Posts Tagged ‘Nick Earls’

You know that old cliche “Never in my wildest dreams”?

Well, I never say that.

Because as we all know, good writers avoid cliches like the plague…and in my wildest dreams, I’m usually fighting a one-woman guerrilla war against Columbian drug lords, or facing down a serial killer threatening a library full of school children or –

OK, so I  like my dreams to have exciting plot lines. But I like to keep them real too….

So never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever write the following words….

I just made a list with David Malouf!


No, honestly, I did. Truly. I’m not even lying.

You can click here if you don’t believe me. And here.

And here.

See, I told you!

Thanks to the good folks from Book Links (QLD) and their brilliant Big Read idea, everyone will get a chance over the next few months to vote on their favourite Queensland book for young people.

I’m still giddy with excitement. Who would have thunk Henry Hoey Hobson and Dust would both get a guernsey?

The only problem with making a list with David Malouf, Nick Earls, Michael Gerard Bauer, and all those other incredibly talented writers, is that you can bet your bottom dollar that just about everyone will be voting for one of them.

So Mum, if you’re reading this, there’s one little thing I need you to do for me….

Just click on this link here … and let your conscience be your guide.

No pressure.

lots of love from your only daughter ever

Chrissy xx

As a newbie in the world of publishing, I enjoy hanging on the words of the wise, and spending time with older hands who are happy to roll back their sleeves and show me their scars.

I have learned much at the knee of Veny Armanno (QWC’s Year of the Novel), Kim Wilkins (Year of the Edit) and Nick Earls, whose generosity in inducting Brisbane’s debut authors into the world of publishing was stretched to capacity this year.

My education continues, online, following writer’s websites (a few of my  favourites are on the lower right of the screen), and in real life, at festivals, writer’s get-togethers, and through reading till my eyes bleed.

But almost everything I have learned as a writer, I have learned by writing and putting it out there.

I now have a discerning first reader who is capable of pinpointing what hasn’t made it onto the page (but needs to be there), and what clunks in the otherwise smooth action of my story.

Feedback may not be the hallelujah chorus of my dreams, but neither is it a direct thrust to the heart. It is certainly an opportunity to see my work through trusted, more objective, eyes.

When I scanned the initial response to my latest work, I had to admire my first reader’s ability to season praise with constructive criticism. She hit on a couple of niggling issues that I had pushed away during the writing process (things I probably hoped to get away with and didn’t.)

It reminded me of James Roy on the adverse comment in an otherwise favourable review: ‘That’s like saying you’ve got a beautiful baby, but it’s got big ears. Big deal. You’ve still got a beautiful baby.’

I’ll hang on to that thought while I’m doing my revisions.

I’ve got a beautiful baby … (but that’s not going to stop me pinning back those ears.) 😉

The spectre of Aussie literary blokes being transformed into all-American guys looms large on the Australian literary horizon.  Taps will become faucets; nappies, diapers; and even our dear old Mums will have to answer to Mom if the Productivity Commission isn’t made to see reason.

Its review of copyright restrictions on the parallel importation of books could make overseas versions of popular Australian books the only version we are able to purchase here.

Removing existing copyright protections guaranteeing that books must be published here within 30 days of their overseas release, would open the floodgates to overseas versions of Australian books, swamping a local industry that is already struggling with low profit margins and worsening economic conditions.

Readers, writers and the local publishing industry would all suffer.

Gone are the days when writers being published overseas merely had to contend with Americanization of our spelling.

High profile authors such as Nick Earls and Emily Rodda have gone public with their experiences of American publishers wanting to change everything from setting (the Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly being deemed unacceptable for an American audience) to vernacular (Aussie kids asking “Mom” for “cookies”) to omitting scenes (because they don’t “get” our humour).

As Nick Earls told the Productivity Commission: “..it’s important to us as a nation that we keep reading, seeing and hearing our own stories. Children need to grow up with access to Australian stories — stories that speak of places they know, in a language they know, and that validate the world they live in.”

Yet when I checked the Productivity Commission’s website today, only eighteen people have cared enough to comment. Yay for the likes of Kim Wilkins, Nick Earls, Sean Williams and Pamela Freeman. Boo hiss for the rest of us. Time to get our finger out [or you’ll be substituting an Americanism here].

I would love to see my own novel Dust, published overseas. Yes, I would struggle with any changes to the Australian vernacular that is so much a part of the voice, but I would accept that some changes are needed in order to be understood by an overseas readership.

However I could not accept that an internationalized version of my book could be the only one available to readers in my own country, in my own culture, in my own backyard. And I’m going tell that to the Productivity Commission before submissions close on 20 January.