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In which I try to sound impressive and/or charming.

Hi! I’m Kaz. Formerly Karen. Well, I’m still Karen, but in 2018 I decided to start going by Kaz professionally because it’s more interesting, more memorable, and because I was ready to move on from my old website, Untamed Writing, but wasn’t available. Also it’s a way better name for a sci-fi author, which bodes well for all these half-finished apocalyptic novels on my harddrive.

In 2012, after a few years of travel (Alaska to Peru) funded by minimum wage jobs, I set out to become a freelance writer, armed with a dusty First Class degree in Journalism and the wide-eyed optimism only somebody who has not yet hit 30 can possess.

I started off cranking out meaningless SEO articles for £5 a pop, and worked my way up to writing sponsored content for the Guardian, summary reports to be debated in Scottish Parliament, accessible reports for the University of Stirling, website copy for Manchester Art Gallery, case studies for the Energy Saving Trust, and magazines and brochures for Foundation Scotland – to name a few.

While helping other organisations grow, I also grew my own business. I created courses and workshops to help people write better, more effective sales and website copy, and to get started as freelance writers themselves. On top of that, I built up a newsletter about the messy reality of life and work as a writer, which commonly sees open rates of over 60% and clickthrough rates of around 10%, and garners comments like ‘holy shit, you are just so cool’ and ‘thanks for consistently putting good shit in my inbox’ and some other things that do not contain the word shit.

In 2017, after a few years of living as a digital nomad, I moved into a bright and airy two-bed flat in Edinburgh, and I’m still here today. I spend my mornings writing, my afternoons marketing, and my evenings investigating how long it would take for everything to shut down and fall into decay if the end times were upon us. For, uh… research.

Interviews, accolades, that kinda thing.

Here’s a list of random facts about me. You’re welcome.

  • I don’t have a cat or a favourite biscuit, I’m not a coffee addict, and I haven’t dreamed of being a writer ever since I first picked up a pen at age 5.
  • When Kindles were relatively new, I asked Margaret Atwood to sign mine. She looked at me with a mixture of curiosity and disdain (I assume) before doing it.
  • I’m a 7w8 on the Enneagram. Or possibly an 8w7. And an ENTP. What do you mean you don’t care?
  • I once gave a lecture about copywriting at Edinburgh College, during which I argued (healthily debated) with the students about the importance of words.
  • When I was little, I promised myself I would never break a bone, have kids, or eat lamb or rabbit. Only one of those promises remains intact.
  • In my mid-20s I went through an extreme minimalism phase, and I still regret getting rid of my books. It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself ‘it’s the experience that matters’. Sigh.
  • I keep open tins of food in the fridge without decanting them into plastic containers, and that’s just one example of how I live life on the edge.
  • My favourite book genres are sci-fi, fantasy, literary fiction, travel writing, and memoir.
  • I’m a huge nerd for video games, comics, anime, and Dungeons and Dragons.
  • I prefer to roleplay as rogues and renegades in games, I absolutely refuse to ever do a paragon run in Mass Effect, and I realise this sentence will be meaningless to 97% of people.
  • I like to think I would survive the first wave of a zombie outbreak, but I’m notoriously bad at keeping my kitchen cupboards stocked, soooo… probably not, actually?

Whew. That was a lot. Was that a lot?

If you want more of that, you might like my newsletter, Clattermouth. In it, I get deep about my life and work as a writer.

If you want less of that, may I recommend this Buster Sword fanfiction I wrote before I knew how to punctuate dialogue. It’s a romance.