Hi Jackie. Thanks for allowing me to visit. Here are the answers to some interesting questions about being a writer.
I’m still getting my head around the fact that I am a writer but I’ll try to be honest.
Q. Who is your favourite author and why?
A. Roald Dahl is mad-good because he takes unreasonable risks with his characters and plots. He also writes characters that you may not necessarily like, but you are deeply interested in. I’m totally mad about Charles Dickens, for his humour, humanity, and ability to weave complex tales with remarkable resolutions. Not everyone in Dickens’ tales is a winner but the outcome is always satisfying.
John Marsden for his wonderful dialogue and ability to get complex themes and characters into very small books. Patrick White because he writes a complex inner life and is fascinated by artists. Charles M Schulz because of the wonderful heartbreaking dynamic between his characters. I could go on…
Q. Some writers have a preferred writing schedule. Do you?
A. I am just going to say “yes”. But really, I write any time I can and I will simply bash away at it till it submits to the keys. I will sometimes write nothing, but on the other hand if I’m “on” I’ll write deep into the night, and if the urge is serious I’ll wake up at 3am jabbed by my muse and will have to go and write it down or I will not sleep. That usually lasts one to two hours. In general, I will write each and every day that I’m on a project, unless I’m visiting schools, which I love to do.
When I’m far away from home on a school visits I write even more than I normally would. I am the cook and do the washing, so sometimes it’s great just to be at the end of a pen or smashing away at a keyboard. I also love the energy I get working with young people and it tends to feed my writing.
Q. Do you have a favourite place to write?
A. Where I am right now, or in the country, or failing that, jump on my pushy and go into the National Gallery of Victoria where I am a member and write in the member’s rooms. It’s kind of arty, quiet and they have really good coffee. The bike ride helps get some oxygen into my brain. Oh, and planes. I always get something written when I’m on a plane. If you see some dude digging for his biro that’s rolled under your seat or is still scribbling away when the plane is landing it’ll probably be me. But I think being in Paris could work equally as well.
Q. When did you begin your writing journey?
A. My mum was an awesome storyteller. I always knew the power of a well-told tale. But also, when I was at high school I noted the startling power of our language. Shakespeare is probably called that because when I finally “got him” it was like a spear hitting me in the chest. He was so funny, so sad, and so daring with his characters. Like a wizard, Shakespeare seemed to smash words together like spells to create new and potent meanings.
The simplicity of the words in Peanuts is also not to be scoffed at. Schultz’ ability to evoke complex meaning in his very few words still dazzles me. Even with a dog that doesn’t talk.
Thanks so much Kevin – interesting indeed!
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