Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead. They're not crazy about the idea so to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel.
They are soon drawn into the world of theatre - Afterlife style, with all the bitchiness, back-stabbing and ego usually associated with the mortal world. Allan also has a secret. He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick, but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro. Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.
About the Author:
Kevin has a background in acting, fringe theatre and video production, which have helped shape the characters and situations in this novel. His filmmaking hobby has also helped to create the YouTube book trailer, with the help of some talented actors. Unlike his characters, though, he is definitely not dead and hopes to never see an angel in the near future.
1. When did you decide to start writing?
About ten years ago I started writing a fantasy novel on Thursday nights, as that was the only free time I had (My partner, Warren, had started playing tennis on those nights). It was handwritten in a journal and called Staging Life. I had written about five chapters when a friend bought me a 'How to Write' book for my birthday. (As an aside, writing was a passion of mine as a kid, so rediscovering it as a hobby in my 30s was a blessing)
The first paragraph of this How To book clearly told me that if I was writing without my plot being clearly laid out, to stop right away! I made a chapter by chapter story outline, but this totally killed the creative process. The journal was then left in the bottom drawer for years.
2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
When I began I didn't think about genre. I just had in mind a story where dead people confront the things that they didn't reconcile in life through theatre. Fortunately I ditched that storyline. In the end I'd call it a Romantic Comic Fantasy.
3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?
Yes and no. At first it was a novella but my assessor wanted me to extend it into a novel. She had a few suggestions but they were just padding. Then I realised that a whole back story existed that was yet to be told. I finally got it to over 60,000 words (one draft is well over that but that version has been ditched). It's still not large, but it tells the story without waffling on.
4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
I like to write with a scented candle burning. Preferably orange.
5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
Fun. It's what its meant to be. A quick enjoyable read.
6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?
The original title, Staging Life, was hated by my assessor. She was right. I had various versions of the final title written in the back of my writer's journal when finally the obvious title that explains the story hit me - Drama Queens with Love Scenes.
7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?
A fun read. Nothing serious. Just a farcical adventure to enjoy.
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
I had many publishers telling me that they loved my writing style, but as this novel does not fit within a marketing genre, it would be hard to sell.
One publisher was interested in my book. When I looked over the contract, one thing that stood out was my lack of control over my own copyright. I've worked in broadcast media, so copyright law is something I know a lot about. In this contract, not only did they want exclusive world rights, they also wanted me to write to them and seek their permission if I wanted to write anything in the future. Plus, only they would have the right to end the contract, even if I desperately wanted to. A lawyer pointed out how their payment of royalties was far below the industry standard. Once I asked this publisher a few questions, they dropped me straight away.
Then the self-publishing model that doesn't hurt your wallet became available. It was too good to pass up.
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
There's never been a greater time to get your work in the public domain. But before you put it out there, leave it in a drawer for two to three months, then revise. Also, be prepared to market yourself, it's an ongoing job.
I would like to thank Kevin for taking the time to answer my questions for this Author Interview series. It's an honor having him participate. As a treat, he is giving away a copy of Drama Queens with Love Scenes to one lucky Reads, Reviews, Recommends reader. I will post more about this giveaway tomorrow. So, stay tuned if you want to enter the giveaway. If you want to know more about Kevin, you can visit his website at: http://www.gadigal.org.au/kooriradio/BroadcasterProfileClient.aspx?Id=3