Meet the Writer – Elizabeth Kasmer

Every week I like to feature an Australian writer and illustrator in PASS IT ON.

The illustrators’ interviews, once they have been featured in the ezine, are uploaded onto this blog.

The writers that I’ve interviewed don’t have a blog of their own so I thought I might upload their interviews here. I won’t be able to go back to the beginning but I hope to fill this space with interesting insights into some of our wonderful writers.

So here we go, please meet….

Elizabeth Kasmer

This interview first appeared in PASS IN ON on Tuesday 21st March 2016 – issue 578


Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Brisbane but have also been fortunate enough to live in Denmark, Bendigo and PindiPindi, a tiny town in North Queensland. I currently live on the Sunshine Coast with my husband, three children, a dog and a snake. I have a B.A. in Humanities and a Graduate Diploma in Education.

When did you know that you were a writer?

For me, being a writer has less to do with words on paper and more to do with paying attention. The wonderful children’s writer Kate Di Camillo says on her website:It is the sacred duty of the writer to pay attention, to see the world

When did you first read your writing aloud or give it to someone to read and what was their reaction? How did it impact on you?

Sharing your work can be a daunting prospect for an aspiring writer but it is so important to get feedback from a trusted source. When I first picked up on the idea that I wanted to write I undertook two online courses followed by a three month mentorship with Nike Sulway. Nike’sresponses and feedback to my early work was always positive and constructive.There is no way I would have had the confidence to attempt a novel without it.

Did/do you have any writing heroes?

Anyone with the courage andtenacity to follow a writing project through to completion is a hero in my eyes.

What and when was your first acceptance? How did you feel?

My first acceptance was when I won the 2015 Emerging Queensland Writer — Manuscript Award. Part of the prizeincluded a contract with UQP. To say I was excited when I found out I had won this award would be an understatement.

What is your favourite genre to write? Why?

I didn’t set out to write YA but I find myself loving it more and more.

How long have you been writing? And what have you written?

My very first steps to becoming a published author started in 2012. I have written two picture books, a handful of short stories and one and a half novels.

Of your own work – do you have a favourite? Why is it your favourite?

My favourite would have to beBecoming Aurora.I cannot articulate how wonderful it feels to actually complete a project as huge and daunting asa novel.

What is your favourite genre to read? Why?

I love picture books and fantasy novels, literary fiction and everything in between.

But, if pushed, I would have to say that Australian YA is a particular favourite of mine.

Do you have a favourite author?

That’s a tough one! For children, I particularly love David Almond, Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Anna Fienberg, and heaps more!

Some excellent Australian YA writers to check out: Karen Foxlee, Claire Zorne, Margo Lanagan, Melina Marchetta, Marlee Jane Ward,Rebecca Lim and Nova Weetman.

Do you write full time?

It depends what you mean by full time. I help my husband run a home based business and run around after my three children. Somewhere in between, the writing happens.

Have you ever won an award/s or been shortlisted? What was it for?

Through the CYA competition I have placed second for Picture Books and first for YA.
Last year I was awarded Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award.

Do you participate in writing workshops as a student? Which ones were memorable?

The annual CYA Conference is always interesting and worthwhile. If you are an aspiring writer it is also a great place to network and make new friends.

I would also recommend The Novelists Boot Camp at the Queensland Writers Centre. This weekend course waspresented by the funny and informative Dr Kim Wilkins. If you are interested in learning how to plot and plan out your next novel, this is the course to take!

We all know that would be writers should read and write as much as possible – do you have any other advice?

Be patient, everything takes longer than you think.

Join or start your own critique group. Critique groups are a fantastic way to gain support, give and receive constructive feedback and share ideas. Learning how to critique is a fantastic skill that not onlyimproves your own writing/editing skills but is also a great way to help others.

How might people find you? Website, Blog, Facebook etc.

My webpage is: www.elizabethkasmer.com

Facebook — Elizabeth Kasmer

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