Fashion meets fiction with Kelly Doust

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We love a debut novelist on the Your Creative Life podcast. Mostly because it’s so fascinating to be able to speak to someone going through the process of birthing a novel into the world as it’s happening. This week I’m talking to Kelly Doust, whose debut novel, Precious Things, recently hit the shelves in April this year.

Precious Things tells the story of an embrodiered collar – a wonderful, glittering beaded piece – and its journey through the decases. It’s also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secrets and elusive past.

Who is Kelly?

A bestselling non-fiction author in her own right, Kelly has previously penned A Life in Frocks: A memoir, vintage fashion bible Minxy Vintage: How to Customise & Wear Vintage Clothing and several craft books including The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid and The Crafty Minx at Home.

preciousthingscoverDuring the interview Kelly shares how a love of books from an early age encouraged her to venture down the path of book publishing and publicity, taking her across the world from the UK to Hong Kong and back to Australia. In her spare time, she started writing freelance articles for Vogue, Australian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life Magazine. A passion for fashion, vintage clothing and craft led her to write five non-fiction books on these subjects before turning her hand to fiction.

In addition to her writing, Kelly also works as the acquisitions editor at Wave Sound, an audiobook publishing company where she has produced audio titles for books including The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. Kelly lives in Sydney with her husband and their daughter.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Kelly’s thoughts on why she felt more pressure writing fiction as opposed to non-fiction.
  • How being so closely connected to the literary world didn’t exclude her novel from the many ups and downs of the publishing process.
  • Why Kelly sought guidance from the Faber Academy (a writing programme run by Allen & Unwin) to help shape and mould her manuscript.
  • Kelly discuss the difficulties in parting ways with her first agent, before receiving offers in the one day from two separate agents in the UK!
  • Her reasons for pursuing an agent first and how having an agent has benefited her in signing international rights for her book.
  • Her research methods, including why Etsy played such a huge role in the research of Precious Things.
  • How she juggles writing with a new full-time job and her family life.

Also mentioned in this episode:

  • Vanessa and I discuss the books we are currently reading. In addition to finishing Precious Things, Vanessa is about to crack into Jojo Moyes’s bestseller, Me Before You.
  • I’m currently tearing through Emma Cline’s much-hyped debut novel, The Girls, which was the subject of a twelve-publisher bidding war and attracted a two million dollar book deal! Loosely based on the Manson murders, I can honestly say I’ve been blown away by the trancelike storytelling and the strong girlhood theme in this book. I can see why it’s sparked so much hype and garnered a ‘cult’ following (ha!) all of its own. Sooo good!
  • Kelly and I also discuss this article she wrote for Collective Hub, in which she outlines her real pathway to publication.

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We hope you’re enjoying the podcast as much as we’re enjoying bringing it to you. If you have any suggestions for authors or publishing folk who you’d like us to interview, please get in touch by tweeting us – I’m over @kimberleyfoster and Vanessa is @v_carnevale. Or email me at kimberley.foster[at]gmail.com

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