Saturday, August 2, 2014

Getting to know Renae Kaye

Umm – Renae?


It’s Saturday and you need to blog on CafĂ© Risque.

Oh, no!  I do?  What should I say?  What should I blog?  Oh no oh no oh no…

Calm down!  Jeez!  Why are writers always so emotional?  Look – how about you tell us about how you became a writer?  When did you start writing?

Oh.  Umm – I think I was five.  My teacher gave me a pencil and showed me how to write the first letter of the alphabet…

Do you realise I’m gritting my teeth in exasperation at the moment?

<cheeky grin>  Okay, okay.  The truth is just boring, that’s all.  I started writing my first novel in February 2013.  Once I finished that, I started writing Loving Jay.  It was accepted on its first submission, and that was it.

Wow.  You mean you’d never written before?  Why not?

I’ve grown up with a huge imagination.  I’m the youngest in my family, and thus I was ignored by my older siblings a lot (woe is me!), leaving me to make up my own games.  I created worlds and families and friends in my mind.  I also read a huge amount of books.

But in school I excelled at maths and science.  English was my weak subject, so I’ve always considered myself as a very poor candidate for a writer.  Then in January 2013, I got the crazy idea to write a novel - and it was an interesting challenge to me.  So I did it.  No fanfare.  No biggy.  Just did it.

So you think anyone can do it?

Yes – within reason.  First of all, you need to read and read and read.  There are a lot of technical help books, blogs and sites that can help with the different aspects of writing.  I’ve read them and can see that I instinctively do a lot of it – things like pacing and plots.  That comes from subconsciously absorbing all those books I’ve read.  Things like grammar can be assisted with editors.

But something that I think successful authors have that wanna-be authors lack?  Persistence and tenacity.  I’ve written six full-length novels to completion (and I’m not going to mention the 16+ others languishing in my computer).  In every single book I’ve written, there comes a point (and often more than one) where you either lose your steam, or you are unsure where to go.  There is a hump.  Wanna-be’s give up.  Authors push through.  They write when they don’t feel like it, they erase pages and try again, they sit on it and come back to it.  Whatever it takes – but they push through and make it to the end.  Then they revise revise revise.

How do you get inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere!  One day I was driving through a suburb and saw a man walking two dogs down the path.  I only saw the guy from the back, but he had a blond plait that reached his bum.  That image stayed with me until I had to write him a story – why does he have such long hair?  If that story is published, you will meet him – long plait, walking his dogs down the road.

Most of my stories come from the questions “Why?” or “What if?”  Some of the inspirations for my unfinished manuscripts are:
 - what if you woke one morning and you were not only 200 years in the past, but a different country?
 - what if you had grown up living in the forest, and were put in a prison below ground?
 - what if your parents forgot about you one day and lost you?
 - why would you say no to a date with the most gorgeous man you’ve ever met?
 - why would a hot, young man pick an aging, boring person to fall in love with?

Can I ask a question about last week’s blog?  Were you joking about the spiders and snakes?

No.  Sorry.  We do have them here in Perth.

Really?  Do they come in your house every night?

The snakes – not really.  I live near a lake, so I see them around my house on an average of once a year.  Either tiger snakes or dugites – both are extremely venomous.  I have a good friend who is a snake catcher, and she and her husband would get about ten calls a week during the summer.  The snakes are around, but it is rare to get bitten.

The spiders are everywhere.  Only the redbacks are a worry for me (cousins to the black widow).  I would eradicate about fifty per year from my house and yard.  We don’t get funnelweb spiders in Perth (big, black scary MFs!!) – they only occur in the Eastern States of Australia.

Renae as a two-year-old, reading to her dolls
What about crocodiles?

Not in Perth.


Yes.  Sorry.  But out of all the people who go swimming each year, you would have to be unlucky to be the shark victim.

That is not reassuring.

Oh.  Sorry.  How about if I tell you the weather is beautiful here?  Today (the middle of winter) was a sunny 19 degrees Celsius (about 65F).  We never get snow.

Oh that sounds magical!

Yes, I’ve spent the afternoon planting strawberries and rhubarb, and readying my veggie garden for spring planting.

Not writing?

Oh, whoops.  Shh!  Don’t tell anyone.

What are you going to blog about next week?

Oh, man!  Pushy, aren’t you?  Okay – I’ll think about it.  See you then.  <waving>

How to contact Renae:

Twitter:  @renaekkaye


  1. Want me to send you a Funnel Web, Renae? I'd hate to think you were missing out! :)

    1. I'll see your Funnel Web spider, Nic, and raise you two Wolf Spiders and a Dugite...