As requested, this week in my Friday blog post I am posting a text transcript of my interview with Roz Hopkins at the Byron Writers Festival.
Roz Hopkins: First you could tell us a little bit about your path as a writer, because I know you’ve got three books, so lets start from the beginning to where we are today.
Kate Kelsen: Well, I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, telling stories sinec I was two years old. I started with drawing at a very young age, which eventually evolved into pictures with a little bit of words, and then throughout primary school and high school and into adulthood I transitioned into writing text only.
Roz Hopkins: So you’ve got three books…
Kate Kelsen: Yes, so my first book is The Wilted Rose, which is actually a fictionalized account of my own family’s story. My grandmother suffered from Bipolar Disorder during the 1960s and ’70s, so it was about hers and my mother’s experiences during that time.
And then my short story book is called The New Neighbors. Alot of those stories I began writing in high school, they’ve obviously been revised since then. I released that book in February this year.
And Paid To Dance was released on Friday 5th August 2016.
Roz Hopkins: We’re going to talk about your publishing process, because I know the way you’ve approached that is really interesting, but before we do that we’ll talk about Paid To Dance. So can you tell us a little bit about this book? The inspiration for this book, what it is about and how you went about putting it together?
Kate Kelsen: It’s an interesting story. I started working on this book in 2013. I had to come to know a little about the stripping industry and the people that were involved in it. I thought this was going to be a really interesting story, because I have read a lot of books similar to this about women who have worked as exotic dancers, but most of them are written by women who are working in America and other parts of the world. There haven’t been any books that have been written about this subject in Australia.
Also, a lot of other books talk more about the lifestyle and glamour associated with stripping. I wanted to give a more holistic view of this industry. There’s fourteen stories from different women who have worked in the industry…
Roz Hopkins: So they’re in the first person?
Kate Kelsen: Yes, they’re written in the first person. At the start of the book there is a history of the industry of exotic dance. Many countries around the world have had exotic dance as part of their culture throughout history, so that is at the start of the book. I also did an interview with a club manager up in Queensland, and a customer from one of the clubs, a partner and a parent.
Click HERE to view and purchase Kate Kelsen’s books