Thursday, 8 February 2018

CWD Member Interview - Linsey Painter

Each Thursday in 2018 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.

Today interview: Linsey Painter

Beautiful beach in Indonesia

Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.

I am a child of God, a mum to two rambunctious boys and wife to a wonderful husband.

Where I come from is a bit of a complicated question to answer. J I kind of do life on the move. I was born in Melbourne, I grew up in West Papua, Indonesia and I’ve lived in Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea and Cairns.
Each place I have lived, has contributed to making me who I am.

Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc).  What do you write and why?

I primarily write for young people. I love kids books. When I was growing up, reading was a safety net for me, it was a place I could disappear and feel safe and secure. I want to write books that will help kids when life gets tough, that will open their eyes to other worlds and write books that will be their friends.

Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?

Friends and family and kids of friends have read my work as well as other adults around the globe. I would like my work to reach whoever it needs to. I still turn to kids books as my first love in reading and I’m thirty-six, so I’m more than happy for whoever at whatever age to read my work.

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?

My workspace

I’m a pantzer. I get an idea and I write. I skip all over the book and write a chapter in the beginning, then I’ll write the ending, then I’ll start filling in the middle bits. I do get to a stage where I need to do lots of mapping and looking at my structure and plot.
It’s usually a huge mess for a long time but I’m learning that ‘mess leads to clarity’ so there’s hope.
Music helps me a lot. I get so much inspiration from listening to songs. Also, going outside and being inspired by nature is amazing.
I have a lot notebooks because I love to actually write on paper. The majority of my work goes straight onto the computer but I doodle and draw pictures and write down tid-bits, dialogue and even whole chapters into my notebooks.

Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?

Hmmm, this is a bit of a hard one for me to pin down. I really love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. It reminded me that writing is not all about getting published. It’s a gift to be shared in lots of different ways.
Libby Gleeson’s Writing Hannah is a fun, practical look at writing for kids.
I also loved Katherine Paterson’s The InvisibleChild. It is actually different papers she’s written and talks that she gave over the years about her experiences and what she's learned through reading and writing children's books.

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?

I will give a shout out to my amazing Sci-Fi/Fantasy Skype group that meets once a month. Jeanette O’Hagan, Adam David Collings, Raelene Purtill and Catriona McKeown. They have been such an incredible encouragement for me being such a newbie to writing. Their wisdom, experience and generosity in sharing has taught me so much. Thanks guys!

Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?

I have quite a number of things that I want to finish off. This interview was one of them—tick! I'm working on a couple of short stories that I would like to finish off with a view to submitting them to anthologies. I'm also writing a fantasy series. My goal this year is to write the second book in the series, so I’ll keep plugging away at.
We’re having an interestingly disruptive year. We’re heading off to Africa for about six months. So, that will influence not only how much I get done but also what I write. I’m excited to see what impact it will have on the stories that I am working on at the moment and what new concepts I might come up with.


Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?

I write from a Christian worldview though not necessarily for the Christian market. So my faith saturates what I write. I want to write in a way that glorifies and honours God. I want to write to have a deep impact. I want to write in a way that the reader is distracted by what’s at the front door while the truth slips in through the side window.

Linsey Painter loves to write stories that draw on her rich heritage of growing up overseas. Her children’s stories focus on growing young hearts, challenging assumptions and exploring courage in the face of life’s difficulties.
Linsey’s books are drawn from real life and imaginative fantasy adventures. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect and sometimes we need to be brave and find out how to love and trust again.
Through her books Linsey shows that joy and beauty are everywhere even when life is difficult.
Linsey lives in Cairns with her husband and two lively boys.
You can find information about Linsey on her website or follow her on facebook or twitter


  1. That was lovely Linsey. Your answer to the first question is just the way I'd have worded it too. :) Sounds like an exciting year for you including 6 months in Africa. Wow! There's something out of the ordinary! I'm sure you will get lots of stories out of the experience. Loved the pic of your writing space and also the beautiful beach in Indonesia. All the best with your writing adventures in 2018 Linsey and your real life adventures too.

    1. Hi Anusha, thank you so much for your encouragement. We are really excited about this amazing opportunity! It will be interesting to see where it might lead writing wise.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Linsey. I've been reading a lot more kids' book lately because I volunteer with the Pyjama Foundation, working with a girl in foster care once a week. She was six when we started and has just turned ten, so we've moved from picture books to chapter books. I've really loved some of them. So good luck with the ones you're writing. Good books can set kids up for a great learning experience and help them with all sorts of issues. The trip to Africa should be a great experience. Hopefully I'll make it to the Skype group more this year.

    1. Hi Nola, thank you for your lovely comments. Books are really amazing. I've never hear of the Pyjama Foundation sounds like a great opportunity to help kids grow provide stability. We'd love to see you on skype. I'm hoping to continue with it from Africa, we'll see :)

  3. Really enjoyed reading your interview, Linsey, And wow--imagine moving to Africa for six months--what a wonderful adventure! No doubt it will also bring you a treasure trove of new ideas for your writing.

    1. Thanks Jo-Anne, I am hoping that our trip will stimulate more creative writing. It will certainly be an adventure whatever happens.

  4. Enjoyed finding out more about your journey, Linsey :) And thanks for leading the Skype group chats. Have a wonderful time in Africa.

    1. Thanks Jenny, it's lots of fun. I hope I can still be a part of it while we're away.