CRISTY’S TOP WRITING TIPS: Tip #1: Stop aspiring to be an author and start being an author: write, write, write and read, read, read. Seriously. You owe it to yourself.
Tip #2: Burn your TV (preferably in an environmentally sustainable way).
Cristy Burne has worked as a science circus performer, garbage analyst, Santa’s pixie and atom-smashing reporter. Cristy’s Takeshita Demons books are inspired by her years living in Japan, a healthy fear of ghosts, and a plastic head she found in her rubbish bin. They have sold more than 30,000 copies.
Based on Japanese folklore, the series features mythical demons, called yokai, traditionally used to teach manners and explain spooky phenomena. Takeshita Demons won the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award for multicultural children’s writing.
Cristy is also a science writer, with degrees in biotechnology and science communication. A freelance journalist, Cristy has edited and contributed to CSIRO’s Scientriffic magazine and was editor of CERN’s computing newsletter when the Large Hadron Collider was turned on in Geneva in 2009.
Author website: www.cristyburne.com
Why do you write? I write because it’s fun to create something out of nothing. You start with some vague ideas, then you tap away at something until a fully-fledged story appears with fully-fledged characters. But before you began, there was nothing. It’s very rewarding.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’d like to be a veterinarian at a zoo: exciting, useful, something different each day and doing my part to save the planet.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Worry. I worried that every minute I spent writing was wasted, that I was writing rubbish, and that I would never be good enough to make it as an author. I worried that I should be doing something healthier, like a real job or an exercise routine or a social life. Now I realise that being a writer can co-exist with all these things, but I still wrestle with those other worries most writing days.
What are the best aspects of your writing life? I can manage my own hours, I can work from home and my work is motivating and creative.
-The worst? The long lead-times and wait-times between starting a project, submitting a project, having a project rejected or accepted, and then f-i-n-a-l-l-y seeing the project come to life as a book.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Nothing. My path to publication involved hard work, practice novels and lots of rejection. This isn’t the only path, but it’s a proven one.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Nothing. I’m still an emerging writer, with a career that is only just finding its legs, let alone wings, so I’m happy to keep doing what I’m doing and not change anything. Slowly but surely, I’m working towards greater publication and greater success, and I’m loving the journey.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Write, write, write. Read, read, read. The writing is your job, so if you don’t write, you’re not a writer. The reading hones your tools as well as supporting your industry (as well as being just an incredible way to spend your free time J J).
Shape-shifting foxes, samurai crabs and a seriously cranky octopus… The balance of the worlds is again under threat and Miku must travel to the Dragon King’s underwater kingdom to put things right. Book 4 in the award-winning TAKESHITA DEMONS series.
Praise for TAKESHITA DEMONS:
“The book is amazing…I hardly put it down” – Chicklish
“A thrilling contemporary adventure wittily shot through with the powerful fantasy stories of the old demons from the Japanese past.” – Julia Eccleshare
“One of the rare stories that you can safely hand to younger readers without fear of threats from angry parents, but at the same time is genuinely packed full of spooky stuff. This is a series that is both highly original and wonderfully entertaining” – Spine Chills, Australia
“Cristy’s knowledge of Japanese folklore and the supernatural shine through and this is a compulsive read.” – Parents in Touch UK
TAKESHITA DEMONS was selected for the 2010 Booktrust Booked Up program, won the 2009 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award for diversity in children’s writing, and was featured on the BBC’s Blue Peter in 2011.
99-cent e-book [for Kindle]: http://bit.ly/1sqG3TR
99-cent e-book [all formats]: http://bit.ly/1nR6NYs
Takeshita Demons [paperback]: http://bit.ly/1lELUQ3