Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Emma Chapman has a lot to answer for.   I stayed up well into the night reading How To Be A Good Wife regularly muttering “You won’t believe this!” to an increasingly confused dog.  She then gave me the worst book hangover I've had in years – I couldn't think about anyone but Marta and Hector for weeks.  She screwed with my life and I love her for it.  I await her second novel in much the same way I anticipate my hip replacement: “Oh God I can’t wait!  Oh God the recovery time...”

Emma has invited me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Hop.  You can read Emma’s responses to the questions here.  My answers are as follows:

1.    What am I working on?

Who can say balls?  I've got a couple in the air.  First, I am busy editing my second novel due for publication with Allen & Unwin in February 2015.  It has one question at its heart: Does doing something monstrous make you a monster?  I refrain from answering this question myself as I refuse to judge my characters.  People do the best they can at any given time given their histories, hurts, and limitations.  And sometimes they mistake denial for strength.

Secondly, I am busy with the WIP which has a deadline of July 2014 (pause for maniacal publisher isn't reading this, right?)  This one is scheduled for publication with Allen & Unwin February 2016. This is a book which asks the question: What gives a person personhood? What defines us? Is it our ‘selves’ or our history, and what happens if our history is obliterated?

I have also had a sneak preview of the brand new German cover of Creepy & Maud (Fremantle Press, 2012) from Königskinder Verlag (Carlsen) in Hamburg, due for release later this year.

2.       How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s not cautious in its representation of people and their foibles and never underestimates the strength or intelligence of young adults.  Which is a nice way of saying I have been known to make some gatekeepers uncomfortable.    And by uncomfortable I mean some place on the outskirts of anxious travelling towards appalled.  I suppose I never forgot what it was like to be a young adult.

3.      Why do I write what I do?

Because I have to.  Because little people have set up shop in my head and are constantly whispering stories at me (I think there’s a medication for that...).  Because the minute you condescend to young adults, or try to moralize their experience, you lose them. 

4.      How does my writing process work?

Badly.  I am constantly distra...Oh look! – Something shiny!...

I don’t plan other than to hurriedly pause to scribble a post-it if something pops into my head mid-sentence which I think might be useful at a later point.  I then lose the post-its.  My desk looks like the inside of a skip bin colonized by cats.  When I sit down to write I set a word limit for myself which I really shouldn't do because it annoys the shit out of me.  I don’t move on to a new sentence until the sentence I’m working on is completely finished, scrutinized, torn apart and reconstructed.  I must have two things: absolute quiet and time.  If the neighbour starts mowing the lawn during the limited time I have to sit down and write it can make me homicidal.

So that’s me.  And now I’d like to invite some other writers to share their processes:

Robert Schofield is the author of Heist (Allen & Unwin, 2013) and the upcoming sequel Marble Bar (Allen & Unwin, 2014).  He makes me laugh and listens to me whinge.  Sometimes he says philosophical stuff at me.

Vikki Wakefield is the award winning author of All I EverWanted (Text, 2011) and Friday Brown (Text, 2013).  I love her books and I love the way her head works.

Rebecca Raisin is the author of contemporary romance and adventure.  She is enjoying crazy success with digital publications Christmas At The Gingerbread Café (Carina, 2013), Chocolate Dreams At TheGingerbread Café (Carina, 2014), The Heart of Bali (Escape, 2014), and Mexican Kimono, under the pseudonym Billie Jones (Really Blue Books, 2013). 

If you’d like to take part in this Blog Hop, get in touch with these wonderful people before they tag elsewhere!

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