The autobiography of Casey B Dolan – actress, television presenter, entertainer, DJ, entrepreneur and singer – is freshly unpacked on the shelves of all good book stores. Titled An Appetitie for Peas, this no-holds-barred autobiography unveils just what it is like to be that woman, the one on every magazine cover. It is a quirky, honest appraisal of life on the other side of the lens and why being the woman nearly every man wants doesn’t necessarily get you what you want, especially when it comes to relationships.
1. From first draft, to published book, how much editing do you do?
A whole bunch. Every time I review the text I change something. In fact, I deleted the first 60 pages of my book and started again after my editor told me it was rocky…only because I agreed! I eventually, after say five full length reads, stop looking at it and hand it over to the editor for good: like a bad relationship; you have to know when to leave it alone and move on!
2. What research did you do for your book?
Well in my case, being an autobiography I didn’t have to do much research at all. The beauty about writing about your own experiences when you are still fairly young is that you recall most of what you need and they are entirely phenomenological.
3. How many words do you write, on average, per day?
I have a four-year-old son. Need I say more?! Writing is erratic and the process is very frustrating, I aim for an hour and half in the morning and the same at night, but it’s a bit like ‘knit-one-pearl-one’, some days I manage more some less, but if I can get say between two and three pages down in the morning and the same at night I feel satisfied. I would say I average 2000 – 3000 words.
4. Explain your writing process – do you write an outline and then compile the chapters, or do you just start writing from Chapter 1 and let the story lead you?
For my autobiography I just wrote what I felt was pertinent and interesting and followed a thread. So in this case I allowed the story to lead me. I am currently 70 000 words into writing my first novel and it’s a mind-blowing process – what I term a boxing match every time I start to type. Just when I think I have a plan the story heads in a different direction and I feel like I am playing an exciting and frustrating game of catch up without any rules. I love it but I certainly wouldn’t call it a process, I would call it a game of chase.
5. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing, and if so, how do you overcome it?
There is no aspect of the writing process that I don’t find challenging. But I am equally compelled to pen my thoughts, ideas and stories. The discipline of writing when you would much rather put your feet up and read someone else’s brilliant work, the desperate feeling that you could never be the creator of such brilliance and the knowledge that you will never stop trying…this is all very challenging. But as for ideas and the relief of giving life to an idea that may touch other people in some way, well that’s what creativity is all about and it’s entirely addictive to say the least. I have always loved challenge.
6. What do you do when you have writer’s block?
I go for a long walk in the forest, clear my mind and go home and write. Write, write, write…it’s the only way to unblock a block.
7. When you submitted your manuscript to a publisher, what information did you include in your proposal?
A brief synopsis, why I felt it needed to be published i.e. What made it different, appealing and my details.
8. What advice can you give aspirant writers?
Don’t judge what you write, there are many, many people to do that for you, your judgement develops internal fear and fear is the antithesis of creativity. Write, everyone has a story, writing is thinking put in focus and a gateway to your wildest dreams.
Click HERE to visit Casey’s website.