FAQ

computer writing

It is said that many readers are interested in what makes an author ‘tick’, and want to know what sort of a person is behind that face and those words.

Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked. Hope the answers satisfy the questions… but maybe there’s more you would like to know?

 Please click on the words Contact Me? above and I will be delighted to answer you if I can – privately or publicly – or both. Your choice.

 

Q: Why did you choose to be a writer?

 A: I’m not sure there was ever a choice. In my early years I was passionately reading and learning and talking and questioning. I don’t think I realised how well these traits would prepare me for creative writing. Excellent results in the school subject of English were another indicator.

Once I began to write (and despite ‘shelving’ my work for 30+ years due to too many rejections), it was always going to happen… someday. And here is the day – having ended 2013 with having self-published 8 small children’s e-Books. Proud and happy are the best words in my vocabulary just now.

Q: In the farming memoir you are writing –  ‘Old McLarsen had some Farms’ – do you have a favourite chapter?

 A: Initially, I think so, until I browse through and try to choose, and then I think the ‘least loved’ chapter would be easier to choose. And that’s when I must admit defeat. Each and every memory is SO precious. It’s like being asked to choose between your children.

 Q: What made you start a farming memoir?

 A: For decades, city family and friends have enjoyed time spent with us on our various farms. Our stories are so numerous and varied, it was not long before many were saying, “You should write a book about it.” Well, that is said to many people. However, as the years rolled on and we found ourselves here on our retirement farm, we began to think about most of our farming life having been spent in the last century.Not only were our experiences novel and an education to city folk, but also could have appeal to those who know only how to exist in this technological world. So this is my ambition, to enlighten and entertain. Now, Time, as always, will tell.

Q: Will you write more farming memoirs?

A: Most definitely… as long as Body and Soul permit, I HAVE to write. In the roughest draft form, I have many more stories to tell – of the year when all seemed lost and our subsequent acceptance of dramatically reduced circumstances; our leasing years – of a piggery, and a dairy, while we lived in a humble home in a country town; a four year hiatus back in the city, just ‘being there’ for our two Mothers in the last years of their lives; and then at last – our own farm again… this one – our retirement farm – the one chosen totally for the two of us.And still the stories continue to unfold, day after day.

Q: Will you write memoirs about other aspects of your Life?

A: I don’t think so, although there is another rich and fertile field to dig up another stash or two of great stories. Unless it is written somewhere that I’m to live to a vast age, I doubt my staying power for this task. However, as I often quote (from Henry Ford’s lips) –                 

‘Think you can or Think you can’t… either way you’re Right’

Q: How far away is publication of this first farming memoir?

A: I thought it was close… until I added a couple more chapters. Once again, nearly there when I decided (on experienced advice) to combine what I had planned as the second book with the first one to make a more acceptable 70,000 – 80,000 words. The planned title still suits both Parts perfectly – covering our ‘apprenticeship’ in Part One, with owning our own dairy farm in Part Two.Now I’m thigh-deep in rewrites and editing once again. I cannot say when in this year it will be finished. When it is done, I guess! (Well, that’s what Michelangelo said about his paint job of the Sistine Chapel ceiling!)

Q: Is it difficult to write your farming memoir and your children’s books at the same time?

 A: YES! Sometimes almost impossible and I have to let one rest for some days, when inspiration strikes about the other. And NO! I have spent almost all of my life biting off more than I can chew, so I am well experienced in multi-tasking. In this instance, that would be the ‘grey matter’ department that has taken on this daunting task.

Q: Where does your writing happen?

A: Mentally? Everywhere, anytime day or night (especially night… I’m an insomniac). Physically? Everywhere. At my Kitchen table, in my rocker/recliner Lounge chair, in front of my computer with the keyboard shoved right back, and on my computer itself (with the keyboard shoved right forward).

Q: It sounds as though you have a preference for pencil and paper compared to computer keyboard creation?

A: I have always felt a deep connection between creative thought, hand, pencil and paper, and so most everything I write is in pencil on recycled office paper, then typed on my computer (eyes raise thankfully to Heaven, for being a fast and accurate touch-typist) and printed out on more recycled office paper (thank you daughter dearest), and first edit; and repeat the whole sequence for a second edit; and then repeat the whole process again and again, if necessary (how I hate this part… until it’s over!).

Q: A few of your favourite things:-

  •  Authors? 

 Currently Jodi Picoult is top of my long list of new and all-time favourites… far too many to list here.

  •  Book Genres?   

 Everything that isn’t – Horror, Romance, Erotica, Violence, Chick-lit, and much sci-fi.

  •  Foods?  

 Everything except Hot hot curries, chillies, mustard; and marzipan. And I love savoury whatevers in preference to sweet things always.

  •  Hobbies?  

 Have been a prolific craft person, but writing occupies the majority of my hours these days. Love being a TV sports spectator – particularly Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Tennis and Swimming Championships.Once was a passionate Aussie Rules football fan, but not any more – can’t stand the monetary aspect destroying team loyalty and commitment.

  •  Animals? 

 My memoirs will clearly show my deep and abiding love of dogs and amazing experiences with kangaroos. These days the love of my current dogs is shared equally with a cat, who has become my latest and smallest soul-mate. Who’d have thought?

Q: If you hadn’t evolved as a writer, what would you have chosen to be?

A: All of the things I have been in my nearly seven decades of Life –  an adored child of a loving and stable family; a successful and dedicated student; a typist and then secretary to management; a wife; a farmer (from early 1970 until today); a mother; a wannabe writer; a Lifeline telephone counsellor; a Community Careworker; a TAFE student and tutor; a grandmother; and finally, my life’s dream… a writer.

 

More? That’s over to you now. Just press the Contact button at the top of the page.