Hi Kylie, welcome to Café Cala,
Lovely to be asked!
Tea. Coffee. I’m not fussy what form my caffeine comes in. Thankyou!
1 Where did you get the idea for Missing You?
I didn’t really have a lightbulb moment. It ‘evolved’ rather than appeared. For me, romantic love isn’t about fleeting gestures. It’s about carving out a place in your life for someone long term; considering their needs, working as a team to make your life together richer and happier. To serve as a buffer. I wanted ‘Missing You’ to be firmly grounded in reality, and be honest about the struggles life throws at all of us – it’s not a book for those that want to escape to a wondrous land of perfection, but I think it conveys a message that true love can withstand the realities of life, and grow stronger for the experience.
‘Missing You’ tells the tale of an extraordinary love shackled in an ordinary life. Parts are heart-warming – as you watch Aisha and Ryan fall in love, others heart-wrenching, as they face the realities of marriage, family conflict, parenthood. Their love never seems to waver, until, in the dark of night, Aisha leaves their four year old son with his grandpa, and doesn’t come back…
2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
When you are plodding away on that first manuscript you are hopeful, but unconvinced that anyone will ever read the darn thing, so to see a book with your name on it on shelves in department stores is an amazing feeling. Losing Kate was also translated into German earlier this year, so to imagine my little Brisbane-set story with very Aussie lingo engaging readers in Europe is quite surreal.
The novel also has a character – a four year old boy with Apserger’s. It is especially rewarding to hear from parents who felt they connected with, and were reassured by my depiction of the challenges, and joys of living with children on the Autism spectrum.
3 How did you start writing?
I was an accidental author. I started writing while on maternity leave as a sanity saver (and a handy housework avoidance strategy). It was cheap, quiet, and could be done anywhere in yoghurt stained pyjamas. I have an honours degree in psychology and worked as a manager in the public service in my past life, so I had no creative writing experience. But psychology did equip me with a healthy fascination with quirky characters and human motivation which I try to weave into my stories.
4 What would you say has helped you most?
Because I had very little technical knowledge, I think it was my ignorance to all the ‘rules’ that made me distinct (and somehow that rawness allowed me to be plucked from the Random House slush-pile). I’ve always been an ardent reader. Books have been my guide. I kind of just use my instincts, and write in scenes to avoid telling. Things seem to work best for when I stick to scene based chapters to demonstrate qualities or turning points rather than ‘narrate’ them.
5 What are you working on at the moment?
My third novel is about the dynamic between two intertwined couples after one person commits an unthinkable act which slowly unravels their lives. The event tests loyalties and friendships, as each tries to hold on to those they love. It feels a little experimental this time as the story is told in roving third person – which is new for me, and (due to the suspense elements), I’ve actually started with a plan!
6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Be brave. Don’t be afraid to keep the personality on the page. Don’t try to emulate anyone else or please everyone – readers yearn for honesty; a different spin on the well-trodden plot; the quirky turn of phrase, the off-beat observation, the slightly-insane interpretation of a common scene. I believe these little nuances make fiction shine. And always leave a gap between you and the reader for them to ‘fill’.
7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?
I grew up reading crime by Patrician Cornwell and Michael Connelly, but after having kids I seem to have switched to family dramas and ‘chick-lit with grit’ by authors such as Liane Moriarty, who never fails to have you laughing and crying all on the same page.
Available in Ebook or in print from most online booksellers. Signed copies of both books are available here: http://kyliekaden.com.au/?page_id=1185