I live on the west coast of Australia in the sprawling city of Perth and have been writing for three years. My favourite writers are Kristin Cashore, Robin Hobb, Trudi Canavan and Maria V. Snyder. I have an honours degree in psychology and counselling, enjoy road trips, gaming (Skyrim/Civilisation/Assassin’s Creed), music festivals (electronica), playing pool, yoga, bushwalking, and I gobble up anything fantasy-related. My favourite fantasy shows include Game of Thrones and Trueblood, and I’m currently reading Robin Hobb’s Blood of Dragons.
What inspires you to write?
People, possibilities, nature, wonder, life. Stories can be found everywhere and the world is not short on inspiration. Mostly, I have a rich internal world that developed from a young age. As a young girl I had an overactive imagination which I assuaged with making up stories and reading fairy-tales. I love knowledge, learning and working out how to fix things and I especially love problem solving.
I grew up reading Enid Blyton, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, John Marsden, Goosebumps, and many horror/vampire/fantasy books that I hid from my parents and read under the blankets by torchlight.
As an adult, people move me the most. I understand people extremely well and while studying honours in psychology, I took a test and obtained one of the highest scores of Emotional IQ scores that my professor had ever seen. I feel deeply connected to the emotions of others within a very short time, not in a spiritual sense, but in a sense of understand the motivations and mannerisms of people. I also adore human nature/spirit and love writing about hope and ambition in times of hopelessness.
I’m very philosophical and believe in fairness, equality and compassion. So when I write I tend to incorporate these themes into my stories and I explore the self as influenced by the society it exists in. I think we can all relate to each other on some level and I aim to write characters that my readers can understand well.
Tell us about your writing process.
There’s exciting about my process I think.
I recently bought myself a wonderful laptop that has given me freedom to write anywhere I want, but I still prefer sitting on my bed/couch, windows closed to block out suburban racket, ear plugs playing some form of sombre classical/violin music (or Imogen Heap, Muse, Evanescence, Ludovico Euinadi). I write a lot of heartfelt scenes, and the music helps to dunk me into an emotional frame of mind.
I have a steady writer schedule. I get up, have breakfast, shower (I have to make myself do this because it’s so tempting to just get straight into writing) and edit from 8am – 8pm. I have another job I work my own hours and I fit writing around that. I work in 45 minute sprints and allow myself 15 minutes per hour for breaks and doing chores. I have a very free life and my time is my own. Because of this I can write between 5000 – 7000 words a day, and edit at the same speed. I prefer deadlines and will work phenomenal hours over short stretches.
I’m a pantser, but I do brief outlines. I have a visual diary that I do sketches, writing and timelines in. I also search for images similar to what I see in my mind and save them as references while I’m writing. Because I write epic fantasy I need an inventory of prompters to remind me of what character looks like what, how a city is structured, how the country is divided into territories etc. I’ve drawn fantastical animals before, and spent days inventing the worlds I write in. It’s a very fun process that ignites childhood nostalgia.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’ve only really had one character who formed a strong presence in my mind, and that was Klawdia from Concealed Power and Bear Heart. I don’t talk to them, though, but I will play scenes out in my head before I write them. I can see everything in my minds eye and I just know my characters well before I even begin writing. I think that’s my particular strength, though.
What advice would you give other writers?
Lower your expectations and persevere.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The Ebook market grew around 2010 and publishing platforms for indies became available. Even though I’d known about it for some time, and read a lot, it was only after being thunderstruck with the idea of Concealed Power last year that I decided to publish. I found the KindleBoards Writer’s Cafe and decided to publish my first book.
I found a brilliant editor. Lynn at Red Adept Editing and through her a wonderful cover designer and formatter. I won’t ever look back.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
What an exciting time to be in publishing, not that I have anything to compare it to. Right now, I can get on my kindle, go to ‘Amazon search’ and find a free book by an indie author and read it. Immediately. And when I’m done it just sits on my kindle not taking up any room in my house or making clutter. I can recommend this book easily through social media, write a review, and then search everything else that author has.
Consumers of literature have so many options now. Even though I hear so many indies saying that the ‘golden times’ to make money from ebook publishing are over, I think that’s rubbish. It might take longer to build up a platform, it might be harder to get discovered, but if you commit and dedicate yourself to producing quality books and interacting with your readers I am certain you can build up a loyal fanbase. Don’t listen to naysayers and don’t be discouraged.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Teen, Coming of Age Fantasy,
What formats are your books in?