Good things come to those who Tweet. Just ask Kerri Sackville, author of new book When My Husband Does The Dishes… (Random House), launched today in Sydney.
A freelance writer with an impressive list of credits across newspapers and magazines, Kerri stumbled onto Twitter at a bad time in her life. Tweeting led to blogging (Life And Other Crises) which led to her book being published. Pretty much the dream run of many modern-day writers.
So how did it happen? You know I just had to ask for this month’s writer’s Q&A…
Were you thinking of writing a book when you started your blog?
Kerri Sackville: “No! Not at all. I was just excited to be writing again. I’d stumbled onto Twitter after a really bad time in my life had resulted in 18 months of writer’s block. After a few weeks on Twitter, several dozen people (okay, one person…) had asked if I had a blog. I thought, ‘Hey, a chance to write about Nutella and Simon Baker!’, and so I started one.”
How did the book come about?
KS: “After I’d been blogging for about nine months, I was full of ideas and decided to write a tell-all memoir of marriage and motherhood. When I was about halfway through, an agent approached me via Twitter after hearing I was writing a book. We met, she liked what I’d done, I was thrilled to bits, and she took me on. By the time I’d finished WMHDTD she had a few publishers interested and in the end we sold it to Random House for $20 million*.” (*Kerri admits she may have made this figure up.)
Did you find the process of writing the book very different to blogging?
KS: “Yes, definitely. I write my blog posts very quickly and then pretty much forget them. And I wrote the first draft of the book pretty quickly too and had lots of fun doing it. But then I reread and restructured and rewrote and reread and restructured and rewrote and that was really, really hard work. By the time it was finished, I was well and truly ready to send it on! I would never put that much effort into a blog post.”
You often write on your blog on intimate subjects (that is, your sex life) – did it feel very different when you put them in a book (and then read the printed page once published)?
KS: “Yes! I wasn’t at all prepared for the permanence of it all! A blog post feels very transient – you put it up, people read it, but then within a minute they’re on to the next thing. And a blog post can be altered or deleted at any time. But a book… Once it’s written, it’s there forever. I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around it. I will never forget walking into a meeting of 20 Random House publishing staff and they’d all read my book and knew about my marriage. And I thought, okay, this might actually be really weird.”
What’s next? Will you continue to blog consistently or focus on other types of writing?
KS: “I love my blog and my blog readers – I can’t imagine ever giving that up unless something dramatic happens, like I’m offered the lead role in the Hollywood adaptation of my book, or Simon Baker wants to take me on as his private secretary. But I have been so excited by the process of writing and publishing a book, and I’ve started writing my second (which is NOT on marriage or motherhood – I’ve pretty much exhausted those topics!). So stay tuned…”
Stalk Kerri on Twitter at @KerriSackville (I do!).
Would you love more writing tips and advice? Check out my book So You Want To Be A Writer: How To Get Started (While You Still Have A Day Job), co-authored with Valerie Khoo and based on our top-rating podcast.