Interview with Keely Sonntag

What's the story behind your latest book?
I've always been a huge online shopper, and all of my friends and work colleagues know it! There's rarely a week at work when I don't have a package delivered to me. Life as a television producer means long hours and very little free time, so the convenience of having clothes, shoes, bags, beauty products and even groceries delivered to my door is just too good not to take advantage of. For the past few years I've been 'collecting' online stores for my own personal use - searching the web for great fashion, buying, reviewing and saving the details of the stores I loved. A lot of my friends started asking me where to buy certain clothes and products online and it occurred to me that I was sitting on a wealth of knowledge that could benefit a lot of other people, and that's exactly what this Top 100 book is all about.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't know if it's inspiration, as much as it is other people relying on me to show up at work (as a television producer) that gets me out of bed. I can be a morning person but if my natural body clock had its way, I think I'd be up working until 2 or 3am and sleeping until 10. Having said that, the promise of some surf and sunshine and a delicious breakfast will also get me moving.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I currently live in Sydney, Australia and have lived in Melbourne while working on MasterChef, so I'm quite spoilt when it comes to spectacular food and wine. I love eating out, shopping (of course), going to the beach and kickboxing. Whenever I get a break from work I like to take holidays to Thailand where I can do muay thai training, get massages, lay on a beach, read, dream and work remotely on ideas for STATE OF SHOP.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a pretty varied collection of books at home, although the ones I read the most are non-fiction, because I can dip in and out without feeling guilty. I don't often treat myself to a good novel unless I'm on holidays, when I devour them. Some of the most recent books that I've re-read and loved all over again are - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and The Luck Factor by Max Gunther. The last novel I read was a thriller in every sense of the word - I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.
What do you read for pleasure?
Crime thrillers and murder mysteries are my go to novels.
What is your writing process?
Usually I just do a brain dump of ideas, then I go about writing sub-headings and creating a structure with topics I'd like to write about. After that I go back to the top and start filling in the gaps and fleshing out each of the sub-heading sections. This is my process for non-fiction writing, I haven't yet tried my hand at a novel or screenplay.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just love being able to unleash my thoughts in rapid succession onto a page, even if they don't make sense. Often my brain spits out words and sentences a lot faster than my fingers can type, but it's the process of putting my thoughts into words that I enjoy most. I usually prefer to send a text or an email rather than make a phone call, just because I often find it easier to put my thoughts down in writing.
How do you approach cover design?
This is usually a collaborative process, with a creative friend or my business partner Cathy Riddett. We write down all the things we want to celebrate and market about the book, what's important and what message we want to convey, then it's just a matter of throwing around a lot of ideas before settling on one that we think works. Sometimes if I'm really stuck I'll do a web search for 'best book covers' to find some inspiration, but this is only something we do after a creative meeting, as we don't want other books to influence the uniqueness of what we're doing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I recently bought a new MacBook Air which now comes with iBooks, so I do a lot of my reading on my laptop which is light enough it travels everywhere with me. I also have an iPad next to my bed which I'll pick up whenever I need a quick fix.
What are you working on next?
It's a toss up between the Top 20 Online Beauty Stores, which I think we'd like to offer as a free guidebook, or the Top 100 Online Shoe Stores, which has a special place in my heart. Shoes are probably one of my favourite things to buy online, so this would be a guidebook that I'd very much enjoy researching and writing!
Describe your desk
Well, good question... I either work at my wooden dining table which will have on it my laptop, notepad, pen and a cup of herbal tea (if I'm in serious writing mode), or from the comfort of my favourite chaise lounge chair (if I'm in multi-tasking mode), or sometimes even from my bed (if I wake up and can't get a thought out of my head until I write it down).
Published 2014-06-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

State of Shop Guidebook: Top 100 Online Clothes Stores
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 18,970. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Beauty and fashion, Nonfiction » Reference » Consumer guides
A guidebook that directs you to the Top 100 Online Clothes Stores in the world. Find the best clothes, the best prices and the best customer service. This book includes a full directory, live links, unbiased reviews, expert tips and a quick reference style guide.