About Carmel McMurdo Audsley:
Carmel McMurdo Audsley is an Australian Author, Journalist and Editor who lives in Brisbane with her husband Iain. She has written four historical fiction novels set in Scotland from the seventeenth century through to the twentieth century. Her trilogy of novels about her ancestors who worked the land and toiled underground in the coal mines of Ayrshire, have drawn critical acclaim and emotional reactions from readers whose own families lived in similar circumstances. In 2015 she published The Undertaker set in 1858 in Edinburgh Scotland, about a young woman who inherits her father’s undertaking business. Her fifth historical novel set in Scotland and Australia, Conviction, will be published later in 2016. In a departure from her usual genre, the author was moved to write The Last Hurrah after a holiday on a cruise ship. Although the subject matter is sensitive, the author sees this novella as essentially a love story.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is an extension of who I am. I spent 30 years as a Journalist, Editor and Publisher in the newspaper and magazine industry and novel writing was a natural progression for me. As well as wanting to write, my readers inspire me to keep producing books.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write every day – not in a structured ‘I must write 10,000 words or I must write for five hours’ kind of way, but as inspiration strikes. I get a clear idea for a novel, and because my stories place fictional people into factual places, the next step is researching the time period. It is very important to get details correct and to make sure that the story flows. I have a large sheet of white paper on a wall in my office and all the characters, events dates, times and places are written there to keep me on track.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I become very familiar with all of my characters. For the period that I am writing about them, they become real people to me. I wonder what they would say or how they would react in certain situations. I need to know how they dressed and how they lived so I am living the story with them. Even when the novel is finished, I still regard the characters as friends.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t be in a rush to get published. Value your work and take the time to read as well as write. A good writer is an avid reader. Your story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end so that readers feel satisfied when they have finished reading the book. If you are a first-time writer, or someone who has a great idea but is having trouble getting it down on paper, just write what you feel then engage the services of a good editor. It will be worth your while.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I know the advice is ‘don’t send manuscripts to multiple publishers’ but I did and I had three publishers interested in my first book. The royalties they were offering were very small, but with my knowledge of the publishing industry I was able to negotiate a better rate with one of them by offering to do a lot of the promotional work myself. That way I have more control about the message that is being circulated. No one knows my books better than me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s wonderful that you can read a book anywhere on a electronic device, and you can download books for very little money, however, I don’t think hard copy books will ever be phased out. Look at vinyl records which were replaced by CDs, but they are now in vogue again. There is no comparison between having a gadget full of electronic books and a lovely library in your house. There is a wonderful feeling you get when you touch and smell a book.
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.