Diane’s top tip for aspiring writers: Believe in the power of your words. Write about something that interests you. That grabs your attention. Write with heart and have empathy for your characters. Write some more and then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.
Diane Fagan was born on the northern prairies in Alberta, Canada – far from the ocean. When she came to Australia, she found a new passion for sailing. Diane has always written stories and has won prizes for her short stories for adults. Jodie’s Rescue is her first young adult novel and she is currently working on the second book in the Jodie series. She has four adult children and lives with her husband and cute corgi Louis, in Sydney. Follow Diane on Face Book here.
Why do you write? I write because I can’t not write. I’ve always been a writer. As Harper Lee said, “Writing is something within you.”
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? If I wasn’t a writer, I’d have so much more spare time! Maybe I’d just lie around and be unproductive.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? That is such an easy question. Sending my manuscripts to publishers and getting rejected over and over.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? It’s such a lovely experience when you’ve written a phrase or a sentence or a paragraph, and upon the rereading of it, you feel a tingle up your spine, and you know that the combination and flow of your words have created an emotion.
What’s the worst aspect of your writing life? It’s when you have a deadline to meet, say for a competition, and your brain feels foggy and your body feels lethargic and you just can’t seem to get the words to flow.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would have so much more self belief. When you first start writing, especially if you are in your twenties, you wonder if what you have to say is worthless, and you think everyone else is so much more talented than you. It’s easier to be defeated by the whole business of writing when you are first starting out.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I wish I’d been encouraged to keep writing, no matter how many rejections you face.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? I’ve taken numerous writing classes and this has stayed with me. Don’t write because you want to make money – and don’t write because you want to become famous. Make your words gifts for people and hope that people will notice and like your gifts.
The slap of spray on her face, the exhilaration of the boat cutting through waves, the call of the sea birds and the summer sun warming her skin…
Through all the challenges – starting a new school and making new friends, and a father who is absorbed in his work, missing her mother – Jodie finds solace in sailing. But will the ocean turn against her?
Can she save the lighthouse from development? And why are there dead penguins floating in the water? Who is the girl in the photo that she finds hidden under the stairs? And, most importantly, where is her mother?
Jodie’s voyage of discovery takes her to a place she never dreamed she’d be … But how will she convince her father that it is real?
The book is available from http://shortstoppress.com/childrens-fiction/jodies-rescue