Meet the Author: Robert Power

 

Robert’s top tip for aspiring authors: If on any given day you don’t feel particularly creative, then edit your draft, or sketch out new plot ideas. There is never a good reason to stare at an empty sheet of paper (or blank computer screen). You become a writer by writing. And … never give up.

Robert Power was born in Dublin and has lived in Melbourne since 2005. He freelanced as a journalist in London, appearing regularly in newsprint and magazines including The Guardian, New Society, New Statesman, Radio Times, Time Out, City Limits. He has worked in international health for 30 years, travelling globally as a consultant, and publishing over 120 academic journal articles. He was short-listed in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 2008 and was a prize-winner in the 2012 Age Short Story Competition. He has published three novels: In Search of the Blue Tiger (Transit Lounge, 2012), The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy (Transit Lounge, 2013), Tidetown (Transit Lounge, 2015) and a collection of short stories, Meatloaf in Manhattan (Transit Lounge, 2014). Lulu in New York and Other Tales (Unicorn Press, 2017) is a collaboration with acclaimed American painter, Max Ferguson, in which Power has written 500-word stories envisaging sixty of the artist’s paintings. The book was launched in May 2017 in New York and the following month in London. Power’s memoir/travelogue Tell it to the Dog is now in bookshops and other outlets. More details of his work, including reviews and blogs can be found on his website: www.robertpowerauthor.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

 

Why do you write? I was born in Dublin, Ireland, so I like to think aspiring to being a writer is a birthright. In any event I have written fiction for as long as I can remember. It’s one of the best media for exploring the human condition, trying to make sense of life’s events and for wrapping it all up in a series of imagined worlds.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Very few writers are able to pay the bills by writing alone. I have had many jobs: a teacher; a freelance journalist; social science researcher. But for the last 30 years I have worked in international public health (with a particular focus on HIV prevention: see my second novel The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy).

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Staying strong when the publishing houses sent the rejection slips. I was once told by a commissioning editor from one of the big four that they ‘loved’ my first novel. Two weeks later she called to say the marketing department could not clearly identify the ‘genre’ so would not be taking it further. Finding a publisher to believe in a first time author is the greatest barrier to any aspiring writer.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Engaging the creative side of my being. Exploring and expanding ideas and watching stories unravel in front of me with characters that come to develop lives of their own. Tell it to the Dog is my sixth book and I am continually honing my skills and learning from those I work with, especially the editorial team at my publisher, Transit Lounge.

—the worst? Finding the time to write all I want to write. I currently have 50,000 words of a detective story in development, as well as drafts for new short stories and ideas for a follow-up to Lulu in New York & Other Tales (Unicorn Press), my collaboration with the American painter Max Ferguson.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would abandon the modern world, live in shack by the sea, rescue a dog, own a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt, eat off the land and the ocean and walk and write and write and walk.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I would like to have known more about the network of independent publishers that are interested in new authors and to be told to trawl through their websites to be sure that my kind of writing suits their interests.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? When I came to Melbourne 12 years ago I was encouraged to enter my first novel, In Search of the Blue Tiger, for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for an Unpublished Novel. I was short-listed. The chair of the panel, Kevin Brophy, recommended I send it to Barry Scott at Transit Lounge. Transit Lounge has been a great publisher for me ever since. Also, being advised to set up a website was invaluable: www.robertpowerauthor.com

BOOK BYTE

‘Robert Power’s journey is one of great heart, risk and compassion. He is a craftsman using language as a fine tool to carve a life story enmeshed in the values of our common selves.’ Tony Birch, author of Ghost River

Tell it to the Dog is an exquisitely written memoir that is at once playful, heartbreaking and affirming. From a Dublin childhood to London, then on to Europe, to Asia and Australia, there is a deep engagement with the world in this book about growing up, about human and animal connectedness, about friendship, love and loss. Power understands the uncanniness and endurance of memory. He can make us laugh, and then stop us in our tracks at the profundity of this business of meeting life. Each of these short chapters is beautifully complete; together the whole thing shimmers. In the most delightful and subtle of ways, the language, trajectory and wisdom of Tell it to the Dog underscores our need to embrace our own vulnerabilities, to confront our experiences and memories, and to believe as Jane Austen once wrote, that ‘when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure’.

‘With exquisite prose and riotous feeling, Robert Power has created a stained glass window of a book, through which we gaze, as if for the first time, into what it means to live a life.’ Catherine de Saint Phalle, author of Poum and Alexandre

Buy the book here.

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Meet the Author: Rachel Matthews

Rachel’s top tip for aspiring authors: Join a writing program or any environment where you can give and receive feedback. Write about what matters to you, that will resonate to the reader. Forget trends, they come and go. Don’t edit your first draft of anything, just write. Be vulnerable and mindful of your own judgements.

 

Dr Rachel Matthews is a Melbourne author, lecturer and VCE English teacher. Recently, she completed a PhD in creative writing (a novel and exegesis). Her critically acclaimed debut novel Vinyl Inside received strong press reviews and was highly commended by the Australian Vogel Award judges. Her short fiction has been published in EQ magazine, educational and writing journals. She has more than 15 years’ experience as an educator within a diverse range of learning environments, including lecturing in RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing, teaching within international settings and the RVIB. Rachel is also an experienced presenter with the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, the Vic Association for Teachers of English State Conference and National Young Writer’s Festival.

Visit https://www.rachelmatthewswriter.com/ to find out more about Rachel and her books.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I love the power and release of storytelling. The aim is to try to be honest and vulnerable. But that is also the hardest part.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Anything with a creative bent.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Finding a fit for my first novel ‘Vinyl Inside’ when approaching publishers. Many of them found the genre and style didn’t have a specific fit but they liked the writing. Also, it is an incredible lesson in patience and persistence.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Giving marginalised characters a voice, listening to my students share their stories and working toward understanding the bigger questions.

—the worst? The need for solitude. This is sometimes not easy for others to understand.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I’d work hard to develop a broad profile and develop a range of skills, such as articles, short stories, poetry, etc. I’d be more patient when approaching publishers and enter more competitions, keep connected to the writing community.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That persistence will become more paramount than skills.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Write the first draft of a novel without editing or worrying about the direction and final details. Just get the initial concept down without any rules so that you have text to shape and play with.

BOOK BYTE

Siren

Rachel Matthews

A brave new novel that sensitively explores one woman’s experience of sexual violence and the silencing of those who feel compelled to speak out.

What happens when a young woman enters a city apartment early morning, with two footballers? Jordi Spence is sixteen years old and lives in outer Melbourne. By daybreak, her world has shifted. Max Carlisle, a troubled AFL star, can’t stop what comes next. And Ruby, a single woman from the apartment block, is left with questions when she sees Jordi leave.

In this remarkable novel, Rachel Matthews captures the characters of Jordi and her family, the players, and the often loveable inhabitants of a big city with a deceptive lightness of touch that seduces the reader. Siren reveals the often unnoticed life of a city while simultaneously drawing us deep into a dark and troubling world. What happens has an unexpected effect on all those who are both directly and indirectly involved.

The result is a powerful and haunting novel about cultural stereotypes and expectations, love, loneliness, family and our struggle to connect. In so many ways, Matthews subtly sounds the siren on sexual violence and its prevalence in our culture.

The book is available here.

Meet the Author: Shona Husk

Shona’s top tip for aspiring authors: Read your genre to see what is currently selling, but also read widely. Be a magpie and learn from other genres.

Shona Husk is the author of more than 40 books that range from sensual to scorching, and cover the contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance genres. Her most recent series are Face the Music, Blood and Silver and Annwyn. As well as writing romance she also writes sci-fi for the Takamo Universe game and urban fantasy under anther pen name.

She lives in Western Australia and when she isn’t writing or reading she loves to cook, cross stitch and research places she’d one day like to travel.

You can find out more at www.shonahusk.com

www.twitter.com/ShonaHusk

www.facebook.com/shonahusk

Newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write?

I’ve always made up stories. They used to be just to entertain myself, but while I was on maternity leave I started writing them down. It was about three years before I got serious about wanting to be published. Even now I write the stories I’m interested in and that I want to read—I have to because I spend so long working on them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I’d probably still be a civil designer (designing roads, drainage and sewerage infill etc), and I’d probably have more free time for my other hobbies like cross stitch. However, I’d still be a reader and I’d still be making up stories to entertain myself.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published?

When I started writing it was time (I had babies) and a lack of knowledge. It was taking me 12-18 months to write a novel and I couldn’t learn about story arc and character development when it was taking so long. I switched to writing novellas (I was already reading novellas because I didn’t have the time for novels) and it all came together. The next novel I wrote then sold (the other two live in a cupboard).

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations?

I fill out a cover art form then the publishers take over. Edits are always a negotiation, but most of the time I agree, or I look to see what they are trying to achieve and find a way to do it if I don’t agree with their suggestion. Everyone is trying to make the best book they can. For my self-published books I generally get a premade cover. I have a few sites that I search and I find something suitable that conveys the mood and genre of the book.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life?

I love plotting and researching. Creating the characters and their world is so much fun.

—the worst?

The final page proofs. By the time I get them I’m sick of the book, yet at the same time it is the last chance to catch mistakes so there is pressure involved.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer?

I would pick a sub-genre and stick with it. While I write romance I write in several sub-genres (contemporary, paranormal, sci fi and fantasy). For branding I think sticking with one sub-genre would’ve been more effective.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?

Getting published isn’t the hardest part nor is it the end. Staying published and marketing are hard work.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Stories are all about conflict and the conflict has to keep escalating.

BOOK BYTE

 

Servant of the Forest

Shona Husk

“Remember to be wild,” Orabella’s mother would say.
But her mother is dead and Orabella’s days are taken up with chores for the small estate that barely keeps her stepmother and stepsisters fed.
Then an invitation arrives. The King is throwing a three-day party for the Prince, a last attempt to find a cure for the curse that will claim him on his twentieth birthday. The witch who saves Gauthier will get his hand in marriage and will eventually become queen.
Orabella is forbidden from going to the party even though everyone is invited. She wants to see the castle and the Cursed Prince. This time she refuses to obey her stepmother.
As Orabella discovers the secrets of her past and the truth about her mother and the prince’s curse, she learns that no one is to be trusted and not everyone wants the prince to survive.

Buy Links: Amazon Kobo iBooks Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

Meet the Illustrator: Aśka

 Aśka’s top tip for aspiring illustrators: People say that a lot of it is luck. That is true. But luck is a statistical concept. If you want to play the numbers game you have to be in it! So make sure you enter all the competitions, challenge yourself with unusual illustration projects, join groups, try to apply for grants and send your folio out to all the publishers every year. If you buy 100 tickets in a lottery, your “luck” is sure to improve. And so will you.

Photo: Lili Riecken Photography

Aśka is an illustrator, artist and scientist. Once a PhD candidate researching quantum optics, she turned her hand back to art with the goal of being a children’s book illustrator.

She has more than 10 years of experience in children’s character illustration and book development, kids’ product design, graphic novels, animation, design and children’s science education.

Aśka has had numerous comics published in Perth and Melbourne, was featured on an ABC TV documentary – Noise On Screen – , won a Curtin Gallery Grant for her solo art exhibition, and ran an eight-week animation festival on the Northbridge Piazza Superscreen.

Continuing her passion for science, she also works for Scitech, presenting science programs and workshops to children across Western Australia.

Three of her illustrative projects have been published in 2017: The Cosmic Adventures of Alice and Bob, by Cristy Burne (CAASTRO); Pepsi the Problem Puppy, by Sandi Parsons (Faraway Nearby Ink); and Looking Up, by Sally Murphy (Fremantle Press).

Through her illustrations, she loves to create energetic characters with a curious streak – the best type of friend to take on an adventure uncovering the wonderfully diverse and inspiring world around us.

Check out Aśka’s latest projects on www.askaillustration.com

ILLUSTRATOR INSIGHT

 

What’s the best aspect of your artistic life?

First of all it’s the act of creating new things that brings me a lot of satisfaction and personal fulfilment. I also love the flexibility of being my own boss, and the ability to really maximise my schedule on my own terms. I think I’m getting pretty good at that.

I’ve always loved sitting in my room and making things. Back when I was in primary school my projects had an imaginary audience, and I developed comic books, board games, toys and teaching aids for them. Today I still sit in my creative bubble at my desk, but now I’m working towards more focused outcomes and (hopefully) for a real audience!

—the worst?

It is easy to get lost in my work, and forget that sunshine and fresh air exist.

In order not to transform into a cave-dweller, I try to take my bike for a ride around the river in the mornings. Working at Scitech several days a week also helps, as it gets me out of the house and amongst the children.

How do you approach an illustration project?

It all starts with some kind of research. This could take the form of anything really: leafing through pages of books by a particular artist, watching cloud formations or browsing images of frogs on the Internet. Ideas then start popping into my head and I proceed to ‘try them out’ by scribbling. Eventually one of the ideas becomes more dominant and persistent.

Though I am a mostly a digital illustrator, I always start a concept with pen on paper. It is never pretty – more of a gestural squiggle, allowing me to feel the composition and envisage very early on how the design will take up page space.

But once I start working on the line work, first sketchy, then more refined, ideas do often develop further. I essentially think through drawing. Seeing images on the page breeds further ideas.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m illustrating a picture book about a boy with dyslexia, which was written by a dyslexic author. Having been fortunate enough to win a DCA grant, I have taken the project from my ‘creative cave’ and out to schools, inviting students from Years 3 and 4 to hand write their own stories. I then either use these stories as background textures in the illustrations, or actually illustrate them as part of the main character’s world.

Because the book aims to give children an insight into the world of a dyslexic person, I wanted to make sure it was very accessible to children with reading difficulties, so as to not alienate this crucial audience. So I held some consultation sessions with a variety of children who struggle with reading, to ensure the font choices, sizes and illustration layout did not make the book more difficult to read.

I am also developing a short video to show the children who participated how their contributions shaped and changed the illustrations.

It is a project and a half! But it has been very satisfying working with so much input from children and truly developing the book together.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published?

I did everything backwards, as I didn’t do my research. After coming up with an idea, I made a book and then tried to plug the finished product to publishers, not even following their submission guidelines because I was so excited about my project I thought they would be too. Seems a bit crazy now.

Joining SCBWI, learning about the industry and seeing other people go through the publishing journey certainly paid off in the end.

But I think the obstacles are there every time I want to be published again. There is a lot of wonderfully gifted competition out there and limited publishing spots. So I guess believing that there is a space for me amongst all this talent in this vibrant and joyful industry of children’s publishing is the perpetual challenge.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an illustrator?

The only other job I’d settle for is an astronaut.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an illustrator?

I found that ten years ago I was saying “I’m an illustrator” a lot more than actually doing the hard, uncomfortable and challenging work. I wish I had had someone point out to me that being comfortable and finding things easy is not the way up.

Sweat, tears and ink!

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

“Don’t draw to be paid” (or, “make money in your spare time”). I started out working for a design and illustration company, but found very little energy remained after work for my own artistic pursuits, as I was working in the very area I wanted to develop in. It was hard to experiment and find my own style when people were paying me for particular outcomes. I did the same thing over and over, so that my rent was paid.

When I started to work as a science communicator, interacting with children on a daily basis, I would return to my studio full of ideas and will to create.

I do of course get paid for my drawings, but I don’t do them with the sole goal of being paid.

 

BOOK BYTE

The Cosmic Adventures of Alice and Bob, written by Cristy Burne, illustrated by Aśka, published by CAASTRO

Dedication, daring and discovery… Ever wanted to find the answer to BIG questions? Or dreamed of inventing the Next Big Thing?

The Universe is an amazing place, and we’re only beginning to understand it. There’s still so much to be discovered…

  • Join Alice and Bob on their ambitious journey to the hockey finals
  • Uncover true stories of scientific failure, fluke and fame
  • Find the everyday inventions that began with space research
  • Meet the world’s next-generation telescopes, jump on board with Citizen Science, and tackle the big questions with CAASTRO: Australia’s keen team of all-sky astronomers.

The book aims to inspire and excite young minds about science, experimenting and the wonders of the universe but most of all, encourage them to never give up on having a go. Alice and Bob’s fictional adventure is enhanced by the factual stories of discoveries, sometimes accidental, woven throughout the book as well as additional layers of information, find-this-object challenges and teacher resources to emphasise the importance of previous space research on our everyday lives.

To quote Cristy, “The Cosmic Adventures of Alice and Bob is part-fiction, part-fact, and all fun”.

This book is not available for sale, however all primary and combined schools in Australia received a free copy of the book so it can be found in a library near you.

 

 

 

Back Story #1: Characters have their say

‘A sob story?’ I heard Matt say. He hitched an eyebrow. ‘You’ve got to be joking. You don’t write serious stories.’
I ignored him. After all, who did he think was writing this story?

By Teena Raffa

I didn’t plan on writing a light and fluffy romance for the Serenity Press romance anthology, A Bouquet of Love. My contribution to their previous anthology, Rocky Romance had been a light-hearted story about how a dog called Cat and a cat called Shakespeare brought together a gorgeous Irishman and a best-selling romance author who didn’t believe in true love and happy ever after.

And while I’d had fun writing Perhaps Love, this time I’d decided to aim for reader tears instead of smiles. I wanted to touch hearts, not funny bones.
What I had in mind was a moving story about a grieving brother choosing a wedding dress for his sister to wear in her coffin. I had a title – For Jasmine – and a love interest, because of course Matt would need someone to help him select the right wedding gown for the sister who’d been tragically killed with her fiancé in a road accident on their way to check out a reception venue.

My characters, however, had other ideas.

‘A sob story?’ I heard Matt say. He hitched an eyebrow. ‘You’ve got to be joking. You don’t write serious stories.’
I ignored him. After all, who did he think was writing this story?
Then Dani – the love interest Matt encounters at Serendipity Bridal Boutique – took charge. ‘Sorry, you’ve got it wrong,’ she announced and rewrote my introduction in an entirely new style.

I gave in and let my characters drive the story. They wanted to be heard, and I listened. I could have ignored their voices. I’m glad I didn’t.
Grooming the Bride wasn’t the story I intended to write. Sometimes as authors we have to set aside our fixed ideas of what we want to write and let our characters take the lead. A different direction can be just what our story needs.

A Bouquet of Love
A Serenity Press Anthology

Ten couples not looking for love find something unexpected when they visit Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Kate Peron’s vintage-styled salon. Love is in the air and it’s about to blow into their lives, bringing fortunate accidents of the heartfelt variety to those lucky enough to walk through Serendipity’s doors.
A man comes to Eagle Point to stop a wedding. A magazine editor finds herself in a cheesy situation. A different kind of bride takes to the catwalk. Readers will be swept away by this bouquet of stories from ten Australian authors – stories of healing and second chances, of opening hearts and minds, of souls connecting and remembering, of temptation and desire. Life and love in Eagle Point has never been more challenging … or fun!
From cupcake wielding assassins to hilarious blind date set-ups, there’s something for everyone in this delightfully romantic collection that proves there can never be too much ado about love.

The paperback is available here from Serenity Press.
Buy the e-book from Amazon here.

Authors! Share the Back Story behind your publications in this new series of posts. Email teenawriter@gmail.com for details.

Meet the Author: Rebecca Jackson

REBECCA’S TOP WRITING TIP: There will be many times in the writing process when you doubt yourself, your gifts, your message. You may even want to give up. In these times, know that this is just a moment in time and give yourself some extra love and compassion because it will pass.

Rebecca Jackson is an entrepreneur, writer, inspirational speaker, grounded spiritual mentor and soul coach with an insatiable desire to help people connect to their true self and live an extraordinary life. Passionate about bridging the business and spiritual worlds, she says it is an exciting time where we are all being asked to think and act in bigger and bolder ways and stretch our vision beyond borders and across generations.

For more information about Rebecca and her work to support conscious businesses and create a positive impact in the world, visit https://rebeccajackson.info/

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? Writing fills up my cup. I find it a nourishing process where I feel completely free and empowered to explore the light and the dark of my thoughts and processes. I write because my soul feels good when I do it. Ultimately, my writing enables me to be the change that I want to see in the world. My purpose is to help others to feel safe connecting with their heart’s desires, because I know that if we all did this we would literally create Heaven here on Earth.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Writing is such a big part of my day that it’s hard for me to imagine not doing this. Even if I wasn’t a published author, I would still write as a way for me to connect with others. Blogs, articles, social media posts, emails, whatever it takes to be of service and share the message that together we’ve got this!

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Myself. ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ is a mantra that I now use daily to support me to keep doing the things that challenge my sense of self, and my limiting beliefs of not being good enough. I’ve lost count of how many times I questioned myself. “Who’s going to want to read your book?” “Who do you think you are? You’re not an writer!” Having compassion and being kind to myself was, and is still one of my biggest personal challenges.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I jump out of bed excited to see what the day will bring. The freedom that comes from writing, and sharing your gifts in a way that feels like magic to you, is truly incredible. I feel deeply grateful that writing has connected me with so many beautiful, inspiring souls.

—the worst? Not knowing what you don’t know! Getting your book out into the public is a complex process. Every day I learn something new and wish I had known it 12 months ago.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer?
I’d relax a lot more and not put myself under the pressure of trying to meet my own deadlines. This process has been a wonderful lesson in surrender.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?
I wish I had all the technical know how, things like the number of pages required for different formats.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Be you! In a world of seven billion people there’s only one of you. So as long as I show up as me, then I am winning.

BOOK BYTE

Do you wonder … Why am I here? Why aren’t I happy? How can I connect with my true self? You’re Not Alone. Millions of people around the world are asking these questions–courageous spirits who are looking for answers that will support them to step into the life they want. Their best life. The life for which they were born, one full of purpose, passion, and love. A life where happiness is the norm, not the destination. This book offers a collection of powerful insights, personal stories, practical tools, and guidance that will support you on your journey of self-discovery. It will help you remember that you were born perfect and whole, and that your purpose is to share your unique gifts in the greatest way possible. This isn’t your average new age guide to spiritual awakening. Whether a seasoned explorer on a spiritual path or the concepts are new, powerful supports will ignite you to forge ahead when tired, confused, or fed up. You will learn engaging and meaningful ways to raise your vibration, and in doing so you’ll see that there’s no need to wait to be the real you–the fullest, brightest, most creative expression of you.

The book is available directly from https://rebeccajackson.info/yourenotalonebook/ and other retailers including Angus & Robertson.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Matt Towner

Matt’s top tip for aspiring authors: Never give up and if I can help you to get started I am happy to at www.travellerstaleswriters.com

 

Matt Towner graduated from university in Brisbane, Australia in
1989 with a BA in Journalism. Afterwards, he set out to explore
the world where he was inspired to write about travelling tales
through the people he met along the way. Since then he’s
published a number of stories including The Pocket Book Guide to
Byron Bay, The Gemstone Book of Runes, Crystal Carvings,
Opal Magic, Rasto Roo, Bris Vegas and Positive Investments.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I was born to write and I have wanted to do so since I first started school and continued to write throughout boarding school then university and ever since.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Travel has always been my other passion and I have incorporated writing and travel with taking Australian Opals then Australian Wine then Australian Real Estate all over the world and I will always be travelling.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Myself … but once I got out of my own way I was published within weeks and now the sky is not even the limit.

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? New Holland Publishers have been great to me and Alan and I have worked together on everything from my writing and editing to my contributors and covers.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The creative process and being able to live my life-long dream which is just beginning.

The worst? Fear … which is what held me back in the beginning and I think holds nearly everyone back in some way, shape or form at some stage in some way but must be overcome.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Be much more selective as to who I work with so again I am so lucky to have found or been found by New Holland Publishers.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? A lot of people who make out that they have a lot of experience and can help you to be published in fact know no more than you do so back yourself every day in every way.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Writing is the loneliest profession … it is up to you and you alone to write that book.

BOOK BYTE

Abroad, Broke & Busted
Travellers’ Tales from Around The World
Edited and compiled by Matt Towner

Byron Bay—and Australia as a whole—is home to many people from so many different countries, cultures, colours and creeds—with locals, surfers, and wanderers both young and old at every turn.
Abroad, Broke & Busted is a compilation of 14 amazing travellers’ tales assembled and edited by author Matt Towner. They all provide unique and personal insights into life’s gains and losses whilst abroad—some are happy or sad, others soft or hard. While some adventurers end up in jail in a third world country, others find themselves nearly dead in a deep dark jungle—yet all somehow defy the odds. All with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour—as readers learn—things will not always go their way in each
exciting journey told. Anyone who loves to travel, loves an adventure, loves a laugh or dreams of all three will love this book.

The book is available here.