Book Week: Keri Arthur
For Book Week, we shine a spotlight on Victorian writers like Keri Arthur. A New York Times best-selling author of over 30 books, she's considered one of the original queens of urban fantasy genre.
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Was there a particular moment you recall when you fell in love with reading and/or books?
"I think the first series of books I truly remember falling in love with was Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series. I was a horse-made pre-teen, and I absolutely adored those books. But it was one of her other books that started me down the writing path—I didn’t like the way it ended and basically rewrote the book. I’ve been writing ever since."
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?
"I think there’re two aspects of being an author that never gets old. One, the amazing response you get from readers. Meeting them, talking to them, realising just how much your stories mean to them or learning that your books helped them through a rough patch, is both humbling and rewarding."
"The second aspect would be the writer community, especially here in Australia. I’ve learned so much from them all over the years and made many life long friends. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without all their help and support."
What creative work of yours are you most proud of?
"I’d have to say the Riley Jenson Series . The first book in that series took me two years to sell and it got multiple rejections for being ‘too cross genre’. Then I found my agent, who went to auction with the series and had three publishers bidding for it (an amazing experience, let me tell you!). It sold to Bantam, and six of the nine books in the series subsequently went on to hit the New York Times Bestseller list."
How has the pandemic impacted your work as a creative?
"Initially, the pandemic really didn’t affect me. I’m lucky in that I’m a full time novelist, so for me it was simply a matter of sticking to routine. But as Melbourne rolled into the second Covid wave, not being able to get out and hang with my writer friends really began to take a toll."
"I’m still meeting deadlines, but I’m now finding I’m having to play catch-up on weekends, which I usually take off. I try not to beat myself up too much about it, though. It is what it is, and if I have to push a deadline back I will. I think it’s important to take care of mental health and not put too much pressure on yourself during a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event like this."
What has been your favourite piece of writing in 2020?
"Sadly, my reading has really suffered this year. Maybe it’s got something to do with the pandemic and how slow my own writing has become, but reading for pleasure has really slipped away from me at the moment. I’m all about finding a new TV series to glom, and if I had to nominate one that absolutely knocked me sideways, it would be Schitt’s Creek. I resisted this series for SO long—started the first season a number of times and just couldn’t get into it."
"With the onset of the pandemic, I bit the bullet and pushed through...So glad I did. The characters, the plots, the writing—it all shone from season three on."
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