FREDA’S TOP WRITING TIP: Write. Find time to write every day, even if it’s only a sentence, and don’t be afraid to use a freelance editor to go over your work before you submit it. Most publishers don’t go past the first few pages of a submission and if you’ve missed a grammatical error that could be enough to turn them off.
Freda Marnie Nicholls is a rural journalist who’s been widely published, most recently as a regular contributor to R.M. Williams OUTBACK magazine. Freda lives on a farm in southern New South Wales with her husband and their three teenage children. Back of Beyond is her second book. For more information about Freda and her books, visit her website – http://fredanicholls.wix.com/freda-marnie-
Why do you write? I write because it makes me happy. Simplistic I know but when I write I lose all sense of time and immerse myself totally in words.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? That’s easy, what I already do when I’m not writing: helping on the farm. There is nothing more uplifting than being out in our beautiful countryside moving a mob of sheep or cattle on horseback, or watching with awe and wonder a newly planted crop emerge and grow.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Getting someone to take my work seriously.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The best would have to be getting reader feedback; it is a wonderful feeling knowing that someone loves some aspect of your book as much as you do.
—the worst? Dealing with rejection.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Strangely nothing. The process of becoming published is a very humbling one, rejection is tough but if you believe in your story enough you bounce back, even if you do get a little bruised.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That it’s tougher than you think, the pay is pitiful for the time you put in, but it IS worth it.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Just write. I had a coffee with an author I saw at a Writers Festival a few years ago who happens to live only 120kms away (almost a neighbour in the bush). I nervously rang her and asked if we could meet as I had a story idea. She sat and listened to me patiently, looked me in the eye and said, “Write it down.” Best advice. With those three simple words I realised I didn’t need approval, if I believed in my story I could do it.
Freda Marnie Nicholls
Former sheep shearer, dingo trapper and horse breaker Hugh Tindall reminisces on his extraordinary life in outback Queensland. From a poor man’s selection on the Diamantina in 1928, to owning six large stations with his family. From shearing his first 100 sheep a day at the age of 16, to organising sheds in the long running 1956 shearers’ strike.
Hugh is a natural storyteller and his story is part of a turbulent time in the outback, raising sheep in the far west and central Queensland, where sheep now roam no more – a history he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about. Hugh’s narrative is a nuanced reflection of his position as a grazier’s son who worked alongside shearers, and an affectionate recollection of a time when Australian wealth still rode on the sheep’s back. Told in his own voice, BACK OF BEYOND is an honest account of life in isolated western and central Queensland, where the tough survived or died.
Available from – http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781743317167