I couldn’t be more pleased to be here at Inside a Dog. I’m putting the finishing touches on The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, and my brain is already shifting gears to what comes next. And so, for the next whole month, I have a delightfully diverting excuse to not think about writing my next book. Writing is hard, and devising handy excuses not to do it can take up an awful lot of a writer’s day. There’s only so much time that can be frittered away on Twitter, or looking at pictures of cute sloths on the net.
Hi there! I’m Melissa Keil, and the good folks at Inside A Dog have invited me to be writer-in-resident for the month of June.
Hello, welcome, pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I am the author of this:
Seeing as this is my final residency post, I thought I’d devote it to endings. The ending is the most important part of any story. I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, it’s not the end-point that matters, it’s the journey,’ but I’ve been let down by too many weak endings to believe that.
At the end of my last blog post, I asked what you’d like me to cover during my final week here at Inside A Dog, and a comment suggested I look at the books that have made me who I am as an author.
I love this topic, because I’m always fascinated by the music that musicians listen to, and the films that filmmakers consume. I’d go one step further and say that the books I was exposed to growing up didn’t just shape me as an author, but as a person. And here’s the abridged history of Will Kostakis, via the stories he read:
This is semiautobiographical, which means I’ve taken creative licence.
It’s the truth, but the explosions are bigger, the twists are more shocking, and I’m three to four times sexier.
I always loved writing, but one of my main motivators for getting published was to help Mum out financially. My parents divorced and Dad faded out of the picture pretty quickly, leaving Mum with the expenses of three boys and a half-renovated home (I’m talking no ceilings, and a kitchen that consisted of a leaky fridge and a sink propped up by plank of wood). Mum worked ridiculous hours, her parents did what they could to help, and meanwhile, I hatched an adorably unrealistic plan:
One of my major motivations for becoming an author was to see experiences like mine reflected in books. Growing up, I never read a book where grandmothers were as embarrassingly loving as mine, or where parents were as spectacularly divorced as mine, and creative writing was my voice.
It’s that time of year in the US when TV shows are picked up for another season or cancelled to make way for new programmes. One of the shows I watch, Trophy Wife, was axed. I was relieved to see it go, but disappointed it never really became a great show. In my mind, it existed on the TV-viewing spectrum somewhere between something-on-in-the-background-while-I-text-people and pretty-good.
One of the hardest things about being a writer is finding the time to write… and then using that time to actually write. The Internet has made a lot of things easier, it’s a great source of information and inspiration… but it’s also jam-packed with distraction.
I mean, I’ve lost most of today to Beyoncé’s sister Solange going all Mortal Kombat on Jay-Z in the elevator (Memes… So. Many. Memes.)
I’m starting to think writer’s block happens for a reason.
I’m aiming to finish my third novel for young adults by the end of this month, and if not finish it, then at least make a significant enough dent to show my publisher. Of course, I’m talking first draft here. The actual finished, finished third novel won’t be until early next year.