Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Writer Spotlight: Keris Stainton

On Coffee and Roses I like to bring you news of exciting authors who are either waiting to be published or published and worth checking out.

This week, I'm delighted to welcome the awesome (and thoroughly fabulous) KERIS STAINTON into the Coffee and Roses Writer Spotlight...

When did you first decide that you wanted to write? (Was it a Damascus-esque flash or a slow-burn?)
It was the slowest of slow burns! Even though I'd written for as long as I can remember, it didn't occur to me to try and write a novel until I was in my late twenties. And then as soon as I thought of it, I thought, "Yes! That's EXACTLY what I should be doing!" It still took me about eight years to actually finish a novel though (and thirteen before I had one published!)

What interests you as a writer?
Pretty much everything, which is one of the greatest things about being a writer - "everything is copy", as Nora Ephron's parents told her. I find myself writing about identity quite a lot - I think the teen years are the time when you fix on a personality or a way of being and it may or may not actually be right for you and it can be so hard to break out of it. That really interests me (I feel like I've only started breaking out of my own in the last five years!)

Do you have a typical writing day? If not, when is the best time to write for you?
I have childcare on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they're my writing days. The rest of the time I try to write while 2-and-a-half-year-old Joe has a sleep. He sleeps for a good 2-3 hours generally, so that's plenty. And when I say "write", obviously I mean faff about on Twitter and get myself in a flap reading online newspaper comments. I generally only get down to actually writing fiction when I have a deadline.

What made you decide to write Jessie ♥ NYC?
I wrote it during NaNoWriMo which is how I try to do all my first drafts. It's a challenge to write 50,000 words in a month, and I figured that if I set it in New York, the setting alone would be good for 10,000. Plus I really love New York, so that helped.

I'd originally planned to write a series of linked stories following an iPod - Jessie took her iPod to New York and lost it, Finn found it and then gave it away, etc., but once I'd written a bit of Jessie and Finn I got attached to them and just stuck with them. And then cut the iPod out altogether!

What are the best things about being a writer?
Living in a world of my own, mainly. I always did it - always daydreamed and made up stories - and now I get to do it for a living. Amazing.

And the worst?
Oh the waiting. Waiting for agents or editors to get back to you. Waiting for a book to come out. Waiting for sales figures. Waiting for - ahem - money. Everything takes so long! And I'm not a patient person.

Tell me about what you're working on now.
Well I'm not working on anything right now because I'm... waiting. I know I should be writing something else in the meantime but I'm lazy, so I'm having a sort of reading and thinking break.

You've written two awesome novels so far. What would be your top three tips for aspiring writers?
Thank you very much! Oh my tips are always so boring: read a lot, write a lot and don't worry about the market - just write what makes you happy.

Do you have a dream project you'd love to write?
The one I'm waiting to hear back on is pretty dreamy actually, but the screenplay for Jessie (to be directed by Nora Ephron) would be pretty cool too.

Anything else you'd like to say?
Thank you very much for having me!

Many thanks to Keris for stepping into my Writer Spotlight!

Keris is a fantastic writer and I absolutely loved
Jessie ♥ NYC - it's a wonderful story with characters you can believe in, sprinked with a generous dose of New York magic. And the cover is gorgeous, too!

You can find out more about Keris at her website, follow her excellent blog and say hello to her on Twitter @keris, where she is - quite frankly - a bit of a legend!

If you would like to be considered for a future Writer Spotlight, drop me an email at: coffeeandroses@gmail.com x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely to hear from Keris and I like hearing that she was taking a reading and relaxing break. It's something that we all need to do every so often but we often try to keep motoring on at the same pace all the time. Best of luck with your books Keris and thanks for hosting this interview Miranda.

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