I’m halfway through a book called SURREAL and have ideas for at least 4 or 5 others. It’s just finding the time outside of writing journalism to pay the bills!

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

I prefer paper books. As a medium for reading they are just perfect. You can drop them, spill coffee on them, even drop them in the bath, and they survive. Try doing that with your Kindle. Also, I spend all day staring at a screen – no way I want to keep doing it when I’m reading.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

I’ve done both now (JAGO is self-published) and both methods have their ups and downs. I like trad publishing for their reach and distribution. You have more chance of ending up on the shelves of your local bookshop that way. And that’s a great feeling.

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

To Kill A Mockingbird. Brilliantly written, with lessons for us all about morality and being a good person in the face of hatred and inequality.

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



FOR JAGO PAPERBACK: www.keithaustin.org


Twitter: @ozkeef


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