Interview with Cecily Anne Paterson

When did you first start writing?
Really properly, about 8 years ago. I was asked to write a biography of a really interesting man who grew up as an orphan in Palestine in the second world war. He had no idea who he was or where he came from. He didn't even know his own birthday. I jumped at the chance and when they asked me how long I thought it would take, I said, "Oh, about 18 months." The next week I found out I was pregnant with my third baby, so I got it done in eight months.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To be entirely honest, it was rejection. And lots of it. There are a limited number of publishers in Australia and I touted Invisible to all of them and then waited months and months only to be told, "No thank you." It got as far as me being asked to make some changes with Penguin Books, but in the end they didn't want it either. So I thought, "I'd rather have it out being read than sitting on my computer," so I published it myself.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords made it possible for me to go everywhere and I'm absolutely grateful. What an incredible service and game changer for indie authors!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finishing! Next question.
What do your fans mean to you?
I get a huge buzz when people contact me and tell me that my book has changed their life in a good way. (Actually, I've never had anyone tell me it's changed their life in a bad way... suppose I should be grateful...) It makes me feel validated and useful and like I'm doing some good in the world. I don't take any of them for granted and I try to treat them well! Check out my facebook page if you don't believe me:
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm writing a story about Abby, a 12 year old who is going to find out that friendships can change! She's been Queen Bee for a few years but she's taken her friends for granted and is getting too big for her boots. Things get shaken up when a new girl arrives at school and Abby will have to work out what friendship is really all about. It's set in Kangaroo Valley, Australia, where I live so it's fun to imagine them in the actual places I know and love.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to enumerate. Jane Austen wins all the prizes of course. Other than that, Harper Lee, Vikram Seth, Lee Child, Rumer Godden (an oldie but a goodie) and my childhood fave, Enid Blyton. Yes, I loved her. I made it my life ambition when I was 10, to read all 400-odd books she wrote.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's more like I *have* to get out of bed to avoid the whining that would ensue if four young children's breakfast didn't get served to them at 6.30am. I am slightly inspired to get out at 6.15 to go for a walk and try to get rid of some of my tummy fat. Mostly though, I'd just like to ignore everyone and sleep for another two hours.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am not an interesting person. I cook for kids, clean up kids' messes, drop off kids, pick up kids, referee fights between kids and supervise kids' homework. Ideally I'd be sewing and reading and eating gourmet food that someone else has cooked for me and going for evening walks along the beach with my husband (with no kids involved.)
What is your writing process?
Sit, self-doubt, look at facebook, self-doubt, make a cup of tea, sit again, write a paragraph. Look at it. Write a bit more. Stretch. Look at facebook. Look back at the page and decide it's rubbish and that *No-one Is Ever Going To Read This* but then I keep writing because it's the only time I've got before I go pick up the kids from school.
How do you approach cover design?
Get someone else to do it. Specifically, my next door neighbour who is an *amazing* graphic artist and very very clever. Then pay her.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lots of non-fiction, recipe and health books, parenting books, leadership books and spiritual books. I also follow a few blogs every day. If I ever need a belly laugh, I go straight to which makes me practically go asthmatic from laughing. Every time.
Describe your desk
Big. Messy. Slightly cluttered. Oh, and there are crumbs and lego on it too. They are not my doing!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Pakistan, daughter of Australian workers. It was amazing and I loved it. Living there made me very aware of my surroundings and the different way people act, which has been really useful in writing descriptions and thinking about character development. Will I set a book in Pakistan? I don't know. Not yet, but maybe later.
Published 2013-08-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Being Jazmine (Invisible Series Book 3)
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 50,220. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Coming of age
Jazmine’s deaf. And she’s getting tired. Tired of having to try hard, tired of fitting in, tired of pretending to be like everyone else. When Jaz goes to deaf camp, a new world opens up to her. But when you leave one world and enter another, what happens to the people you leave behind? Which world will Jaz live in? Can she keep a foot in both? How will she figure out the best way to be Jazmine?
Charlie Franks is A-OK
Price: Free! Words: 59,390. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Humor
When you fall off your horse, it's hard to get back on. But this time, with everything on the line, Charlie's going to have to be brave.
破茧成蝶•隐形 (Invisible in Simplified Mandarin)
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 1,740. Language: Chinese (simplified). Published: April 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Inspirational
茉莉•克劳福德(Jazmine Crawford)不做决定,不做选择,也不交朋友。她只想着一件事:让自己隐形。对茉莉来说,比起承认自己的伤心痛苦,摘掉助听器,随波逐流,假装什么都没有发生来得更加简单。但是,当她开始专心于学校的校园剧,甚至和活泼的加比,爱吃巧克力的利亚姆成为朋友的时候,茉莉慢慢地走出自己封闭的壳。可是,她能勇敢地面对学校恶霸的欺凌吗?能够坚强地面对发生在她父亲身上的真相吗?
Invincible (Invisible 2)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,980. Language: Australian English. Published: March 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Adolescence, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
Finally, everything is going right for 13 year-old Jazmine Crawford. After years of being invisible, she’s making friends, talking to her mum and hanging out with Liam. But what happens when everyone around her changes? Will getting back in touch with her grandma help her cope or just make things worse? And who’s going to finally give arrogant Angela what she deserves?
Friendship. How It Works / How To Do It Better
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 30,730. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Friendship, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Relationships
Friendships should be easy, right? You like someone, they like you, you get on. End of story. But what happens when things don’t go like you think they should? Cecily Paterson takes an honest, practical and Christian look at friendships in this book. You’ll find answers to your most asked questions, tips on how to start conversations and a look at some of the notable friendships in the Bible.
I'm Sad and I Need Cake
Price: $11.99 USD. Words: 36,200. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Family
What do you say when your friend’s baby dies? What do you say when her second baby is tragically stillborn? Christian Authors Hannah Boland and Cecily Paterson wrote letters to each other for a year, beginning the month after Hannah’s second baby’s funeral. This correspondence is sometimes tragic, sometimes wry and often awkward, but is always honest and always looking for the way forward.
Love and Muddy Puddles
You set the price! Words: 65,750. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Chick Lit, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(5.00 from 1 review)
Crazy twins, a grumpy horse, and a boy next door. In all the chaos of her family's move to the country how will Coco find out who her real friends are?
Price: Free! Words: 58,890. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Chick Lit, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.60 from 5 reviews)
Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken