Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Starring... Elizabeth Kyne!

Indigo Skye: Ink and Art
Welcomes Author Elizabeth Kyne

Today, I'm thrilled to host author Elizabeth Kyne. This dynamic writer trained to be a radio journalist and spent her early working years reading news bulletins and writing for magazines. Later, after learning the meaning of “mortgage” and “gas bill”, she decided to do the sensible thing and drop the freelance lifestyle to get a proper job. The job, however, all went horribly wrong and she returned to her first love of writing, and worked on several novels before finding success with If Wishes Were Husbands.

Congratulations on your success, Elizabeth. Wishing you all the best on your blog tour! We at Indigo Skye: Ink and Art salute you for having the courage to truly pursue your dreams. (What could be more romantic than that?) Cheers to you!

The fabulous Ms. Kyne is here today to dish the dirt about why she took the ultimate risk and ditched her day job in pursuit of her dreams. She's written a piece for Indigo Skye: Ink and Art that I think my readers will enjoy. It certainly inspired me!


Author Elizabeth Kyne admits doing the one thing writers are urged not to do

Here’s a piece of advice editors give to writers when they sell their first novel: “don’t give up the day job”. It’s an entirely sensible piece of advice, one that is repeated often, which has many plaudits, and with which I agree wholeheartedly. Even though I didn’t actually follow the advice myself.

For most people, jobs are good things. They bring us income, a purpose, certainty, colleagues, something to get up for in the morning, a routine, and doubtless many more advantageous attributes. (They can also bring infuriating bosses, refused leave requests, impossible deadlines, long and frustrating commutes… and all the rest of it: but let’s stick to the good things for now). For some, especially in these tough economic times, a job is not something to “have”, like one might have a packet of biscuits, but something to strive for. A friend of mine, last year, finally got a job after two years of unemployment, and I am so thrilled for him, it’s great news and something which I have great admiration for.

I have a job. Well, sort of. I had a job, really. It was a full time thing with all the stuff that I mentioned above. In theory, it should have been great. I planned for it to be great. I loved how it allowed me to pay the mortgage every month, book a holiday and actually take it, strive for career progression and all the rest of it. But at the same time, it was all rather “normal”. I’ve never really done normal. I’m the sort of person who had three earrings put in one ear and dyed my hair red purely because I wanted to show that I was different. (Rather annoyingly, everyone seems to be dying their hair red these days, so I’m seriously thinking about going back to brown). I was a grown up, I told myself, and a job is one of the things that a grown up should have.

There was one teensy, weensy thing that I could never quite come to terms with. Having a job, it seemed, took away a certain amount of control over my own life. This was rather awkward. I mean, back when I was a freelance writer for magazines, I would decide what I wanted to write about, ring the editor and, if they agreed, I produced an article about that subject. I admit, there were things that were out of my control, like layout of the article or editing of my work and – in one unfortunate case – the publisher deciding to close the magazine, but in general I was the boss of me. I quite liked being the boss of me. I was reasonably demanding, but I was also quite forgiving and I liked that about myself.

For a while, my regular job was sort of like that. Until one major project which I worked damned hard over. I rather over-worked myself, if truth be known, but I understood there was a budget and resource issues and I really wanted to get it done, so I bloomin’ well did it. Then, at the end of it, the bosses decided that they didn’t want me to do it anymore, snapped their fingers and threw me back to the pit from which I’d crawled. I still had a “job”, they still paid me, but all that effort was for nothing. I was, to say the least, a bit miffed. I mean, I’m quite prepared to try and fail, but when I’m doing it on someone else’s terms – and they change those terms on a whim – it’s rather demoralising.

As I continued to work that job, I longed for days of yore back when I was my own boss. And, let’s be truthful, when I was back writing. Putting everything into a job is fine, but if your job does not appreciate it, you start to reconsider. I started to reconsider. What was I doing there if I wasn’t getting anything out of it anymore? It was a good question.

There was one thing I was getting out of it, of course: a salary. This is, I have to admit, quite a useful thing to have. If a job has nothing else going for it, then a salary will go a pretty long way to creating a silver lining. A sensible person, of course, would simply go and get another job. This happens all the time with normal people, I’m told. They spend some time at one job and, when it ceases to inspire them to get up in the morning, they look around for another job. But, as stated above, I am neither normal nor sensible.

So, I jacked it in. Well, sort of. I half jacked it in. In actual fact, I went part time; initially one day per week and, eventually, two days per week. It kept a little bit of money coming in while I pursued my new career as a novelist.



An apple short of a fruit salad!

But I did it. Because I couldn’t stand working in a job where I wasn’t appreciated anymore, and would always be wondering “what if…?”.

The point is, no one should give up the day job to become a writer because it is such a precarious profession. You may hit the big time like JK Rowling or you may never get published. You may sell one book, but there’s no guarantee you will sell the second or third, and even then the advance may not be enough to pay the bills.

But, for me, all the sensible advice in the world wasn’t going to stop me. If I had been able to write a novel while I was still working at that job, I would have done. I have great admiration for writers who do this, and some of them do it while bringing up a young family at the same time (when do they sleep?). I am not that sort of person. I am absorbed by one thing or another. If I gave my all to my writing, I would not be giving value for money at my job, and vice versa.

So, I had an opportunity to change my life and I decided to go for it – despite the fact that it was a mad idea. I mean, seriously, don’t try this at home kids. There’s a lot at risk and I can’t say that I’m making anything near the salary I once had, but inside I was a writer and I needed to express that. I needed to give myself a proper chance because otherwise I would always end up hating myself for not doing so. People who are successful are the risk takers. That’s what people who go into business do, they take a risk on a product. I decided to take a risk on my writing. I’m not at the stage yet where I can say that I’ve fully made it, but I don’t regret doing what I did and, if I had that time all over again, I would still go against all the sensible advice and give up my day job.

Author Links:  

If Wishes Were Husbands
By Elizabeth Kyne

Rachel re-invents herself when she moves back to her home town of Aylesbury; with a new job, a new house and a new haircut. But people’s eyes glaze over when she tells them about her life as a forty-something singleton who works in accounts. So why not spice things up a bit? Why not tell her new hairdresser and her new friends about her fantastic husband? Everyone wants to hear about Darren, the man who cooks her amazing meals, cleans the house and takes her to bed for orgasmic sex three times a night! What a shame he doesn't exist…

…Until she comes home one night and finds Darren sitting in her lounge. And everything she said becomes true: from his sensuous food to his skill in bed. So real, that she believes it.
Not as if living with a perfect is man is… well, perfect…

She can’t find anything because every time she puts something down, he tidies it away. Then there’s the shock of the credit card bill from buying all that gourmet food. Not to mention the sex! Three times a night is great at first, but sometimes all she wants at the end of the day is a sandwich and some sleep.

Then Rachel decides that Darren has to go - and that’s when her troubles really begin.

Elizabeth Kyne takes the absurdities of the modern woman's quest for love and turns them into an enjoyable romp. She finds the comic in everyday situations, from buying a dress to experimenting with hair dye at home. While, underneath, she comments on the pressure to find the perfect husband and how that quest is doomed for us all.

You can purchase If Wishes Were Husbands online- just follow the links for her Paperback and ebook editions.


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