Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Interview: Kate Toon

Kate is a writer, poet and copywriter who is an inspiration to us all. As well as juggling a child, dog and husband, she squeezes in writing plays which have now been performed across the world including Australia, the US, Europe, and the UK (some have even been turned into films). If all that wasn't enough she's won a few awards along the way and written the poetry book "Gone Dotty"

We chat to her about her about writer's block, Andy Warhol and her latest project.

What was the inspiration behind the book?
I have Sparkapolooza to thank for sparking my interest in poetry. I’ve been writing for a while but had never tried poetry, then I saw one of the very early creative briefs and thought, why the heck not. The book is a collection of poems I’ve written since then.

What finally made you go, "sod it, I'm gonna do this"?
I don’t know really, I’m quite random. I fancied having a project on Pozible and thought of this. I set it all up in about ten minutes, then realised, ‘Bugger I’m really going to have to do this now.’ I gave myself a kick up the bum.

How did you know how to create a book, or even know where to start?
I had no idea. I did a lot of Googling and also spoke to my friend, Jennifer Lam, who self-published a Foodie travel book a few years back, but really it was a case of trial and error. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.

What surprised you the most about creating "Gone Dotty"?
How supportive everyone was: I raised nearly $3k towards the cost of publishing via Pozible (where people support creative projects in return for rewards) and some of the biggest donations were from complete strangers. Also, the amount of proof reading that was required. So many people read and corrected the book before it went to the typesetter but there were still heaps of last minute edits. I think my publishers, Vivid, were totally sick of me by the end of it!

What's your favourite poem and why?
I’m fond of Andy Warhole – as it’s my first ever poem, Gone Dotty, the title poem as it’s written about my grandma and Happy Little Bogan as it causes such a strong reaction from readers. Some love it and some hate it so much they’ve sent me hate mail.

Do you ever get writers block, and if so what do you do?
I write advertising copy for a living so I’ve learned the discipline of writing even when I’m totally uninspired. You simply have to crack on. Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a few biscuits, sit down and write. Just get something down even if it’s total crap, you can always edit it later. Oh, and of course booze sometimes helps.

What are your tips for taking on a Sparkapolooza brief?
Without wanting to repeat myself, I think it’s just having a go. Don’t wait for an amazing idea to strike, start with the first thing that comes into your head and pursue it. Don’t be too self-critical and have some confidence in your own creative ability. You’ll be amazed at the positive reaction you’ll get from friends and strangers. Most people will just beso impressed that you’ve done something!

What are three of your favourite creative sites?
I find Facebook an endless source of creative ideas. Other people’s lives are so interesting, even when they’re boring. I like Warholian and also The Cool Hunter, a browse round Etsy always cheers me up and of course Pinterest is poetry for the eyes.

For more info on the world of Kate Toon or Gone Dotty, check out her site here.

1 comment :

Shoko said...

love this interview! great advice for creative blocks..."grab a few biscuits, sit down and write." yes! :)