Kiki Archer: "We need to see ourselves represented in books because TV and film don't do a spectacular job"
The bestselling lesfic author on her latest novel and why she can't wait for the DIVA Literary Festival.
If you love lesfic as much as I do, chances are you’re already familiar with the very talented and totally fab Kiki Archer. Her gorgeous novels are perfect summer reading - witty, romantic and lesbilicious. Kiki is just one of the amazing authors who will be at the upcoming DIVA Literary Festival this November. We can’t wait for the les/bi/trans literary extravaganza and thought it was the perfect excuse to catch up with Kiki and find out how she’s feeling about it all.
DIVA: We're extremely excited about the DIVA Literary Festival. Why do you think events like this are so important?
KIKI ARCHER: As with all things LGBT, visibility's the key to acceptance. Showcasing the talents of so many fabulous lesbian, bi and trans writers is another loud shout that we're here, we're successful and our sexuality's actually by the by. It's also important for the community to see themselves represented in books because TV and film don't always do such a spectacular job.
Which is where you and other LGBT writers step in! How are you feeling about taking part in the festival?
Excitement levels are high! I love performing my work and I'd choose it over writing the actual words every time. I think it's nice to show exactly how I imagined the scene playing out in my mind. The pauses. The emphasis. The rip-roaring laughter. I guess It's nice to take back ownership of the words I've written, if that makes sense? My Alana Molton Croft reading from the Polari tour's an example of me bringing life to what's actually quite a sad story.
A big part of the weekend festival will be workshops and panels where would-be-writers can learn tips and tricks. What’s your top tip for budding authors?
Honestly? It would be to go independent, especially in the lesbian fiction, lesbian romance genre. I earn substantially more money than I did as a secondary school PE teacher simply because I'm independent with my own publishing company and team of people I employ. A 70% royalty rate is huge. You can find more information about being an indie author in my latest DIVA article. (Read Kiki’s article in the July issue of DIVA available now at divadigital.co.uk.)
What do you wish you’d known when you started writing your first novel?
That your best friend, who happened to do okay in her English GCSE, is not an editor, even though she spotted a mistake in the professionally published Bridget Jones's Diary book that once. Expensive editors are worth every single penny.
Noted. What about writer’s block? Is it a real thing and, if so, how do you tackle it?
I think there is as it's been so well documented, but for me it's more of a “writer's sticking their head in the sand and hoping it will all go away” type thing. It's very easy to be distracted and to look for distraction. Trying to read the whole of the internet before I start work for the day does cut into my writing time somewhat.
You’ve written lots of wonderful books. Do you have a favourite and why?
I think it has to be my latest, A Fairytale Of Possibilities. It's fun and lighthearted and the relationship between the two best friends Lauren and Rachel is simply quite magical, even without the romance... which then makes the love story, when it does finally happen, even more of a fairytale.
I recently read A Fairytale Of Possibilities and I have to say I adored it (check out my review here).
It's an escape. You can read it with wine, or in the sun, or snuggled up in a make-shift den and just let yourself imagine.
The DIVA Literary Festival takes place Friday 3 – Sunday 5 November at the Hilton Metropole, NEC Birmingham. For more info visit: divaliteraryfestival.com.
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