I was tagged by the oh-so-lovely Trinity Doyle, a fellow Australian Contemporary YA writer whose work I can’t wait to read! She has a great blog with lots of reviews and author interviews. Go check it out at trinitydoyle.com
What am I working on?
I’m working on a yet-to-be-titled manuscript that is set in Damascus, in 2011, just before the Syrian conflict started. It’s about an unlikely group of friends from different language/cultural backgrounds whose lives will all be affected by the Arab Spring.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This story, although fictional, is based on real events. I was living in Damascus at the beginning of 2011, studying Arabic, and had to move to Jordan once things in Syria began getting a little dicey. It will be similar to Christobel Mattingly’s No Gun for Asmir or many of Rosanne Hawke’s books, but different in that it will be aimed at an older age group. Compared to the other YA manuscripts I’ve written (and a lot of YA books I’ve read), where the conflict for the character is quite internal (and about their personal journey), the conflict in this will be driven by external events.
Why do I write what I do?
I write YA because I read YA and love YA. I tend to get the most motivation to write after I’ve read an amazing book, and in the beginning, those books were always YA. I do find it very interesting that the stories I’m dying to get on to paper are contemporary Australian YA, because fantasy was my go-to drug of choice, especially as a teenager. In fact, I hated ‘real world’ books growing up. But then I read Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta and it pretty much changed my life. Contemporary YA books are those that hit me hardest and stay with me, and I think that’s why I write in that genre. I think there is a potential fantasy series in me, but it’s brewing and will take a few more years before it manifests itself.
How does my writing process work?
I’m still figuring this out. I lived in Jordan for a few years and I had a very set routine there. I taught English from 7-3, came home, plonked myself on the couch and wrote for a good couple of hours every night. Now I’m back in Australia, my new job involves shift work, so my routine is all over the place (and not much writing getting written).
When I do get around to writing, however, I write every scene/chapter by hand in a notebook before typing it out. I find if I only type first, I sit and re-read, then backspace, then cut chunks out, and then end up with nothing after a few hours. If I hand write first, it can still be terrible, but I can focus on changing it later when I type it up.
With my first MS I was a ‘pantser’ and it took me five years to finish! My second MS had a pretty solid outline, and it only took 9 months to write, so I think I’m a ‘plotter’ convert.
I’ve tagged a wonderful friend of mine and fellow Adelaidean, Jehaliel, on the My Writing Process blog hop.
Jehaliel’s a young Australian who loves penguins, rocks and music. She writes poetry, a little fanfiction and original novels in the TC, LOTR, Chronicles of Elantra and various other fandoms. Jahaliel is the name of her OC and Enoraryn is the name of her sword. You can find her at Enoraryn’s Shipping Co.