So You Want To Be A Writer – Author Q&A
By Allison Tait (AT) and Valerie Khoo (VK), authors of So You Want To Be A Writer
Q1: You are both extremely successful in your fields, but do you guys still get imposter syndrome and if so, how do you deal with it?
VK: Of course. I’ve come to realise that imposter syndrome is a normal part of life and even the most successful people in the world still experience it. I deal with it by reminding myself that this is normal, that no magic pill will make it go away and that the only way to push through it is to simply keep moving forward – one step at a time.
AT: Most definitely. I deal with it by turning to my people – friends, family, the ones who will either tell me to wake up to
Q2: Writing So You Want To Be A Writer together must have had challenging times, how did you navigate those and did you have the same expected outcome of the book?
VK: Fortunately, Allison and I have worked together before. And we’ve known each other for a long time. So we are pretty in sync in terms of our workflow and work ethic. If there was anything we disagreed on, we’d simply chat about it and work out the most logical solution. In fact, it was a joy to work with Allison on this book. If only all collaborations would run so smoothly!
AT: If you’re going to write a book with someone, you need to feel comfortable enough to say what you really think. Val and I have that in spades and it saves time, confusion and second-guessing.
Q3: Would you both consider a second book delving deeper into how social media can work for writers for both promotion and copy and content writing?
VK: We’re experts in writing. So we’re more likely to write a book about the craft or business of writing, rather than social media.
AT: I like social media as a tool for writers but, as Val says, for
Q4: I loved reading the tips and experiences from so many great writers. I feel that I will definitely go back to the book time and again when I need a nudge in the right direction or some inspiration, was that an intended outcome for the book?
VK: Definitely! We wanted the book to contain lots of little bursts of inspiration so that people can pick it up any time in the future to get a jolt of motivation whenever they need it.
AT: I’m so glad you felt that way! I have learnt something new from every single interview we’ve done and we searched every interview for the best tips they had to offer! There’s definitely amazing advice there whenever you might need it.
Q5: How did you go about getting So You Want To Be A Writer? Why did you decide to self publish?
VK: The book is published by the Australian Writers’ Centre. We both happen to work closely with the Australian Writers’ Centre so I can see how people would perceive it as being self-published. We decided not to go with one of the conventional big publishing houses simply because we are both very involved with the Australian Writers’ Centre so it just made sense for them to publish it.
AT: Also, we wanted to bring the book out within a certain time frame, and working with the Australian Writers’ Centre allowed us to be more nimble with that.
Q6: What’s next for the pair of you?
VK: Ah, watch this space!
AT: What Val said!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Both Khoo and Tait are the co-hosts of the top-rating podcast ‘So you want to be a writer’.
Valerie Khoo is the CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC), Australia’s leading centre for writing courses. Since 2005 the centre has taught over 45,000 students and has evolved into a hot-house for talented writers, who are regularly selected by major publishers for book deals.
She’s a mentor to freelance writers through AWC’s innovative masterclass program designed to nurture freelance writers to build a lucrative and rewarding career.
Khoo is also a keynote speaker and author of the book ‘Power Stories: The 8 Stories You Must Tell to Build an Epic Business’.
She has spent over 20 years in the world of writing and publishing, including 13 years writing for The Sydney Morning Herald and a range of glossy magazines. She has previously worked as a public relations consultant and began her early career as an accountant at PwC and lecturer at the University of Sydney.
She now combines her love for writing with her creative pursuits as a visual artist. Khoo is also the curator of the Sydney Lunar Festival, the City of Sydney’s arts and culture festival which attracts more than 1.4 million people.
Allison Tait is an internationally published, bestselling author of two epic,
Race to the End of the World, the first book in The Mapmaker Chronicles series, was published by Lothian Books (Hachette Australia) in October 2014. It was shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize 2015 and named a “Notable” book in the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2015.
Book number two, Prisoner of the Black Hawk, was released
The Mapmaker Chronicles is available in Australian, the USA, the UK, Lithuania and Turkey.
The Book of Secrets, book number one in the Ateban Cipher series, came out
Allison is the creator of several courses for the Australian Writers’ Centre,