I was one of those kids who got really excited in primary school when the teacher asked us to write a story in class. I would turn in 20 page missives when other students were rushing to throw together any old collection of words. Even then, magic and fantasy was an integral part of my writing.
Partly because of my background in counselling and family therapy, I like to write characters that have real emotional issues as well as magical ones. In my recently released book, Currents of Change, the lead character is dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship and a second trimester pregnancy loss as well as the complications of a haunted home and a possible new love. Not an easy time for her, but hopefully interesting reading!
I’m a big fan of authors who can pull you into their stories. I read for enjoyment, so I like it to be an interesting, layered story, but an easy to read style. I love Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series and I’m a huge fan of Marvel and Doctor Who. (X-men and David Tennant in particular.)
I find that my writing works better if I plan ahead. My first two novels were written by “pantsing” but will never see the light of day! Fortunately I’ve improved a lot since then and have managed to win a few prizes with short stories and novel manuscripts in recent years.
I’ll actually be speaking about planning before you write at this year’s RWNZ Conference in August.
I’m very excited to have Currents of Change available in both Kindle format and paperback at Amazon. I have two other novels with my agent in America who is pursuing the traditional publication path for me. This year, I intend to finish a sequel to Agents of Kalanon (which won the SpecFicNZ/SteamPress Novel Manuscript competition), release a collection of short stories, and write a short book on psychology for writers. So it’s going to be a busy year!
My best writing tip is to keep learning. People talk about writing as a “talent” but the reality is, it’s a skill. We learn from others and by practise. Musicians practise their instruments every day to hone their skill. Writers write.
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