Posts Tagged ‘Kate Eltham’

If ever there were an occasion worth celebrating, it would have to be the birth of a book.

Novel writing is such a torturous exercise in delayed gratification.

The labour is elephantine, even for a relatively short, 53,000-word effort, like my latest offering.

Leonie and Marj

According to my diary, I started writing it on 22 March 2009.

I delivered the completed manuscript to my made-of-awesome publisher Leonie Tyle on 23 November last year.

Copy edits, courtesy of the redoubtable editing team of Rosie Fitzgibbon and Sarah Hazelton, were completed by Christmas.

First pages came through with proof readers’ comments, corrections and queries in February 2010.

By the 1st March, we had signed off on proof edits, the superb cover (by Geoff Kelly and Sandra Nobes), preliminary pages, acknowledgements, dedication and blurb.

While the book was off being printed, bound samples of the uncorrected proof were making their way into the hands of long-range media, booksellers and reviewers.

The first print run was boxed and delivered to bookstores at the end of June.

In July, exactly one year after my debut novel came out, my second novel hit the bookshelves in hundreds of bookstores around the country.

Me and Marj Kirkland at HHH launch

Last night, on 21st July, Marj Kirkland, National President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia launched it to a packed crowd at Coaldrake’s bookstore at Paddington Barracks in Brisbane.

Marj told them she had fallen in love with a twelve year old boy by the name of Henry Hoey Hobson.

She wasn’t the first – that distinction is mine – but I do hope she won’t be the last.

[A special thank you to the lovely Lynn Priestley of Zenquill for her fabulous photos of the launch.]

Being a writer makes a virtue of my bad habits. I was a shocking liar as a kid, but now that I’m an adult, I’m using my powers for good rather than evil.

Q. If that’s your virtue, what’s your secret vice?

A. Turkish Delight and writing something that makes me laugh or cry out loud. Now that’s addictive.

Q. How long did it take you to write your first novel Dust?

A. Way too long. I did everything wrong in the first draft and had to pull the whole thing apart and start again from scratch. It taught me a lot though and I hope never to make any of those 147 basic errors again.

Q. What was the motivation for writing your first novel?

A. Long story. I’ve devoted a whole page of my website to the answer so Click this link On writing Dust if you haven’t already. It’s for everyone who loves writing and loves their Dads.

Q. What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

A. Don’t give up after the first draft; the real writing starts with the rewrite. Write every day – the more you write, the better you get. Join organizations like the Queensland Writers Centre. Do courses, be prepared to learn from other writers and never be afraid to show people your work. QWC workshops I did with Veny Armanno, Kim Wilkins and Kate Eltham taught me things that I may never have been able to figure out for myself.

Q. Do you have a pet hate?

A. Advertising – it’s horrible that people are manipulated into wanting a whole heap of stuff they don’t need.

Q. Who are some of your favourite authors?

A. Peter Temple – he’s probably going to hate me saying this, but I just love all his early work, the Jack Irish novels, Iron Rose and Shooting Star – he just nails dialogue and the Australian vernacular. In YA, I am a big fan of Marcus Zusak and Melina Marchetta, and Karen Foxlee’s debut novel The Anatomy of Wings is just wonderful. Ditto the Mallory detective novels by US writer Carol O’Connell and the Jackson Brody novels by British writer Kate Atkinson.

Q. If you were an animal, what would you be?

A. I’m a fool for my dog, Huggy, but have to say that personally, I’m more of a cat – I have the requisite laziness, attention to personal hygiene and tendency to bite if rubbed up the wrong way!

Come in, make yourself at home and please feel free to potter around. I’m planning to add to this site over the coming months, with writing links and regular posts, so I would love any feedback.  You can also subscribe by clicking on the feed or email links  and you’ll receive updates whenever I post new material. So stay tuned and we’ll stay in touch…

PS A big thank you to Kate Eltham from the Queensland Writers Centre for running the workshop that helped produce this website. QWC rocks, so if you don’t already have a subscription, put one on your Xmas list now!