This week's episode features Kelly Doust, the bestselling author of A Life in Frocks: A memoir, vintage fashion bible Minxy Vintage: How to Customise & Wear Vintage Clothing and craft books including The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid and The Crafty Minx at Home. Her first novel, Precious Things was published by HarperCollins in April 2016.
During the interview Kelly shares how a love of books from an early age encouraged her to venture down the path of book publishing and publicity, taking her across the world from the UK to Hong Kong and back to Australia. In her spare time, she started penning freelance articles forVogue, Australian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life Magazine. A passion for fashion, vintage clothing and craft led her to write five non-fiction books on these subjects before turning her hand to fiction.
Precious Things tells the story of an embroidered collar - a wonderful, glittering beaded piece - and its journey through the decades. It's also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secrets and elusive past.
With her background in the publishing industry, Kelly reveals how being so closely connected to the literary world didn't exclude her novel from its many ups and downs. Along the way, she sought guidance from the Faber Academy (a writing programme run by Allen & Unwin) which she enrolled in to help shape and mould her manuscript. She also talks about the difficulties in parting ways with her first agent, before receiving offers in the one day from two separate agents in the UK! During their conversation, Kim touches on this article published by the Collective Hub, which outlines Kelly's pathway to publication for Precious Things.
In addition to her writing, Kelly also works as the acquisitions editor at Wave Sound, an audiobook publishing company where she has produced audio titles for books including The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. Kelly lives in Sydney with her husband and their daughter.
This week, Kim and Vanessa also talk about what books they are currently reading while juggling the revising and editing of their books. Vanessa is aptly reading Precious Things by Kelly Doust, while Kim is tearing through Emma Cline's debut novel, The Girls, which was the subject of a twelve-publisher bidding war in the US!