Nicola’s top tip for authors: Just keep writing! Try out different genres and different writing styles until you find your perfect fit. Take on board feedback, but don’t let criticism define you and don’t let it shape your writing unless you want it to. Write for the joy of telling a story, write because you have a need to share a story with the world.
Nicola Moriarty is a Sydney-based novelist, copywriter and mum to two small (but remarkably strong willed) daughters. In between various career changes, becoming a mum, consuming copious amounts of cocoa-based products and studying a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at Macquarie University, she began to write. Now, she can’t seem to stop. She has published two novels and one novella along with contributing short stories to the two UK ‘Sunlounger’ anthologies. Her next novel, The Fifth Letter, will be published in 2017 in Australia, the US and the UK. She blogs sporadically on her website here: www.nicolamoriarty.com.au
Why do you write? Because it’s addictive! I love to tell stories and I love to read stories and I love the thought of other people consuming my work!
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Probably teaching. I did half of my teaching diploma at uni when I was completing my BA with the intention of becoming a high school English teacher – but I didn’t follow through because my writing ended up consuming me!
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Fear and self-doubt. I procrastinated sending my first manuscript off to an agent because I was terrified of what would happen if they hated it.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The fact that I’m doing what I love and the flexibility it provides me to spend time with my family.
—the worst? The continued fear and self-doubt! Any time I receive a bad review or a rejection letter or even if I just find myself stuck and can’t get any words written on a certain day, the insecure person inside comes out to tell me I can’t do it and to just give up. But luckily perseverance and a glass of wine usually sees me through and I can silence the inner critic!
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I don’t think I’d change too much – I’m pretty happy with how my journey has progressed so far, but maybe I’d spend more time researching before writing that first book? Although then again, perhaps that would be a mistake and would just turn into another way to procrastinate!
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That it will never be enough. For me, I’m always striving for that next goal and each time I think it will bring me satisfaction. i.e. landing an agent, landing a publisher, your first great review, your first sale, your next book deal, your first overseas book deal. You always think the next step is going to be the one that makes you feel like you’ve made it… but I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever have that complete sense of satisfaction. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe if I felt completely satisfied, I’d stop trying to be a better writer.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Caroline Overington told me to read bad reviews of my work out loud in a silly, loud, over the top voice until it makes me fall about laughing. I absolutely love that advice!
Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina try to catch up once a year for some days away together. Now in their thirties, commitments have pulled them in different directions, and the closeness they once enjoyed seems increasingly elusive. This year, determined to revive their intimacy, they each share a secret in an anonymous letter to be read out during the holiday. But instead of bringing them closer, the revelations seem to drive them apart. Then a fifth letter is discovered, venting long-held grudges, and it seems that one of the women is in serious danger. But who was the author? And which of them should be worried?
THE FIFTH LETTER examines the bonds of women’s friendship groups, and the loyalty and honesty they require. It looks also at the pain of letting go of obsessions and relationships that once seemed essential but have hollowed and withered.