I've been studying over summer in a (possibly ill-advised) attempt to get my Masters faster, and on top of that, I've been working extra shifts at the day job, which as you may imagine, does not leave a lot of time for writing. I am slowly getting back on track with the manuscript for my second novel (and third book, I suppose, now that Well-Behaved Women is out in the world), which is an historical novel set in Subiaco around the time of World War One. We're slowly trying to become morning people in our household, so writing time now happens before work, and sometimes even before 7am, where previously it happened around 8.30 at night and the struggle was trying to write enough before the fatigue kicked in. I'm finding that because I am writing early, my inner critic is not completely awake yet which is proving to be very helpful for getting the words down.
Recently I read somewhere that Joe Abercrombie does a targeted multi-draft approach when he is writing a new book-- the first draft is the ideas draft, then he goes back and focuses on character, and then finally he goes back and focuses on plot (I think that's the correct order...) I'm trying out this approach myself and am doing the character draft. I might have to add in a fourth version though as I will need to do a draft where I focus on incorporating research, historical atmosphere and accuracy.
Still would be fewer drafts than I've done on Between the Sleepers!
Speaking of which, I recently came up with a new idea for how to fix the opening of that novel, so I expect to be working on that later this year and then sending it out on submission...
I participated in the #AuthorsforFireys auction this January, where Australian authors, publishers and other book professionals raffled off items raising money for the CFA and other organisations needing help in the wake of the devastating bushfires affecting our country. I decided to raffle off not only a signed copy of Well-Behaved Women but also a hand made scarf, which I'm now knitting as fast as I can so I can send it off to my generous highest bidder, who donated $312 to the CFA. It was really empowering to participate in the initiative and I am grateful to YA authors Emily Gale and Nova Weetman who spearheaded the whole thing and worked tirelessly to keep everything going smoothly. I think the last tally they tweeted about said that we had managed to raise $500 000 -- who said the arts don't matter?!
|Photo by Jess Wyld|
Finally, the Perth Festival Literature and Ideas Festival program was launched last week and guess who is on it! (Well, Neil Gaiman, Bruce Pascoe, Matt Okine, Julia Phillips, Holden Sheppard.... But also ME!) I'll be appearing at two sessions-- the first on Saturday at 1.15 pm in the Tropical Grove where I'll be reading you a story, and the second on Sunday at 3.30pm in the Alexander Lecture Theatre, in conversation with Michelle Johnston. Yes, if you come to my session, you can't go and see Neil Gaiman... but Neil is sold out anyway, so that's hardly my fault! Please do come and listen to one of those sessions, I'd love to see some friendly faces in the audience and have a chat with you all. I'll even sign books for you. Not going to lie, I am very excited about being on the other side of the signing table!
That's it for me, this made for a lovely distraction from getting ready for work but I must get back to it. I'll be updating my list of WBW events very soon so if you can't make it to the festival and you haven't come to an event yet, or you'd like to come to another one, stay tuned.
Happy reading, in the meantime, and thanks for all your support in the first two months of my book being out in the world. You are all the best.