DREAMING OF A DEBUT: PART 3
Debut Authors Offer Support & Open Up About Their Process
Welcome to the third instalment of dreaming of a debut, a series with four celebrated debut authors whose novels are making a racket. For me, nothing is more inspiring than talking to those writers who have been there and done the damn thing. And from the feedback I’ve had so far, you’ve been finding their answers relatable and also motivating. We live in a world where it’s all too hard and fast and easy to see the announcements of six-figure book deals and the immediate gratification of 5-way auctions. But what does it take to actually get there? Hard graft. Slow and consistent working. Showing up. As Rachel Cusk says:
“You build a novel. You have to build it like a building so that it stays standing when you’re not in it”
And building means creating a foundation, working for longevity, cultivating something that can stand and exist and conjure context without you. Nothing worth having is built overnight.
This series is a reminder that you’re not alone and these four authors have all been where you’re at right now. They’ve pushed past the pain barriers and achieved their goal of writing and finishing a novel. So what can you takeaway from their experiences and integrate into your own ongoing construction?
Last week I spoke to Liv Little who told us how she was surprised by how many different drafts and versions of the book it took to get to the finished article and shared useful resources she herself used to finish Rosewater. Alot of people think writing a book is a solitary process, they don’t realise the editorial assistance, courses and multiple brains that go into getting a book ready for publication. A lot of authors work with editorial consultants, do courses and engage writing mentors to get them over the line. And I’m going to give a shameless plug that this is something my business offers and is very good at: Bergstrom Studio.
This week I’m talking to Kate Sawyer, the award-winning debut author of THE STRANDING, which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.
Kate is an award-winning writer and British actor who trained in acting at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. She is a founding ensemble member of award-winning theatre company The Faction and established her own theatre company The Curious Room. Her previous writing includes adapting Lorca, writing short films and plays and recipes. The Stranding was her first novel and here is what people have said about it:
Kate talks about the importance of your novel establishing its genre and her surprising experience of the editorial process. She also talks about quietening that voice in your head that tells you it’s all not working. How will you ever know unless you persevere to the end?