I have been tagged in a blog hop by Emma Chapman, author of breakaway hit, How to be a Good Wife. I first came across Emma's work at last year's Perth Writers Festival, and was immediately impressed by her ability to describe honestly and beautiful the human form. There are also other amazing things about Emma's writing that you too will discover if you read her book, which is available at all good bookstores.
Without further ado...
1) What am I working on now?
I'm currently in the middle of the eighth draft of my novel, Between the Sleepers, which I began when I was in Year 12 many moons ago. It's a historical coming of age novel set in Fremantle in the late 1930s, and follows a working class boy named Winston who meets and falls in love with a middle class darling who seems determined to lead him into a world of jazz, heartbreak and war.
2) How does my work differ from others in it's genre?
Well, I don't know how this applies to other books, but my writing has always been heavily influenced by modern music. I don't read a lot of poetry but when I listen to music I'm really only listening for great lyrics, the ones which crystallise feelings I've experienced but never been able to verbalise. The whole idea for the novel came from listening to an album called The Compound, by a band called Search/Rescue. The songs on that album seemed to be telling a story to me, and I wrote down what I thought might happen in each chapter if that album was a book, and that was my original chapter plan. It's changed so much since then though... for a start, in the original plan, my female lead character was the victim of an unsolved murder. Then I remembered how much I love historical romances.
3) Why do I write what I do?
People always say that I should write the book that I would most like to read, so I strive for that. But what impresses me most about the books I love is that I feel I never in a million years could be that good. So it's a constant reaching process. Maybe I'll never get there. Or maybe I'll be Margaret Atwood when I grow up like I've started saying I'd like to be.
I'm also fascinated by relationships. I use writing to explore the ins and outs of them.
4) What is my writing process?
I show up at the desk and I write. Usually it's on a laptop, but sometimes I write things by hand in my journal. I always keep a journal and it goes with me everywhere, even when I don't write in it for weeks. When I finish a novel, I put it away for a while, and then come back, print it, read it as if I had never written it, mark up the changes I want, and start over. I type the whole thing out again from the marked up copy, diverging from the text when there are changes to be made. And then I start again. While I'm doing this, I'm reading constantly.
Hope you find this interesting! I certainly enjoy reading about other people's writing processes....
I have been asked to tag three people at the end of this post, and I have selected:
1) Kristen Levitzke
2) Louise Allan
3) Iris Lavell
These three talented ladies are all members of local writing groups, champions of independent bookstores, and authors to watch.
Check out their answers next week!