Thursday, April 28, 2011

From blog to book - via Twitter

Good things come to those who Tweet. Just ask Kerri Sackville, author of new book When My Husband Does The Dishes... (Random House), launched today in Sydney. A freelance writer with an impressive list of credits across newspapers and magazines, Kerri stumbled onto Twitter at a bad time in her life. Tweeting led to blogging (Life And Other Crises) which led to her book being published. Pretty much the dream run of many modern-day writers. So how did it happen? You know I just had to ask for this month's writer's Q&A...

Were you thinking of writing a book when you started your blog?
Kerri Sackville: "No! Not at all. I was just excited to be writing again. I'd stumbled onto Twitter after a really bad time in my life had resulted in 18 months of writer's block. After a few weeks on Twitter, several dozen people (okay, one person...) had asked if I had a blog. I thought, 'Hey, a chance to write about Nutella and Simon Baker!', and so I started one."

How did the book come about?
KS: "After I'd been blogging for about nine months, I was full of ideas and decided to write a tell-all memoir of marriage and motherhood. When I was about halfway through, an agent approached me via Twitter after hearing I was writing a book. We met, she liked what I'd done, I was thrilled to bits, and she took me on. By the time I'd finished WMHDTD she had a few publishers interested and in the end we sold it to Random House for $20 million*." (*Kerri admits she may have made this figure up.)

Did you find the process of writing the book very different to blogging?
KS: "Yes, definitely. I write my blog posts very quickly and then pretty much forget them. And I wrote the first draft of the book pretty quickly too and had lots of fun doing it. But then I reread and restructured and rewrote and reread and restructured and rewrote and that was really, really hard work. By the time it was finished, I was well and truly ready to send it on! I would never put that much effort into a blog post."

You often write on your blog on intimate subjects (that is, your sex life) - did it feel very different when you put them in a book (and then read the printed page once published)?
KS: "Yes! I wasn't at all prepared for the permanence of it all! A blog post feels very transient - you put it up, people read it, but then within a minute they're on to the next thing. And a blog post can be altered or deleted at any time. But a book... Once it's written, it's there forever. I still haven't quite wrapped my head around it. I will never forget walking into a meeting of 20 Random House publishing staff and they'd all read my book and knew about my marriage. And I thought, okay, this might actually be really weird."

What's next? Will you continue to blog consistently or focus on other types of writing?
KS: "I love my blog and my blog readers - I can't imagine ever giving that up unless something dramatic happens, like I'm  offered the lead role in the Hollywood adaptation of my book, or Simon Baker wants to take me on as his private secretary. But I have been so excited by the process of writing and publishing a book, and I've started writing my second (which is NOT on marriage or motherhood - I've pretty much exhausted those topics!). So stay tuned..."

Check out Kerri's hilarious blog here, buy a copy of her fab book here and stalk her on Twitter at @KerriSackville (I do!).

15 comments:

  1. wow - what an incredible journey! I can't imagine how strange it must feel to walk into a room full of people who know your most intimate secrets. And how interesting that 18 months of writer's block led you to a great writing achievement. Congratulations on the book!

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  2. Congrats Kerri. Love your blog and candid, witty style. Looking forward to the read. x

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  3. I love hearing stories like this one. Congratulations and good luck with the book, Kerri.

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  4. Kerri is one very funny and very talented lady. Even with that, I still can't believe how amazingly this all came together for her. It's just such a wonderful dream and so well deserved. Congrats, Kerri. It's so much fun sharing your journey via your blog too! x

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  5. That's a great re-cap & interview with the lovely Kerri, and tonight I was able to attend the Book Launch. It was fab..as was KS. Fun time...her book is fun too.

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  6. Congratulations Kerri! What an incredible thing to happen - fantastic. Will have to have a dip in your archives - that sounds faintly rude.

    Great interview too. As ever.

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  7. Allison and Kerri, this makes me wonder... do all bloggers write in hopes of being "discovered" and becoming a writer for magazines, books, etc.? I know that I would love that to happen! How do we increase the chances of that?

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  8. I think there are a lot of wannabe writers who pin there hopes on their blog, but it takes so much more to be published. I agree with maxabella, Kerri is indeed a very talented lady, but also one with luck on her side.

    (PS A friend from up here flew down for the book launch - hope it was wonderful! So jealous as it was held at my old stomping grounds).

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  9. Congratulations Kerri and great post Alison! (I'll admit this blog post comment is brought to you by the colour green!)

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  10. @Melanie - Great question. I don't think you can write a blog in hopes of being discovered. It's a great platform for finding readers and getting examples of your voice together, but you need to be making other steps as well - as in, writing a book and sending it out to agents and publishers, or pitching stories to magazines. Then, you can point back to your blog and say 'look at me, how cool is this', but solely relying on the blog in the hopes that someone will find it is only half the story. Well, to me anyway... Kerri may have other thoughts. :-)

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  11. Hey Melanie, I completely agree with Al. I actually didn't start the blog with the hopes of being discovered. I had been writing for years, just sending out articles and stories unsolicited to mags and newspapers. The blogging was just a way to get my writing brain back into gear and have some fun. What WAS incredibly valuable about it, though (and I hadn't anticipated this when I started) was how many incredible people I would meet online - other authors, journos and so on, who stimulated and encouraged me. But many authors don't blog as they prefer to 'save' their material for their books. I guess in summary there's no magic answer!!!! I feel very blessed....

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  12. Love your blog. Keep on the good work.

    Ilse

    http://mylovelysinglelife.blogspot.com

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  13. I missed this the first time around. So useful. Thanks to you both, Allison and Kerri.

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