Blog

UPDATE: New Releases

Hello hello!

I’ve been quiet on the blog front for the past few months, as I have been so busy with study and working on my two new releases, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, ahead of their release dates on Halloween and Friday the 13th of November. I am still sharing my Daily Writing Inspiration posts over on Instagram, so if you’d like to keep seeing them you can find me @katekelsenauthor.

I wanted to jump on quickly and share about my two new releases.

It all started back in late May, when I decided to revise and republish Grave Bargains, a supernatural short story I originally published a few years ago. I had an idea for a prequel to explore the background of my main character Jasem, and the events that lead him to become a sinister vigilante seeking justice for the dead in Grave Bargains. I also discovered that there was a Friday the 13th only a fortnight after Halloween this year, and this was how my goal was born. I decided I would spend the next five months working on these two stories, and publish Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November.

I didn’t think I was going to get Bedouin Boy published by Halloween. As I worked on the story, more and more ideas continued to flood my imagination, ideas which were adding more and more layers to the concept. I was researching and learning so much in the process, about Bedouin nomadic tribes, pre-Islamic paganism, Arabic black magic and geomancy divination. But I was faced with a serious dilemma- these ideas were fantastic and I wanted to include them because I knew it would make the story fuller and stronger, but I had a deadline set, and the more time went on the less likely it seemed the story would be finished by October 31st. However I knew the detail would only benefit my story, even if it meant I had to delay the release of Bedouin Boy for two weeks to give me extra time. In the end I didn’t need the extra two weeks, and I achieved my goal of publishing on Halloween.

It has been a busy five months working on Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, and I certainly had my moments of doubt that it would be done in time. But here they are! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing them!

BEDOUIN BOY

Bedouin Boy tells the story of Jasem Bahar who, having inherited psychic abilities from his mother, attempts to use his gifts for the greater good but instead finds himself on unlikely journey seeking justice for the dead. From the Negev Desert in Israel to the cities of New York and Los Angeles, Bedouin Boy is an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters, with a mix of history, reinvention, crime, inheritance and horror.

Bedouin Boy is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books

GRAVE BARGAINS:

In the wake of a life-shattering act of betrayal, Dylan is determined to bury the past and start fresh. His good intentions are challenged by a sinister stranger, who is determined to dig up his sins, and threatens to jeopardize his efforts to make amends.

Grave Bargains is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books

Blog

What It Takes To Be A Fiction Writer

EEP I am so excited about this!!
Yesterday I did an interview with Sigrid from Stickybeak Marketing and the Profitable Author Hub, where we talked all things fiction writing. I shared how I became a writer of fiction. the highs and lows along the way and what you need to look for, if you want to Write Fiction!
Check it out!!!

Blog

Letting Go

Last week I discovered the libraries here on the Gold Coast hold an event called ‘Writing Fridays’, a structured day of writing using the Pomodoro Technique. Writing Fridays have been on hold since the libraries closed, but they recently announced that Gold Coast writers could now join free virtual Writing Fridays sessions every Friday from 10am to 4pm. So Friday has officially become my writing day. No publishing, just writing. Today I’ll be working on the second draft of my upcoming short story ‘Bedouin Boy’.

Like many other creatives, 2020 has been challenging for me. For the most part I think I’ve done alright, and I’ve been using the extra time at home to move through my writing and publishing goals. I have been working hard to keep in touch with my writing and publishing goals throughout the pandemic, but every now and then, I’m hit with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, and I ask myself if there is any point to any of it. I ask myself why I am bothering to pursue any of these goals at all, especially the publishing ones.

But the pandemic is not the first time my writing and publishing goals have been seriously shaken up. It is not the first time on this journey that I have been moved to re-examine my writing and publishing dream, and challenge the picture of success I had conceived in my head.

I started taking my writing seriously around the age of eighteen. I completed a correspondence writing course that I had begun in high school, and became a member of the Queensland Writers Centre. It was around this time that I started working on my first book, a novella titled ‘The Wilted Rose’. I was also writing lots of short stories and submitting them to competitions around Australia, and getting a few wins here and there.

I decided to self publish The Wilted Rose when I was 21. I hadn’t tried very hard with the traditional publishing avenue at that stage, but I figured that I could self publish whilst also sending the book out to trad publishers. For many years I struggled to decide which channel I wanted to focus my attention on, all the while clinging to the vision of becoming the next J. K. Rowling. I read lots of articles about whether to choose trad or self publishing. Most discouraged the self publishing path and encouraged authors to try and find success in the traditional publishing world first. I was so conflicted.

Self publishing has become much more widely accessible, affordable and accepted in recent years. This certainly excited me, and I was delighted at the benefits of retaining so much more control over the publishing process. However I was still clinging to that picture of success I had conceived at the start of my writing and publishing journey. Deep down I didn’t want to completely let go of the dream of traditional success.

Then came the pandemic, and like so many other creatives I have struggled to keep my writing and publishing dreams alive. Wondering how this event has changed my ability to achieve my writing and publishing goals, in the short and long term.

Once again, I have been forced to take a long hard look at my writing and publishing dreams and goals, and to review them against the current events. I shifted my focus to setting up my eBook distribution, and put off setting up my paperbacks until the restrictions began to ease and the delivery of physical books could resume.

It has not been so much the need to review and adjust my goals in response to the pandemic that has been confronting to me. I felt like I had just gotten to the stage where I could detach emotionally from my long-held publishing dreams and goals, and to allow myself to consider new, better options. Now, even those options, and any kind of success with them, seem threatened by the pandemic.

What this pandemic has shown me is not how important my writing is to other people, but how important it is to me, and how vital it is to my mental health and emotional well-being. It has helped me detach from my ideals of success, and reconnect even more with the simple act of writing. Writing, not for anyone else, but for me.

In moments of weakness and hopelessness, I have slipped back into negative thought patterns, and wondered what relevance my books and the stories they contained have in the current state of things. People are distracted, emotionally and mentally drained. But in these moments of weakness, when the cloud of hopelessness lifts, I come back to the same truth every time. At the core, my writing is for me, and no-one else. And if in the process I can inspire others just by doing what’s right for me in this moment, then I’m glad.

No matter how my publishing goals change throughout this global shift, one thing has stayed consistent for me, and that is the act of writing itself. As always, writing has served as a source of strength inspiration to me. A way to lift my spirits, a place to escape when the real world becomes too much. I have had to let go of so much in regards to my publishing experience and what I thought that would look like, but my writing experience remains untouched. No matter what happens in the external world, as long as I have the use of my right hand and my mind, I will always have the simple, joyful act of writing.