March 08, 2010
the crafty minx kelly doust
Just before the summer break I went to the book launch of The Crafty Minx. I always try to get along to these events because I'm fascinated to learn the process that goes into creating a book. It's also an interesting insight into what authors are actually like.
I enjoyed hearing publisher Kay Scarlett speak about the "Minx" herself, Kelly Doust. She described the first time they met. Kelly was dressed in customised vintage clothes and looked divine. Right then Kay knew that this was no ordinary woman.
Since then Kelly has gone on to not only publish her collection of craft projects but has also written a follow-up book The Crafty Kid, which will be published mid-year. And a memoir is in the works too. All this and Kelly is mum to an 18-month-old girl.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, happy, passionate, hardworking and flawed.
What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? My first job out of university was in an investment bank, believe it or not. It made me realise how important it is to be surrounded by like-minded people every day you possibly can... so I left. Shortly afterwards, I went on to study book editing and publishing before moving into the industry, and worked there up until recently as a book publicist. I also ventured into journalism, agency publicity and advertising along the way, but always kept coming back to books. Publishing folk are my kin.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Confucius said it first: find a job you'll love and you'll never work a day in your life.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Having my first book published.
What’s been your best decision? Leaving my job when I was five months' pregnant to work on the proposal for The Crafty Minx. I honestly haven't regretted it for a second, although those first few weeks were nerve-wracking. It took a while to get into the rhythm of working from home.
Who inspires you? Barack Obama for his social conscience, passion and dignity, and my friend Maggie Hamilton - a social researcher and writer.
What are you passionate about? My husband and daughter, friends, home, food, fashion, travel, and treading lightly upon this earth of ours... plus a whole list of other things too long to mention.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I'm not much for meet and greets, but I'd very much like to have a decent conversation with Emily Dickinson about her poetry, which resonates still after so many years.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To write a good novel.
What are you reading? I've just finished reading Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, which I thought was gripping and masterfully told, and have AM Homes' This Book Will Save Your Life, a biography of Muriel Spark by Martin Stannard and a quirkly little book called Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris by Leanne Shapton on the go.
images courtesy of kelly doust