Most Thursdays in 2019 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: Hannah Currie
Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
I’m Hannah, I’m from Brisbane (born, raised, and still here ☺) and I’m mum to three amazing kids (and wife to a pretty cool husband too!).
Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
I write Young Adult Contemporary Christian Romance novels (aka YA princess books, which is way easier to say!).
As to why…short answer, because it’s what I love to read. Longer answer, because the YA age is such an incredible time of personal growth for people – they’re coming out from under their parents’ umbrellas and discovering who they really are and their own purpose in life. Add in the rules and expectations of royalty, a few tiaras, a bit (lot) of romance and I can’t think of anything I’d rather write more. Christian fiction – especially Robin Jones Gunn’s Christy Miller (and co) series – had a huge impact on my faith as a teen and if God could use my books to encourage and grow someone like Robin did me, I’d be absolutely stoked!
Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
Currently, those who’ve read it are family, a bunch of publishing professionals and editors (including Roseanna White and Dina Sleiman at my publisher, WhiteFire), and some authors who are endorsing it.
Who would I like to read it … everyone? ☺ Well, everyone who loves Christian romance or princess stories. The vast majority of my readers so far have been a decade or two (or three…) past the Young Adult age group, which is amazing because it thrills me that so many ages are loving it, but I’d really love for lots of young adults to fall in love with it too.
Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
Heart of a Royal (my debut novel) was actually a really different writing process to every other story I’ve written. Where usually I skip back and forth and write whichever scene is in my head at the time and take between 6-9 months (sometimes longer) to finish the first draft, with this story, I wrote it from start to finish in three months, sending a chapter a week to my teenaged sister to read like a serial story.
In general, my first drafts are very similar to the finished product because I edit a lot as I go. Once the first draft is finished, I’ll read through it a few more times, adding in more ‘atmosphere’ – description, setting, what’s going on between the words. I tend to forget them when I’m writing because I get so caught up in the dialogue!
My biggest challenge is turning off the inner editor so I can actually get words on paper. Doing word sprints has really helped with that. I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes and challenge myself to see how many words I can get written in that time.
Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?
A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction in which heaps of multi-published Christian authors - like Robin Jones Gunn and Jerry B Jenkins – share their advice on (surprise surprise) writing inspirational fiction. It was one of the first writing books I read and was so incredibly helpful in those early days, not only to read about their processes and passion for writing but to learn all about POV, Show v Tell and all those other writing terms you hear wherever you go. An amazing book and whether you’re starting out or have been on the journey for a while, one I’d highly recommend.
Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
Penny Morrison, author of all the Hey! books that my kids absolutely giggle themselves through every time we read them. There’s something so heart-overflowing about hearing your child laugh as you read together and these books always have them – and subsequently me – in stitches. Brilliant books, gorgeous photos and totally my kids’ humour. Keeper shelf forever. Thanks Penny!
Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2019/2020? How will you achieve them?
My writing goal for 2019 has been to do the absolute best I can do with releasing my debut book, Heart of a Royal, including connecting with readers in both the US and Australia through my social media accounts and newsletter. Also, to finish Book Two of the series (oh boy, did that main character misbehave! I think I have almost an entire book (definitely a long novella) of words and scenes cut from it because she wouldn’t do what she was told).
2020 is then all about finishing Book Three and starting the edit/release/launch process all over again for them.
Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
Like most Christian authors, so much of my faith and what God is teaching me comes out in my writing. In many ways, the characters’ stories are my story – of finding hope in dark places when life just seemed too much, of discovering that God will always be enough, of fighting anxiety and the pressure of expectations, of holding on to faith when God leads me through the impossible, of finding love in unexpected places and trusting that God has that in his hands too… Sure, the situations are different – I’m certainly not a princess or royal of any kind! – but the heart is the same. The journey. The challenges, hopes, doubts, prayers.
I don’t think I could leave faith out of my writing if I tried!
Aussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun.