Kate Chisman, Creator of Literature Bitch
When did you first start writing?
Cliché alert! I couldn’t tell you a specific date or even how old I was, only that I know I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember… I can recall notebooks filled with stories and a lot of teenage diaries! The first thing I wrote seriously was a thriller movie script on an old typewriter when I was about thirteen. I have no idea where it is now, it must have gotten lost in a house move. But I would certainly like to reread it and have a good laugh.
Are you a structured writer or a see-what happens? Ie: Do you plan your work before starting it or do you write and see where the characters take you?
I’d love to say I was structured but I have always just started with a vague idea or concept and let what happens, happen. I always have the bare bones in my head but plot twists, subplots and the majority of characters and their personalities develop along with the story itself. When I know where things are going I usually go back and plan. I like to do character studies and really get inside their heads. I also make use of timelines and try to structure things effectively, as a lot of my writing isn’t in a linear format, things can get quite confusing as I’m trying to piece everything together!
You studied for a MA in Creative Writing, how do you feel this helped your writing?
The MA was invaluable in terms of experience and motivation. I already had a BA in Creative Writing and English but I knew I wanted to keep going. I really enjoy workshop environments and with writing being such a solitary subject it is always good to have like minded people around you who can offer advice and understand your plight! The tutors on the MA were brilliant, they gave us a lot of excellent guidance and it helped open up my eyes to other opportunities out there.
Since the MA I have gone on to begin another writing course. I was lucky enough to get a place with Curtis Brown Creative studying Novel Writing. I am halfway through at the moment and it is a real honour to be a part of. To be right in the centre of the industry is fantastic and I am being tutored by Christopher Wakling who is an amazing writer. We have regular agents days where we get to speak directly to Agents at Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh in London whilst we work on our novels in progress. It’s an exciting time. But I know I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done the MA. It helped me regain my confidence, get back into what I love and progress much further.
Tell us about Literature Bitch?
I first got the idea for Literature Bitch in 2010. It started as a blog where I could write very tongue in cheek articles on the things in the writing world which interested me and pushed my buttons. However, contrary to my namesake, I found it hard to actually be “bitchy” about any of it! I really do love writing and I have respect for anyone who has the creativity, determination and guts to put themselves out there. However, as LB has matured, grown her audience and adapted from a blog into a full on writing website and brand I’ve found her voice easier to project. She’s taken on a life of her own. Never mind alter ego… I think sometimes she may actually exist!
She’s got a few famous fans now too. Russell Kane and Emilie Sande are among just some of the celebs who have retweeted and followed her, highlighting her to a much bigger audience. I’m lucky to have grabbed their attention!
What inspired you to write it?
Just my love of the cause. I eat, sleep and breathe writing and every little thing I see or read I want to share. I should probably get out more… 😉
Tell us about your latest novel.
I’m working on two projects at the moment. The first is a non-fiction look at the world of writers by Literature Bitch and the other is my first full length piece of fiction and is a psychological thriller. I can’t tell you too much about it, but what I can tell you is that I have worked hard at making a really nasty villain, have included a lot of suspense and thrown in a good few plot twists to (hopefully) keep the reader hooked.
How do you market your work? Do you have a process?
I don’t to be honest! I think it is very important for any writer, indie or traditionally published to engage with their readers as much as possible. Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram and now Goodreads are all wonderful tools for finding and keeping an audience and also offering your existing readers a base to make contact and keep up to date with you and your work. Social Media is literally one the best thing to happen to writers. The opportunities are endless.
What advice would you give to any writer wanting to do it the ‘Indie Way’?
Tweet. Make a Goodreads account and an Amazon author page. Blog. Learn as much as you can about SEO. Clean up your online footprint. Delete that cringy MySpace profile from your teenage years, it’ll come back to haunt you, trust me! Know who you are and don’t be afraid to go for it. What’s stopping you?
Who are your favourite authors?
As I was growing up I always leaned more towards male authors such as Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahnuik but now I’ve moved on to dark thrillers and psychological books, usually from women with strong voices. One writer I have recently fallen in love with is Gillian Flynn, who I will talk about next…
Tell us about what you are reading at the moment.
I am obsessed with Gillian Flynn at the moment. I went on holiday earlier this year and I was looking for a book to take with me. I’d heard a lot of good reviews about Gone Girl so I got a copy before we left. I can’t even remember much of the holiday apart from how fantastic that book was! I didn’t move/look up/leave my room and sun bed until I’d finished every last word. She’s a fantastic talent and a huge inspiration to me as a writer. I’ve read Gone Girl and Dark Places and I’ve just started on Sharp Objects. I’d highly recommend her to anyone.
Anything else you would like to add to your readers or to other writers.
Never. Give. Up. If you’ve got something to say, someone will read it. Just make sure you believe every word. And to my readers and fans of Literature Bitch, thank you for all of your support x
To find out more about Literature Bitch, visit www.literaturebitch.com
COMING SOON … The Book of Bitchery