Gert Loveday is the pen name of sisters Joan Kerr and Gabrielle Daly. Gabrielle’s background is in nursing, medical research and music, while Joan is a widely-published poet and short fiction writer. Since 2006 they have written several comic novels together. You can read more about how they came to be Gert on this interview with Guy Savage of 'His Futile Preoccupations' http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/gert-loveday-interview/ 'Writing is Easy', and 'Crane Mansions' are available on all digital platforms. Gert Loveday writes with authority on peculiar diets, exercise regimes, body makeovers, extreme fashion, gurus, pigeons, religion, poetry, politics, the health bureaucracy, gourmet cooking, reality TV and literature from the Norse Sagas to Jeffrey Archer, with a sharp eye for character foibles and the pricking of pomposity. Gert Loveday - Fun With Books is her playground, where she posts book reviews, her own and others' writing, literary gossip and all kinds of wordy fun and games
Who is Gert Loveday?
This interview was first published on Guy Savage's blog His Futile Preoccupations at http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/gert-loveday-interview/
1. Who is Gert Loveday? Gert Loveday is actually two people, the Daly sisters, Joan (Kerr) and Gabrielle. 2. What motivated you to start writing together? Joan had been writing for a long time. As children, she and our brother, the immortal “Denis Kodaly” (who will be appearing shortly on our blog) composed a long oral history of a place called Arrapamatta with characters such as Mary Biffy and Rort K. Bugbear. Both of us at different times took honours degrees in English at Melbourne University. Quite some years later, Joan began publishing poetry and then short stories. Gabrielle moved to Singapore and studied memoir, haibun and haiku online with the wonderful Allegra Wong from WOTN. Joan attended one of the Canadian writing-teacher Barbara Turner-Vesselago’s Australian workshops and encouraged Gabrielle to do so. We got highly useful encouragement and feedback from Barbara, who is quite miraculous in the way she frees up the imagination. We learned about NaNoWriMo, and had no difficulty achieving the required 50,000 words in a month. Gabrielle then got the idea that by writing 1500 words a day each we could write a 100,000-word novel in a month, sharing the work. 3. Although you’ve written 5 novels, Writing is Easy is the first to appear on the kindle. Please tell us about your other novels. The first is Crane Mansions: a story about the redeeming power of cake, set in Crane Mansions Regulatory School for the Children of the Indigent, run by the headmaster Dr Crane in line with pigeonnic augury and the poetry of Blake. Gabrielle was on a Wilkie Collins bender at the time, so it has something of that tone. The orphaned heiress Millie Lord goes through many vicissitudes, as do a large cast of adult characters who are involved, as is usual with Gert, in a range of bizarre schemes and plots of their own. Writing is Easy is our second book. Then we have The Art of the Possible, about political skullduggery and bureaucratic doublespeak, a wonder youth drug, reality TV and the Norse saga. The Lies and Life of Bella Hatherley is told by a little girl who isn’t sure if she’s a liar or just has a very good imagination. Although she is something of a fantasist she is basically level-headed and has a difficult prima donna of a fashion-conscious mother to manage. The last book we wrote and have just rewritten is a nameless book about the effects of a charismatic guru on a cast of characters in a country town. We still don’t like it much. We’ve also had a go at a sort of YA fantasy novel which is a bit of a mess. All quite different, as you can see. 4. Why did you decide to self-publish? We had interest in Crane early on from a prominent literary agent but she felt there was a problem in having a child as a central character in a book for adults (difficult marketing, they said) and wanted us to recast it for children. We did have a go, but our hearts weren’t in it. Writing is Easy was shortlisted for a Varuna Publisher Fellowship and was read by another publisher, but wasn’t taken up. We have a lot of confidence in our writing. We know it doesn’t have a mass market but we do think it has one. The novelist Dorothy Johnston told us about the ASA Authors Unlimited program, where they convert the book to e-formats for a reasonable price and put it up for sale on their website. Then you can get a distributor to put it out to Amazon, Kobo and so on. We decided to go for it, wanting to have a book out there that might create a taste for Gert’s writing 5. What is the hardest about self-publishing? Getting your book noticed in the mountain of other self-published books! There’s a huge learning curve involved in trying to do that. But the positive side is that we could put out the book exactly as we wanted it.
You can read the rest of this interview at http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/gert-loveday-interview/
Meek Dr Frank Owlbrother takes on feral Oldies, political skulduggery, a sinister Russian professor and the seductions of reality TV in a quest worthy of his Norse saga hero Hauskuld Priest of Whiteness.
Dr Crane: Visionary. Pigeon expert. Philanthropist. Cake lover. Crane Mansions has been his home since childhood. But there are forces outside his control, all desperate to uncover the secrets surrounding his world. Why is he so taken with the foundling Millie Lord, and who is Millie really? Will Millie's past catch up with her, and can she escape it? And what about a lovely slice of cake?