So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

Guest Post: Kirsten Nairn

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Kirsten and I met through Mom’s Favorite Magazines, so I am thrilled  to have her here today!

Would you please tell a little bit about yourself

First of all, thank you for interviewing me, although I often find that talking about myself is way harder than writing.

I am a new author and published my first book just over two years ago. I live in Scotland with my husband and two young children (+ pets) and work more or less full time, so my biggest frustration is that I usually just don’t have enough time in the day to do a decent amount of writing. I still have a fair bit of time before I retire so I guess I’ll just have to put up with it for now!

When you decided to write and what inspired you?

I first started writing properly about four years ago. I’d always had stories buzzing about in my head, but never had the time to put pen to paper (the time problem again!). However, for some reason, one day, I just started typing and found I couldn’t stop. From then on, I took every opportunity to write whenever and wherever I could. Most often I was typing away on my phone whilst waiting to pick the children up from school or after-school activities. I found I became quite anti-social and couldn’t wait for everyone to go to bed so I could get some peace and quiet to think.

One of the things I didn’t mention is that I write in secret- non one knows about it or even that I have had a novel published!

Tell us a little bit about your books, your favourite genres etc?

My first published book is A Sorry Affair, a contemporary, emotional rollercoaster of a romance. Set in Edinburgh, it is about three characters- Mack and Jen, who have the perfect relationship until Mack makes a mess of things by having an affair with Abbi. Abbi has no idea Mack has a fiancé and is rightly devastated when she finds out. Mack had no real intention of having an affair as he was perfectly happy with Jen and Jen, like Abbi is heartbroken. The story initially focuses on Abbi and what it feels like to be the other woman but laterally turns to Jen and Mack and examines the damage which has been done to their relationship and their lives in general. There is a twist at the end and a possible Happy Ending for one of the characters, but I won’t spoil it!

The idea for this novel came to me on a train journey as I listened into the chatter from a group of women opposite me. I was actually in the middle of writing another book, but A Sorry Affair took over and was the first one that I had finished. I have since completed another three and am at various stages of editing and proof checking.

What was the hardest part of writing your first book ?

Just the time really and not particularly knowing if it was good enough to take it any further

 What are your future projects?

Well, like I say, I have another three novels on the go, plus one in my head and one which I have started, so really my aim is to do something with them.

How do you involve in promote your books? Any marketing technique you want to share?

Well, that’s been the biggest surprise, the steepest learning curve and the most difficult thing of all. I naively thought my publisher would do a lot of the marketing, however I was very wrong and have been left to do most of it myself. I quite enjoy it, but I have had to put all my other writing on hold in order to learn about and do the publicity. And being a secret writer makes it a little harder! I can’t rely on friends and family to share the word.

I have been ‘building my author platform’ for the past two years- I didn’t even know what that was this time two years ago, and have mainly been using Facebook and twitter and created my own website about a year ago. I have reached the point though where I realise it’s all about establishing a balance. I can’t do everything, so I have chosen one or two strategies and am focusing on doing these to the best of my ability. Interviews such as these are great

 Do share your experiences and strategies of editing, promotion and marketing.

Much as above really. I went down the vanity publishing route, which in hindsight wasn’t the best for me, but you live and learn, and have to put these things down to experience

What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

In the words of NIKE, Just do It! There’s really nothing to hold you back

Anything you like to share about your writing process or reading habits?

I don’t have a process which is probably my downfall. I have the inkling of a story- just a first line or something I see or hear and it all just tumbles out chaotically onto the laptop. I read almost everyday, as I think that’s really important in helping you write.

What do you think encourages a reader to buy a book?

The cover, the blurb, but most of all, word of mouth. I should say reviews are also really important, but until I started writing I honestly never read a review. Now I read and write them.

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Author: annarashbrook

English Ex-pat living in Austria, Christian, blogger (of course) writer, photographer, dog owner!

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