Adventures With Kendall Talbot - Let's Get Lost In Kakadu
- Created: Friday, 24 January 2014 00:53
Get taken on adventure with the fun loving Kendall Talbot and "Lost in Kakadu". With rave reviews on her debut novel, Kendall takes a moment out of her busy schedule to tell me about herself and her writing experience.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what genre you write in?
My life is a crazy mix of work and play. I’m a bookkeeper by day and a book writer by night and my passion is romantic suspense. The key to good writing, is to write what you know. And as I met my real life hero at sixteen and we’re still going strong some 28 years later, I like to think I have some experience with romance. The other thing I love is travel, I’ve been to 36 countries so far. When I travel I like to explore adventures that make me scream … white water rafting, snow skiing, scuba diving with sharks and hang gliding are just a few.
2. How long have you been writing and what inspired you to write ‘Lost in Kakadu’?
I started writing several decades ago, but I only became serious when I did the ‘Year of the Novel’ at the Qld Writers Centre. This is where I started from a blank page and wrote 68,000 words toward Lost in Kakadu. I love survival stories and I’m a hopeless romantic. So I thought why not combine them both.
3. Who are your favourite/least favourite characters in your books and why?
Actually my favourite character and least favourite character is the same person. At the beginning of Lost in Kakadu Abigail is a downright pretentious bitch. She thinks the world should revolve around her and she’s an out and out bigot. But by the middle of the story, after months trapped in the harsh Australian wilderness, she evolves into Abi. Abi is a complete contrast to the woman who crashes into the jungle. Abi is a strong, passionate, resourceful woman who can wield an axe in order to catch dinner and finally Abi learns what true love really means. It’s a wonderful, risky character arc and I love it.
4. How long did it take you to write your story?
The initial draft took about a year. I edited it for a few years and finally I hired a professional editor whom I worked very closely with to polish my manuscript. Of course I had several rejections from publishers too. So all up from the first word written to “The Call’ from my publisher, Lost in Kakadu took about 8 years to get published.
5. What as the most challenging aspect of writing ‘Lost in Kakadu’?
Getting my characters right. I wanted both Abigail and my leading man Mackenzie to have enough backstory that I knew them as if they were real people. My story literally has only two characters throughout most of the novel so I needed them to be as real as possible and not boring cardboard cut-outs. To me they are real and I can tell you their whole life story. I needed their motivation, the aspects of their life that’s shaped them into who they are and justifies their actions, to be real.
6. What advice do you have for other authors?
Believe in your story. If you are passionate enough about it, then write it. If you dream about it, and talk about your characters like they are real, that’s when you’re ready. Know your characters, not just the superficial appearance aspects, I mean really truly know them, like they are someone you’ve known your whole life. You may not feel it at the beginning of your story but if by the time you write ‘The End’ you feel like that, then magic has been created.
7. What was the most surprising things that you learned in creating your work?
Lost in Kakadu started out as a survival story. But it evolved into a beautiful romance and this is what surprised me the most. I hadn’t written a romance before but the delicate drawing out of the relationship between these two characters and making it so real that you believed it to be true, was writing heaven. I never knew writing romance could be so special.
8. What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on two things. Firstly I’ve written a Romantic suspense manuscript that is the first book in a series. I’m looking for a print publisher who is interested in the whole series. I’ve mapped out the other two books in the series and I’m really keen to sink my teeth into them, but I’m waiting to find the perfect publisher first. The second project I’m working on is a crime novel. It’s based on a robbery of a bank that I actually worked at in 1992. It’s fascinating working in an era that didn’t have mobile phones, internet or instant cameras. And I’m loving working with set of characters who run on the foul side of life, but believe their motivations are justified.
9. Where do you get your ideas for your books from?
I LOVE travel and I love adventure and this is what I like to put into my books. For example when my hubby took me to Tuscany for our 20th Anniversary, we went to a small church in Florence that was nowhere near as elaborate as most of the churches in this ancient city. But one small aspect captured my attention so much so that my next book ‘Treasured Love’ is centred entirely around it. The stories are everywhere, it’s pulling the bits together and creating believable characters that take the work.
10. When not writing, how do you spend your time?
Did I mention I love to travel? Okay so when I’m not travelling, writing or getting my adrenalin fix then here’s a few other things I do. I love cooking but rarely follow a recipe. I love my garden but my plants hate me. I love a good night out with great friends and a fabulous bottle of wine or two. I’d rather go to the movies than watch TV. And I love to read, I’m terribly slow though, so a book takes me forever. My teenage sons keep me busy with their sport and work. My crazy dog is a handful too. Oh and did I mention I work? One final thing, my husband works interstate so when he comes home every weekend we go on a date somewhere. It keeps our romance alive.
You can read more about me and my writing at my website: www.kendalltalbot.com.au
Cheers and thanks for having me Kendall Talbot.