Name: Kerry Hudson
Website: Author’s Website, Twitter
Based In: Beautiful East London
Education: Derived almost entirely via a library card.
Introduce Yourself: Hello, I’m Kerry Hudson maker-up of things for a living. I’m 33 and live in Hackney in London, but travel frequently for research – my most recent trips were across Russia by train, working for the Sultan of Oman in Paris and to South Korea to talk
to bewildered writing students about Kilts and Irnbru. If you’re interested in labels then: working class, queer, fiction writer, champion toast eater. Author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma
Favorite Read: Too many. This year Andrew Soloman’s Far from the Tree
Author Crush: Janice Galloway or Jeanette Winterson
Pet Peeves: None…peeves are fairly pointless I think.
Fiction How-To-Book You’d Recommend: On Writing by Stephen King is pretty solid.
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…a pastry chef. I am a food obsessive.
What You Have Lined Up Next: A one woman show based on my debut novel, my third novel, more travelling and creative writing teaching.
What’s your most unforgettable book-related memory?
The safety of my first library, of realizing it was free and warm and I could stay as long as I wanted Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma. Now, that’s a title.
Did you consider other titles before deciding on this one?
Lots of titles. I wrote it under the working title The Dole Cheque Kid which I then changed to The Council Estate Cook Book and then changed it again, when it went on submission with publishers, to Echoes of Small Fires. The current title is the one my heart belongs to though – we’ve been on a proper journey together.
Juliet Pickering at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency is your literary agent. What should authors know about getting an agent?
That it’s not impossible. I think there’s a lot of ‘right person, right time, right book’ luck involved but if you’ve written a good book then you’re in with a decent shot. The biggest advice I can offer is to give yourself the best chance possible by writing the foremost book you can, finding an agent already representing similar work and then following submission guidelines to the letter.
For your next novel, are there certain things that you are planning on doing differently?
I’ve already written my next novel, Thirst, and it’s out in July 2014. I mostly try not to analyze how I write too much for fear of overthinking but this novel took notably longer to write (one and a half years compared to the six months it took me to write Tony Hogan…) and is far less semiautobiographical.
You read your entire novel at one of your book signings! Usually authors will read a passage or two. Was that overwhelming for you?
It was my version of a launch party so I had everyone come read with me: friends, family, my editor, agent and publicist all came and shared the load. I made over 100 cakes the night before and everyone left hoarse and covered in butter cream but I can’t think of a more memorable launch day.
Your Twitter account is buzzing with tweets. What role has that platform played in your book marketing efforts?
I don’t really think of it as a marketing platform. As much as I tweet about a foreign cover or an event I’m doing I’ll tweet about the toast I’m eating or how mad my hair looks after being drenched in the rain. But it has been hugely helpful, I’ve gotten a lot of work, kept in touch with other authors and industry news through it and made some lovely real life friends too. I think of it like working in a really, really big office but where you won’t be forced to go to a horrific Christmas party once a year.
Do you have a special writing regimen? Some authors give themselves a daily quota.
I do 1000 words a day minimum but I’ll often go over that. I’m a real believer in scheduling for getting that book written. I’m lucky to write full-time but you can just adapt that count to your own existing commitments 500 words, 200 words enough days of those and you have yourself a first draft. When I’m redrafting then typically it’s 10 pages a day.
What would you say is the most enjoyable thing about being an author?
That people give you their hearts and minds and let you tell them a story is an incredible thing. Also it has completely changed my life. I am so much more curious, so much morepresent because I’m always looking for that tiny telling detail, that moment of joy or anger or comedy that is often the beginning of a story. I feel hugely lucky to be able to do this as my job.
Are you feeling nervous about how readers will respond to your next book?
Yes! I don’t think you’ll meet many authors who aren’t nervous about how their next book will be received but second novels are especially nerve-wracking because the scrutiny is of an unusual and very specific kind. But you have to step back and let it live it’s own life.Though Thirst is very different to Tony Hogan I think it very much has the same sort ofheart to it…and we’ll see how readers feel about it next July. Continue reading