Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
1) I grew up on a farm on Queensland’s Darling Downs. As such, I spent a lot of time fencing, horse riding and handling cattle as a girl.
2) As a young reader, I loved animals, especially horses. Many of the books I read for years were horsey stories, both fiction and non-fiction. (And I still love a good horsey story, like those by CWD members Cecily Anne Paterson and Jenny Glazebrook.)
3) As a young person, my career goal was to either become a vet or a professional musician. I did neither of these.
Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
My interest in writing stems from being raised in a family that valued stories. Presently, I’m primarily writing young adult novels, and have published a technical thriller YA trilogy (Blaine Colton trilogy). Many years ago I was focussed more on writing historical fiction and I also write poetry. My coming release, Porcelain Dream, a time-slip YA science fantasy, brings together the historical and YA genres.
Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
My YA novels have a fairly broad readership, but the scientific elements tend to attract readers who have an interest in sci-fi. It's probably useful to note I write near science fiction, so my stories are written in the real world, in Australia, and the technology seems like it could be feasible in our current age. (Based on the 'What if science could?' premise, some readers expect something quite different.) I aim for a target age of 13+ though the youngest readers I know of are 11 and the most mature 'young adult' reader I know of is 98. 😊 As any author can attest, the best compliment is when a reader contacts you to say how much they loved your work, and to ask when the next book is being released. My aim is to share my stories with a broader readership, and I’m currently working through a variety of online features via my blog to showcase the different aspects of my novels.
Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
I used to say a lack of quality writing time was the greatest challenge to my creative process, but lately I’ve had a great deal happening in my world. My head is overflowing with many things, few to do with writing, and when I do get those mini-writing opportunities, it’s much harder to generate purposeful creative thought to make the most of those times. Just like any other area of life, writing is also subject to seasons of change (like this current one!). For this reason I think it’s important to have a flexible approach to writing, and even if you can’t get actual writing done for a few days … weeks … keep jotting down ideas and engaging the imagination in story development. That way when an opportunity does arrive to get writing, it’s much easier to get back on track.
Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?
I’ve read quite a number of quality writing craft books, and I found those by Writers Digest, Kate Grenville, James Scott Bell particularly good, but based on the conversations by other writers, there’s one book I’m SUPER keen to read: Story Genius by Lisa Cron.
Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
That’s a really hard question! There are so many amazing writers in CWD, with diverse gifts and writing styles. That said, if I were to base my criteria on the active encouragement and promotion of other writers, there are some stand out authors, including Jeanette O’Hagan, Anusha Atukorala and Nola Passmore. Not only are they talented writers, but these gorgeous humans also have a generous heart for seeing other writers succeed. I'd also love to give the 2017 Omega Writer's CALEB prize finalists a shout out. This names some fabulous writers and CWD members, including long term advocates of Australasian Christian writers (speaking of gorgeous humans seeking the success of other writers), Anne Hamilton and Ruth Bonetti. It's definitely worth checking out the authors in the 2017 prize finals. (Seriously, this shout out list could go on all day!)
Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?
2018 holds some exciting opportunities, including release of my next novel. Porcelain Dream, through Rhiza Press, is due out mid-year. It's been a long-term project, rewriting a story I penned over a decade ago. Much editing and revision has been needed, but it's been satisfying finally seeing the novel come together. There are also some exciting Omega Writers events in store: the Toowoomba Chapter Writer’s Retreat in May; the annual Omega writers conference in October; and the Omega Book Fair in March. I’m also hoping to attend another pop-culture festival as a stall holder with fantasy/sci-fi authors, Jeanette O’Hagan and Lynne Stringer. We had a blast at our first ever pop-culture event, it would be a shame to not make the effort again in 2018.
Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?Faith shapes our perception of the world, our values, and our responses to each situation we encounter in life. If a person is living out their faith, I think it’s impossible to separate those beliefs from who we are, even in our creative pursuits. Personally, my writing probes some pretty key issues of life, including self-worth, the value of life, bioethics, relationships, faith and more, and these perspectives are intrinsically informed by whatever belief system we hold. I try and put a face to these issues through my characters, and let the reader journey with them as they try and work out what they think/believe, and why.