Meet the Author: Evie Wyld

 

 EVIE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Don’t get bogged down in looking for tips. There’s no magic, or single way of writing, and everyone does it differently. Just get the words down, the rest is nonsense.

Evie Wyld portraitEvie Wyld‘s debut novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, was shortlisted for the Impac Prize and awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her second, All the Birds, Singing, won the Miles Franklin Prize, the Encore Prize and the EU Prize for Literature, and shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel awards. In 2013 she was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, having previously been named by the BBC as one of the twelve best new British writers. She lives in Peckham, where she runs the Review Bookshop.

You can find out more about Evie here.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? To try hard to understand a little more about humans and why they do what they do.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’d still be doing an admin job I didn’t really understand.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Writing the book. I was very lucky to have quite a smooth ride otherwise. But the books have been hard to write.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? When, every now and again, I tap into the ‘good writing’ and it flows.

—the worst? Sitting at a blank page and feeling like I’m letting people down.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Not sure I’d do anything differently. It might not work out!

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Just to relax about it. To take my time. I did take my time, but I worried a bit about taking too much.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Don’t underestimate the importance of independent bookshops.

Everything is Teeth original hi-res

Everything is Teeth

A graphic memoir for anyone who has scanned the swimming pool for a shark’s fin before entering the water.

Illustrated by London-based model maker and illustrator Joseph Sumner.

Evie Wyld was a girl obsessed with sharks. Spending summers in the brutal heat of coastal New South Wales, she fell for the creatures. Their teeth, their skin, their eyes; their hunters and their victims. Everything is Teeth is a delicate and intimate collection of the memories she brought home to England, a book about family, love and the irresistible forces that pass through life unseen, under the surface, ready to emerge at any point. The book is available here.

 

Advertisements

Meet the Author: Cathryn Chapman

Cathryn’s top writing tip: My book had taken a long time and I was only up to chapter eight. Admittedly, I started when I had a newborn baby and needed to go back to full-time work when he was eight months old. When the time came that I really wanted to get it finished, I had to make a plan. I decided I would write seven days a week, for at least 15 minutes, regardless of how tired I was. It didn’t matter if I only wrote for 15 minutes and then walked away – at least I had done something. Often, those 15 minutes would turn into two or three hours and thousands of words.

I had a great writing period during the annual writing project, NaNoWriMo. I did writing sprints with groups on Twitter and found it really motivating. Writing can be an isolating business!

If your book is inspired by real life (like mine), my mentor advised me to draw inspiration, but then forget about the real story and write a great book. Real life doesn’t always make great writing. Work hard to structure the story well and know your characters.

CathrynChapman2Cathryn Chapman nearly gave up her writing career when her eighth grade English teacher refused to believe her sensual poem could have been written by somebody so young. Two years later, when Cathryn was 14, that same English teacher declared she should start writing for Mills & Boon, and a women’s fiction writer was born.

Cathryn graduated from university with a Business Degree and spent seven years travelling the world – working on cruise ships, and living in London, New York, Paris and South America.

In her thirties, she left a successful marketing and public relations career to pursue her dream of gracing the stages in London’s West End. When this failed dismally, Cathryn settled down in Brisbane with a husband and baby boy, and stayed in one place long enough to finally write her first novel, Sex, Lies, and Cruising.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I worked in an office job and wanted to break out to do something more creative. I always enjoyed writing at school and my English teacher had suggested I should be an author. Back in those days, I never felt it was a ‘serious’ career, so it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really considered it. I like the idea of telling stories for enjoyment. I’ve always been a big reader, and I would love for readers to get engrossed in my stories the way I do with books I’m reading.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’ve worked in marketing on and off for many years, so if I had a backup plan, it would be to work as a self-employed marketing consultant, rather than working for an employer.

I also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television production, and aspire to write for TV in the future. I plan to use Sex, Lies, and Cruising as the inspiration for a TV series and would like to write the pilot over Christmas or early next year.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? I had tried to get an agent but I didn’t want to keep pursuing the traditional publishing road. I know of wonderful writers who spent years sending queries to agents, only to be met with constant rejection. I sent out queries earlier this year, but it wasn’t long until the voice in my head said “YOU NEED TO SELF PUBLISH!” It’s going well so far!

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The days when your writing flows, and you think, “This IS what I’m supposed to do with my life.” Those days are great! I also like working from home. I have a lovely, cosy, dedicated writing room, filled with some of my favourite things. It’s good being near my family. I can pop out and see them whenever I need a break.

—the worst? The days where I doubt my writing abilities. My biggest fear with writing this series is that people won’t like the book, OR they’ll love the first book and think the second one is boring.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I still consider myself to be starting out. Looking back on my experience so far, I would have spent more time developing my characters and doing creative in-depth character maps. I’ve spent a lot of time in the editing process going back to expand my main character’s reactions to situations. It has been a massive learning curve and I can’t imagine a time where I’ll feel like I know everything!

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? If you want to sell books, the promotional period will be exhausting and likely to cost you a lot of money! It’s not a matter of hitting ‘publish’ on Amazon and suddenly becoming successful.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? There’s been a few which have helped a lot… they’ve become my mantras.

– Don’t wait until you feel inspired to write – or you will never write a book!

– Writing is more about discipline than talent. You need to treat it like a job and write every day, regardless of how you feel.

– Don’t get it right, get it written.

– Don’t edit as you go, or you’ll have a perfect chapter one and no chapter twenty.

They’re all true!

BOOK BYTE

Cathryn ChapmanExotic locations, sexy men, and crazy crew parties… Ellie has her dream job… or does she?

When Ellie’s fiancé cheats on her with a younger, slimmer, blonde from the office, she boots him out of her life and finds solace in a fabulous photography job aboard a Caribbean cruise ship. Twenty-four hours on board and she’s already shagged her sexy Texan colleague, who happens to love her muffin-top. Unfortunately he’s leaving in a week, and his ex-girlfriend, a hot-headed Brazilian with stripper moves right out of the ’90s and a talent for stealing boyfriends, is still on board and out for revenge.

Ellie must work out how to deal with the loco ex, sort the lying scumbags from the good guys, and figure out how many crew members in a cabin it takes before officially becoming group sex. Who the hell knows? (It’s five, actually.) It’s a world completely unlike the one she left behind, but as she tries to find her place on board, Ellie discovers laughter and tears in equal measure. And in the midst of the craziness, she realises the greatest thing this lifestyle change has given her is the chance to rediscover herself.

BOOK SALE SITES

EBOOK

Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00W85ZX2K

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sex-lies-and-cruising/id987736128

 

PAPERBACK

Angus & Robertson: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/sex-lies-and-cruising-cathryn-chapman/p/9780994314307

Bookworld: http://www.bookworld.com.au/books/sex-lies-and-cruising-cathryn-chapman/p/9780994314307

Meet the Author/Illustrator: Andrea Faith Potter

seahorsesANDREA’S TOP CREATIVE TIP: Be happy to change your book as you create it. It is important to plan a book and then be flexible as you work. Let the ideas breathe, allow the book to become what it wants to be. And then be happy to make more changes after you have ‘finished’ the book. Tiny tweaks can make a big difference.

Andrea Faith Potter studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Tasmania. After completing her degree she was selected to do a Research Associate for 12 months. Andrea then studied a Post-Graduate Diploma in painting at RMIT. She went on to have more than 50 art exhibitions nationally and her work has been featured in several magazines (including Craft Arts International). Andrea has illustrated two books by Jackie French, Werewolf Warrior and Dance of the Deadly Dinosaurs (both books were edited by Lisa Berryman and published by Harper Collins). Andrea has also created a learn to read system for children learning to read their very first words. Andrea’s website has lots of illustrations for people to see. www.andreafaithpotter.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write and illustrate children’s books? I feel compelled to draw. I always have. I PotterAndrea1love to make up characters and explore imaginative worlds. I love to pretend the characters are real and have a life of their own. It is a funny thing to say, but I imagine the characters so vividly that I get worried about them when they get into strife and they make me laugh when they do something funny.

What’s the best aspect of your artistic life? I love improving my skills and ideas. Every day I get a little be better at what I do. I have a love of visual story telling. It is exciting to come up with new ideas and develop them. Drawing has always been important to me. I draw all the time and then I still feel like I haven’t had enough drawing time.

Do you think of yourself more as an illustrator or as an author? I love writing stories for children but I tend to think of myself as an illustrator first. This is mostly because my stories come to me visually and then I translate the ideas into text. I draw the stories before I write them. When I write longer stories I tend to write the story first but it still feels very visual.

Are there any new areas of art or writing that you want to explore? I am always coming up with new ideas for books. I love thinking about possibilities and inventing new worlds. I love drawing animals, funny or sweet characters, fantasy and domestic scenes and so much more.

I love telling children funny adventure stories where surprising things happen. It is exciting to see the looks on their faces and how they get wrapped up in the story, jumping about on the mat imagining it is all true.

Have you illustrated books for other authors? Yes. I illustrated two books by Jackie French, zDance of the Deadly Dinosaurs coverWerewolf Warrior and Dance of the Deadly Dinosaurs. There were about 40 characters to design for the first book, which was exciting. Then there were a lot of new awesome characters in the second book, including dinosaurs (dinosaurs are awesome to draw!).

Have you ever self-published any ebooks? If so why? Yes. I thought that learning to read could be much easier and more fun if there was a set of books FrogandBatwhich introduced words gradually and kept using the same words so children could practise the words they had already learned. I felt that the only way to make a whole system of books affordable, was to self-publish them as ebooks. With my love of visual story telling, I was able to create adventure stories that were told with very few words. I also created several books which are told with words that have four letters or less (for reading practise and to build reading confidence). Frog and Bat is one of these books.