Mid-year wrap-up — Part 1

It was just over a year ago when I made a command decision. I had one completed MS and the basic outline for another four or five MSs rattling through my brain. I had recently resigned from my corporate, sixty to seventy hours a week, soul-sucking job and was taking some time out. “What do you want to do next?” … Read More

My big YA love: Chime by Franny Billingsley

It’s been a while since I posted — yes, all due to the house sale of death. I would try to swear you and I into never speaking of it again, but I know I won’t keep my end of the bargain. Especially since we’re about to order passports for all the family members.  Things are finally getting exciting… With … Read More

First Kids and YA Festival (and a small taste of success!)

Yesterday I attended my first Kids and YA festival at the NSW Writers Centre.  It was my fourth festival overall, but there’s something really exciting about attending a festival that specifically caters to the age group for which you write.  Like all other festivals preceding it, there’s an atmosphere which is difficult to describe.  I imagine it as a beehive’s … Read More

Playlist – 26th June 2014

I wasn’t writing today.  Instead, I spent the day painting our bathrooms, preparing to put the house on the market.  This particular job has been on the list for a while, because it’s fiddly.  Not quite in the realm of The Last Box to Be Packed*, but annoying enough due to all the bits and pieces we have to paint … Read More

Just a few stray thoughts for a Saturday

Continuing the theme of my Laini Taylor life-crush, I started reading DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE.  Well, I’m about 180 pages in, and I have to confess my admiration for the girl has not dimmed.  And here is one of the reasons why –  a quote from page 154, where three of the main characters are playing a game called … Read More

Reading List – 12th June 2014

I read just before bed and at the moment – with the rewrite and having just discovered the wonderful writer’s network that exists on Twitter – I’m burning the candle at both ends.  This often means 3-5 pages into my nightly read, I’m flaked out with a book splayed across my face.  Whereby my husband finds me several hours later … Read More

Where it all began: The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce

I remember the day I fell in love with books.   Fell so hard there was no going back.  Oh, there had been special friends up to this point – The Milly Molly Mandy series, Tove Jansson’s Moomins and Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree adventures – but none of these evoked the full range of emotions I experienced while … Read More

Revision soundtrack 1

I’m heavily influenced by music so it’s a tricky business choosing the right soundtrack for my revision process.  Quite a lot of my usual go-to songs don’t work because they are either too distracting or don’t suit the mood of the characters in the scene.  Listening to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go while working on a scene where the … Read More

How to lose characters and improve people

Time has been pretty tight this week.  My husband and I are planning a big overseas move and everything is happening at once.  In spite of my best intentions, I’ve had to let the blog lapse this week.  Every time I feel guilty, I remind myself it’s the blog or the MS. Because I am working on the MS.  I’m … Read More

The journey so far – part 2: how to interpret agent feedback

Sometime around November / December 2013, I looked at my MS and came to the decision that it was about as ready as I could possibly make it (without bringing in the professionals).  The question was: a) whether to seek that professional help straight away; or b) test the waters by querying some agents.  If they rejected me based on … Read More