Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the south coast of Western Australia. There is an adventurous spirit in the air there: granite mountains, grey oceans, the promise of storms on the horizon. You can smell the need to explore. My father took us camping in remote settings often, where there was nothing but us, the old fishing hut we stayed in, the sand dunes, and the water. It was a wild place. In the evenings we would sit around and talk in the kitchen, laughing, telling jokes and stories. This definitely influenced my writing. Even just writing it down now takes me back to those days.
When did you first start writing?
I don't remember when I wasn't writing or telling a story. I think its more when I started telling stories, which was something I learned from my father. I grew up sharing "funny things that had happened that day". I obviously also went through the teenage and early twenty angsty poem writing as well, before I realised that other people were equally as exciting as I was, if not more so. It's grown from there.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There is an amazing release in writing for me. It allows me to attack my personal demons, confront them if you will. I do a lot of soul searching when I write, and strive to address the emotions of the characters I'm writing about without picking apart their fictional brains. I am quite private about my own emotions and often push them down quite deep, so to release them with the people in my stories is quite liberating. I also LOVE, love, love research. Frightening isn't it? I love to learn about everything, really, so I have probably done a lot of researching that will only apply to one paragraph or sentence; but, I know what I'm talking about when I do it, and that's very important when you want to make your story readable. The last thing a reader wants in a book is to see something and say to themselves, "Ahhhh,no. That's not right." It can ruin an entire book, so yeah, research is important.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book... I'll go with the one I have already completed which is due for publishing shortly... It is a story of love, hope, and strength in adversity. And it's a story for little people. The idea started when a friends daughter asked her a question she didn't really know the answer to at the time. I thought I would answer the question for her, but it ended up being a modern fairy tale kind of thing, which opened up all these new questions for me and my captive audience. I think,when i look back at it, I can see that the loss of my mother at such a young age had quite an impact on me, and though it is hidden within the story, the idea of being able to return to your loved ones whatever the odds is a big factor here.
What are you working on next?
I have a few things in the works... The continuation of my ladybug story, and her adventures with a grumpy seagull. There's also a story of a young man in rural Western Australia, who has just lost his mother to cancer, and who is finding out the beliefs of a culture he knows nothing about while doing so. That story is a hard slog for me, research wise, but I keep going back to it. The other story is a reworking of a short story I wrote in a blog a year or so ago about a young couple who experience a very strange 24 hour period. The main character in this is a young lady who does some serious soul searching about how she feels about her partner during this time. I try to keep my characters very relatable, and don't like to have good/bad, black/white personalities. There are parts of each person you meet in my stories that you will,and parts you hate, and that is my purpose when I write.
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