Part 2 of our interview series in which we interview each other. Get to know the woman behind the words with this assortment of odd facts and startling insights into Kamina's mind. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll probably hate her a little bit. Did we mention it was odd?
M: Five things that made your childhood different to most people’s. GO GO GO!
K: 1. I was raised as a vegan from birth (still am). 2. I went to seven different schools; one year it would be, like, an independent school where kids were literally naked and the next year I was at a private school where you dressed like Madeline and got yelled at for wearing the wrong sports knickers. 3. I worked as a child actor in TV commercials, radio and random indie films. 4. I graduated from high school when I was 13 and went to uni. 5. For part of my childhood my mum worked at a Buddhist retreat and we lived there part-time in a hut with no electricity. We went to Dharma school instead of Sunday school and a monk took us camping.
Until you asked me, I had forgotten how weird that all was. And I had to stop at five.
M: You can read several novels a week, and you’ve read pretty much every book in our house and half the books in the library. How do you think that’s shaped your writing?
K: I think it’s given me a big frame of reference. Reading lets you live in other people’s worlds for a while. It gives you a window into other cultures and periods of history, and if you read enough material from a certain time and place, you start to get a feel for it. In my brain I have a big library of words and little turns of phrase that aren’t in common use where I’m from. I feel comfortable writing to different contexts, adjusting my language to suit the culture I’m speaking about or to. It’s made me a more flexible and expansive writer, I think.
M: Writing isn’t the only creative thing you’re interested in, is it?
K: I actually came to writing a bit later in life, but I’ve always been creative in other ways. I was one of those kids who did singing lessons and dancing lessons and piano lessons and went to holiday theatre workshops. I wanted to be a musical theatre star (and still do). At uni I studied acting and music while working as a piano teacher and a singer. Then for a while I had a food business and got really into creative cooking and cake decorating. I love making pretty food and one day I'll learn more about food styling.
M: It’s Saturday morning. You wake up, with nothing planned yet, and there’s a $100 note next to the bed. How do you enjoy your day?
K: Straight up I’d go to the gym and work so hard my legs want to fall off, then come home and have a sweet shaky-leg shower and put on pretty clothes. I’d spend a lazy morning with you, my love - drinking coffee or maybe going out for breakfast. In the afternoon I’d read until I fell asleep with a book on my face. When I woke up I’d put a record on, mix myself a negroni and spend about an hour doing my hair, painting red lipstick on and trying on all my clothes and throwing them on the bed. I’d go out with my friends for cheap Asian food and then back to somebody’s house to make cocktails. I’d probably have change from the $100 to be honest.
M: Okay, now it’s Monday morning, your time is your own, but this time, it’s ready to get productive! What do you do?
K: This is what my productive days actually look like: as soon as my feet hit the floor I’m on the way to the gym. (Sorry to be that person, but actually if I don’t exercise first thing, my brain doesn’t work properly.) I’ll go straight from there to running around - meeting with people, errands, whatever - back home and write all morning. Lunch, watch an episode of a TV show to give my brain a break. Work for a few more hours in the afternoon. I try to stop work for the day at dinner time and either chill out at home, or go out and do something fun around Brisbane.
M: Why do you choose to run a business built around listening to other people’s stories and writing about other people’s businesses?
K: Oh gosh. I’m just so INTERESTED in people’s things. The way I do life, business, friendships, is driven by my belief that everybody has something special to offer the world - something that nobody else can do because nobody else is you. That’s why I love giving people permission to have written content for their business that actually sounds like them. There might be heaps of other people in your niche offering similar services to you, but nobody will do it just the way you can. Helping people find their thing, find their voice, and unashamedly be themselves - that’s where the joy is for me.
M: What are three of the best things people have said about your writing?
K: Somebody called my blog, “hilarious and serious and empathetic and so, so honest in the most eloquent and beautiful ways.” I copy/pasted that one to remember!
Recent feedback from a client on their copy: "Arghghghghg I love it!!! Kamina, you're a superstar! How do you even do that?! Such a superpower."
I absolutely love it when a client says, “this sounds like me! This sounds like something I would have written!” Well, yeah. We did that on purpose!
I think the best response to my writing is when somebody tells me that they changed something about their lives because of what I wrote. A text from a friend or an email from a reader saying that they’re pursuing a passion because my writing changed their thinking - that’s magic for me.
M: What’s your dream writing project?
K: Within the scope of We Write You - it’s hard to define a ‘perfect client’ (apart from one who pays on time and is nice to me), because I’d find so many types of people interesting to work with. The real dream for me is just working with somebody who has something unique to offer the world, who is just starting out, and who will benefit from me telling them “hey, you're actually amazing. And here’s the amazing copy you deserve.” And from there they can take their thing into the world. That’s so exciting to me.
But to be honest, my dream writing project is when I get to write as myself. I'm currently working on about three different book ideas. If I could spend all day just spouting words that change things in people’s hearts, I’d be so happy.
M: If We Write You ceased to exist tomorrow, and someone gave you ten thousand dollars to start a new small business with me, what would it be?
K: Hard question! Ummmm…I think we’d both love blogging full-time. I think we could smash out a vegan lifestyle blog that people would want to read. We could travel around teaching workshops, like “How to be vegan without causing a scene or buying one of those coconut bowls.” I’d use the $10,000 on cute objects for food styling and plane tickets to instagrammable holiday locations.
I actually definitely already have one of those coconut bowls though.
M: Last question. If you could go to a dinner party with three people, alive or dead (well, in the fantasy, assume they’re all alive), who would they be? And more importantly… what would you take for dessert?
K: Hmmm…maybe L.M. Montgomery, Sarah Von Bargen and my friend Allie. I think they’d all get along and I’d really like an excuse to see Allie in person, since she lives on the other side of the world. I would obviously take The Best Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake in the World, which is a thing I invented.
Could Ryan Gosling come too though and just play some sweet jazz piano while we eat?
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