A Day in the Life of a Writer: Kaneana May

If you’re new to this blog series, you can catch up on all the authors by clicking here.

With her 2019 debut novel, The One, seeing such success already, I’m sure Aussie author Kaneana May needs no introduction.

I first had contact with Kaneana last year when she contacted me to help build her website. From our first chat, I knew we clicked. And I knew she was going to see success with her first novel. We have kept in touch over social media and was thrilled to watch her progress as she had her first novel published. I was even more thrilled to meet Kaneana in person at the RWA conference back in August.

So please welcome Kaneana to the blog, and let’s see what a day in her writing life looks like.

A Day in the Life of Kaneana May

When I started writing the ‘The One’, I had a 5.5-year-old, a 2.5-year-old and a 5-month-old, so I wrote whenever I got the tiniest bit of time. During ‘quiet’ time for the kids, I would ignore all housework and often have a babe sleeping in my arms as I wrote. I’d also write some nights (before collapsing in a heap).

My days are now more dignified. This year I have gained two days between 9-3 to write. I try to get as much done as I can in this time. One of these days typically looks like:

5.30am – Alarm goes off. Most days I do some form of exercise; bootcamp, metapower, a run or just a walk with the dog.

6.45am – Back home to make breakfasts, school lunches, put washing on and get all the kids ready for their day of school. This is all done with a cup of tea in hand.

8.30am – Preschool/School drop off. This could be much quicker than it is, but I’m a bit of a chatterbox, so it always takes much longer than it should.

9am – Hopefully I’m back at my desk with my breakfast. I usually start with emails/admin/social media. Recently I’ve had a lot of publicity correspondence to get through. I try to get through admin as quickly as possible, as I find it can easily chew through the entire morning.

10.30am – Coffee, plus writing.

11am – Second coffee, plus writing.

1pm – Lunch, plus writing.

2pm – Cup of tea, plus writing.

2.50pm – School pick up. I walk the block to school with Albus, our chocolate lab.  I could be back home by 3.05pm, but it’s usually closer to 3.30pm because, as above, I’m a chatter box and after a day with just me and my characters, I’m ready for more conversation!

3.30pm until 8pm*

– get afternoon tea for the kids

– unpack school bags

– get washing off the line

– rush kids to after school activities. 3 x kids = musical theatre/ basketball/ soccer/ swimming/ ballet/ jazz.

– make dinner

– clean kitchen (often listen to a podcast)

– cuddles on the lounge with the kids

– books with the kids; my husband and I usually divide and conquer.

*If opportunity allows, I listen to a writing podcast (my faves are ‘So you want to be a writer’, ‘Talking Aussie Books’, ‘Better Reading’, ‘Writes4Women’, ‘The First Time’, ‘Write with Love’… the list goes on!)

8pm – Once kids are all in bed, I celebrate with a cup of tea (and something yummy). I tackle social media and often more admin. Sometimes I write, but I’m often weary, so depending on whether I’m hooked on a show, or reading a page turner, I’ll watch telly or read a book.

10pm – Hopefully lights out for the night… but often get woken by a child (or the dog!)

Note: The above only works for 2 days of the week, so I have to try and make the most of it. Other days, I might get 90 minutes of regularly interrupted writing time with my youngest watching a movie in the same room. But she does like to tell me what’s happening on screen, what order she’s going to eat her food in, what character she’s being from the movie, what she’d like for her birthday … the list is endless!

The Hot 5

What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?

Quite simply, writing makes me feel happy. I love spending time with my characters. They always manage to put a smile on my face, give me butterflies in my stomach or have tears in my eyes.

There are definitely other perks of being a writer; ugg boots in winter, bare feet in summer, along with the flexibility of being able to work around our family needs.

Who are your favourite or most inspiring authors?

My first favourite author was Ann Martin. My love of reading started with her ‘The Babysitter’s Club’ series. I wrote her a letter and suggested she set a ‘super special’ in Australia. I was delighted when Ann wrote back to me, commending the idea.

There is currently an abundance of inspiring Australian female writers. I can’t possibly name only a few, but please check out my Instagram or Facebook page as I regularly post about all the books I’m reading and loving!

What’s the hardest thing about the writing process?

The days when the words just won’t come.

What’s your go-to food or drink during writing?

Coffee! And chocolate any time after lunch! (But I always have a bottle of water next to me and regularly check the fridge and pantry in case food has suddenly appeared).

What’s your number one tip for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! Believe in yourself and keep going. Make time for writing. Think about your stories when you’re washing up the dishes, vacuuming and when you’re in the shower. Do courses, go to writer’s festivals, join a writer’s group. All these things will help you craft your skills and keep your motivation up.

About Kaneana May

Kaneana May studied television production at university, graduating with first-class honours in Screenwriting. She went on to work in television, including roles as a script assistant on All Saints, a storyliner on Headland, and a script writer on Home and Away. Since becoming a mother, Kaneana has turned her attention to fiction writing. Her debut novel ‘The One’ will be published with Harlequin in July 2019. Her short story, ‘Living Rose’ will be published in the Underdog Anthology in March 2019 as part of the #LoveOzYA movement. Kaneana loves to read – mostly YA, romance and women’s fiction and also loves watching TV and Films. Writing, bootcamp, coffee, chocolate and champagne are just some of her favourite things. Kaneana lives on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales with her husband and three children.

Website: www.kaneanamay.com

Facebook: Kaneana May Writer

Instagram: @kaneanamaywriter

Purchase ‘The One’ from:

Booktopia

Audible

Apple Books

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