Gingerbread gummies jelly soufflé biscuit sugar plum sweet powder. Toffee soufflé croissant gummies cotton candy liquorice. Dessert fruitcake chocolate bar jelly-o danish apple pie pastry. Brownie jelly beans cupcake bonbon tootsie roll sweet roll wafer. Read more
Chocolate chocolate cake caramels jujubes cake fruitcake liquorice. Gummies cotton candy sweet biscuit. Jelly beans tart pastry wafer. Marzipan marshmallow cake danish powder pie lemon drops applicake. Pudding jujubes candy sesame snaps gingerbread candy croissant chocolate cake tiramisu. Ice cream jelly-o tootsie roll croissant tootsie roll. Pastry danish marshmallow. Read more
I was asked by the lovely Wendy Davis, administrator of the @WeBundaberg twitter site if I would be a guest tweeter/twitterer for this week. I agreed, and so needed a quick instructional course on how to send a tweet etc without causing havoc. Thank heavens my daughter-in-law, author Cheryse Durrant, is a big twitter fan and although I already had a twitter account and tweeted occasionally, I felt I needed more knowledge.
By the way, check out Cheryse’s website to see how to win an exquisite, one-of-a-kind necklace and heart bracelet.
Although I didn’t choose to live in Bundaberg – my husband was transferred here many years ago – I love the place, particularly the coastal areas. I’m a water baby – love the ocean in all its changing moods. Today it’s like glass and so clear and clean I’m sure I would be able to see right to the bottom if I swam out 100m. When we lived in town I would go for walks in the cemetery near where we lived and loved watching the fantastic sunsets and reading the headstones. The saddest area was the graves of the children who died in the diptheria epidemic, and the old section revealed tragedies and heartbreak like that of one woman whose five children died within two to five months of being born. In those days there was no way to find genetic problems that today would be diagnosed fairly easily. I was saddened to think of her grief as each successive child succumbed to a disease or disorder that today might be preventable.
Now we live on the coast just outside Bundy and it’s a fabulous strip of coastline from Burnett Heads in the north to Elliot Heads in the south. Mon Repos has the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and it’s wonderful to see these ancient creatures lumber ashore and laboriously dig their nests. I know the rangers will tell you that the turtles aren’t really crying, they are simply secreting water to wash the salt from their eyes, but I’ve given birth, I know what it’s like – they deserve to cry real tears 🙂
A few days after I’d taken Sydney friends and our eldest grandson to see the turtles nesting, we went to Rifle Range Beach near where we live for a swim. It was 10.30am, and an outgoing tide, and what did we find? A turtle who’d come up on the wrong side of the bay where the high parts of the beach were only rocks and she was struggling to get to higher ground to dig her nest. Unfortunately it was impossible, and then she became stuck on a fallen tree branch. Several men lifted her free and turned her around to go back into the water. During several late afternoon walks we saw turtles laying their eggs but we haven’t been lucky enough to be there when hatchlings emerged. Maybe next year.
Welcome to ThemGrill Demo. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
The lovely Kaz Delaney was a victim, and when she cried out for other victims, of course we all put our hands up like sheep happy to be led to the shearing shed on a Outback summer’s day. Or maybe a Melbourne heat wave. Authors are like that – happy to blog about their writing and other author’s books and when we get ‘tagged’ there’s rarely a word of protest.
Amanda Ashby tagged me. Amanda is the delightfully zany author of YA books like Demonosity and Fairy Bad Day. Amanda was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally moved back and now lives on the Sunshine Coast.
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Hand Me at Halo, was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, and her first young adult book, Zombie Queen of Newbury High, was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Her latest release, Fairy Bad Day, has been selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and was a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region.
So thanks, Amanda, for the tag. Well, that was my initial reaction when asked, but then I had to think about my answers to the four questions in the tag and I nearly rescinded my effusive gratitude (just kidding, Amanda, and yes, I am winking)
Q1 What am I working on?
I think my head must be in several different places lately, because I can’t decide if I should keep writing the next women’s fiction or the rural romance I started last month. The women’s fiction is the next book on from Murder, Mayhem and Menopause (which hasn’t found a publishing home as yet), and continues the lives of Ellie, Cass and Kandy, women in the prime of their lives (sounds better than mature-age protagonists, doesn’t it J) and their families and friends. I always like to give my work-in-progress a title, but Conceptions and Misconceptions, which is the working title of book two, doesn’t float my boat, even though it accurately describes some of the story.
The rural romance is still in the Chapter Two phase and is on hold while life intervenes.
Speaking of intervening, the edits on my seventh romantic thriller, Grievous Harm, have just landed in my in-box. Not too much to do, but I have to find/make the time. Not easy when I’m organising the Bundaberg writers festival, WriteFest, and helping some family members at the same time. Ah, well, you know what they say about asking a busy person…
My eighth romantic thriller is still in the embryonic stage, with my subconscious mind trying to cement the many scenarios I’ve thrown into the cauldron into something that resembles a cohesive plot.
“Cauldron” you ask? I’ve always thought a writer’s mind is a bit like Macbeth’s witches cauldron where all the ideas and snippets of information go and get stirred around and around and finally spill out and become a full story with living, breathing characters (well, they are that way to the writer, and hopefully to the reader).
Q2 How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I think all writers put their own stamp on the stories they write, and I think my stamp would be the pacing and tension. As one reviewer said, “It’s like reading Matthew Reilly with romance”. I prefer not to read books that take ages to get to the next plot or character turning point or wax lyrical about fashions or floor coverings or describe the scenery in minute detail as I’m a firm believer in what Graeme Green said – “character is plot”. So I like to read books that get right into the guts of characters and keep me interested in them, as well as having a great plot that hooks me.
Q3 Why do I write what I write?
See the answer to Q2. Okay, it’s not quite as simple as that. I grew up reading every book I could get my hands on, but the ones that really grabbed me were the action-adventure kind. I read every Alistair McLean, Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum etc book, but I found it frustrating that the female characters had only minor roles, or if they were a main character they would inevitably come to a dire end and the hero would carry on without them. Ken Follett’s The Eye of the Needle was an exception, with a resourceful heroine, and I loved the Modesty Blaise novels. So I guess it was inevitable that when I gave in to my overwhelming compulsion to write, thrillers with great heroes and heroines who could match their courage and daring would be my choice of genre. And falling in love while facing all that danger was definitely the way to go.
Q4 How does my writing process work?
There’s a process? I’ve heard about it, and I’m sure it’s not a rumour because I have friends who have one, but no amount of trying has enabled me to master the “sit my backside on the office seat at a certain time and write to a certain time and then have lunch etc, etc.” scenario.
But wait, that’s a writing routine, isn’t it. A process … Well, I guess it’s that I’m always gathering ideas for plots and characters and locations every minute I’m awake. I try to write them down as soon as I can (yes, there’s a pad and pen beside my bed), and sometimes I write a basic outline of the plot. I fill in character sheets for my main characters and some minor ones. It’s a great way of getting to know them, particularly the part that addresses their family and childhood as we are a product of our environment as much as our genes. The character sheet also acts as a continuity check, especially if it’s for a minor character whose eyes were green in chapter two but by chapter ten I can’t remember if I’d changed them to blue or blue-green.
I’m one of those terrible writers who can’t seem to turn off their internal editor and when I start writing each day (or on those days when I can find the time) I re-read what I last wrote and tweak anything that needs it. I also can’t seem to keep writing if something needs fixing – I have to fix it. Anal, I know, but it also means that I do few re-writes before I give it to my beta readers.
Grammar, spelling, punctuation – can’t help myself, I was an English A+ and treasured my writing bible, the ABC of English Usage. One day I think I will go ballistic if I see another incorrect apostrophe – don’t people know the difference between possessive and plural? Ooops, there I go, being anal again …
And now to introduce the next three
victims willing and enthusiastic authors who have been tagged and will be blogging next Monday:
Best-selling author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
Scott Baker is a film-maker who has recently returned from middle earth, working with Peter Jackson on his epic trilogy – ‘The Hobbit.’
From a young age, Scott was a storyteller, making up elaborate reasons why he wasn’t able to tidy his room when confronted by a sceptical mother. Scott moved from Yorkshire England to the blue mountains of NSW when he was three years old. He grew up learning martial arts, reading fantasy novels and watching movies at every opportunity. He spent his youth playing sports designing elaborate stories to shift the blame for anything that was done wrong onto his older brother.
He studied TV and film production at university, and worked as a consultant in the film industry before lecturing at the Australian National University in digital video. He moved to Canberra to train in the sport of Taekwondo with sights set on the 2004 Olympics, but injury would keep him out of the selections.
‘The Rule of Knowledge’ is Scott’s first novel. He is currently working on the development of two feature films and his second novel. He lives somewhere on the highway between Sydney and Canberra in a little red Hyundi Excel….
Heather Garside grew up on a cattle property in Central Queensland and now lives with her husband on a beef and grain farm in the same area. She has two adult children.
She has previously published three historical romances and has helped to write and produce several compilations of short stories and local histories. The Cornstalk was a finalist in the 2008 Booksellers’ Best Award, Long Historical category, for romance books published in the USA. Her rural romance, Breakaway Creek, was a finalist in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program and is now published by Clan Destine Press.
She works part time at the local library, at home on the farm and helps produce a local monthly newsletter, amongst other voluntary activities.
On the last (Sir) Michael Parkinson Show, he interviewed actor Sir Michael Caine and asked him for advice on acting and why he was so successful.
Michael Caine replied that the audience could tell if you were just saying your lines and then thinking about what you had to say next while you waited for the other person to say their lines. He said you had to listen to what the other actor was saying. “You must react to them,” he said.
This could be interpreted as being the same for writing. The author must be involved with the story and the characters to the extent that she/he reacts as her characters would as she writes. If she doesn’t feel what her characters are feeling, if she’s not gripped by the scene unfolding under her fingertips, then her story and her characters will not ring true and will not capture her reader’s interest.