Meet the Author: Lois Murphy

Lois’s top tip for aspiring authors: One thing I always do is read my work aloud. It is essential for balancing sentences, getting them to flow and identifying redundant words and clunky phrasing. When you’re close to a work, your eye tends to skim it, but you can always pick up clumsy writing by hearing it.

Lois Murphy has travelled widely, most recently spending six years exploring Australia in a homemade 4WD truck, working mainly in small or remote towns. After four years in Darwin, she made a break for a cooler climate, moving to Tasmania in 2014.  She has had work published in a range of literary journals and anthologies, and has won a handful of prizes for her writing, including the Northern Territory Literary Award and the Sisters in Crime Best New Talent Prize.

Her first novel, Soon, won the 2015 Tasmanian Premier’s Prize for Best Unpublished Manuscript, and has just been published by Transit Lounge.

To find out more about Lois, visit her website www.loismurphy.wordpress.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? The answer to this is quick and easy – because I enjoy it immensely and it’s fun. I can create worlds and people and explore them and then share them, which is pretty great.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’ve always daydreamed a lot, so I’d probably spend a lot of time staring out of windows. I do quite a lot of visual art practice too; my favourite mediums to work in are glass and ceramics.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Probably me. I’m not someone who pushes themselves forward, and lack of confidence is always an issue, so I found approaching publishers difficult to begin with. And I find the current processes of sending them work off-putting as well, the focus on a ‘pitch’ – reducing a creative work that’s taken you years to a marketing slogan. I find the whole concept a bit soul destroying, it has so little to do with creativity.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? When a story works, when it hooks you and it’s like coming up for air when you stop because you’ve been so immersed in it all. The ultimate escapism.

—the worst? Justifying the time you spend on it. There’s always so much to do and sometimes it can be hard to relax and enjoy something that seems such an indulgent pastime.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would be more confident in sending work out, not be so hesitant. Getting work accepted and published is hugely helpful, in many ways.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I didn’t really set out to become an author, I just write because I enjoy it. For many years I mainly wrote letters to people. I always wanted to write a book though, it seemed such a huge thing to do, such an achievement. I think, probably, write for yourself, write what you enjoy, don’t try to emulate.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? For me, one of the best things I ever did was voluntary editorial work at a couple of literary journals. Reading the sort of work writers send in helps tremendously, you get to see where people tend to go wrong. The most common problem is lack of an actual story, just an idea left hanging. No matter how great the writing is, there has to be a point. And get rid of adverbs and adjectives, keep the writing clear and fresh, not bogged down with descriptives.

Soon

Lois Murphy

  • Winner of Tasmanian Premier’s Prize for an Unpublished
    Manuscript
    • The story of an ex-cop and a haunted and dying
    Australian town and the handful of residents who can’t,
    or won’t, leave
    • Literary thriller with a page-turning plot. Heralds a
    compelling new talent

An almost deserted town in the middle of nowhere,
Nebulah’s days of mining and farming prosperity – if they
ever truly existed – are long gone. These days even the
name on the road sign into town has been removed. Yet
for Pete, an ex-policeman, Milly, Li and a small band of
others, it’s the only place they have ever felt at home.
One winter solstice the birds disappear. A strange,
residual and mysterious mist arrives. It is a real and potent
force, yet also strangely emblematic of the complacency
and unease that afflicts so many of our small towns, and
the country that Murphy knows so well.
Partly inspired by the true story of Wittenoom, the ill-fated
West Australian asbestos town, Soon is the story of the
death of a haunted town, and the plight of the people
who either won’t, or simply can’t, abandon all they have
ever had. With finely wrought characters and brilliant
storytelling, it is a taut and original novel, where the
people we come to know, and those who are drawn to
the town’s intrigue, must ultimately fight for survival.

Sales site: http://transitlounge.com.au/shop/soon/

 

 

Advertisements

Meet the Author: Bobbie Richardson

Bobbie’s top tip for aspiring authors: Find a place, whether at home or at a café you love to go to, and make that your business place to write. I always treat myself with a cuppa and do at least 1.5 hours of work at a time before breaks.

Bobbie Richardson, a local Maleny resident from New Zealand, moved to Australia in 1998.

“I was made aware of a system that holds humanity back when I had an incredible experience with a Cherokee Elder who I met and worked with for a few years,” she said. “Taking my hand she talked to me telepathically for over an hour at a time. This led me to using my visions (real things Bobbie saw outside this reality) I had received all of my life to focus on the truth of what’s really going on and to find out more about humanity ‘s potential.”

Bobbie has three children now aged 12 to 28 and has experienced the diversities and different needs of each individual soul.

Bobbie has written and illustrated two children’s books, with a third on the way. She was also a singer songwriter and has recorded and sung 15 originals, winning a competition with Brisbane radio station B105 and Channel Seven’s Today Tonight. This led to performing her original song at a Broncos’ game in front of over 20,000 people. Bobbie created a song to go with her first picture book to unite all children.

Website: www.bobbierichardson.com.au

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/childrensnewagebooks

 

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I started to write because my life had led me to a lot of great information about humanity’s potential. My journey took me to USA to work with an Elder, and to Uluru with David Icke but most of all I learnt over the years to trust my dreams and visions as many came true.

This led me to illustrate my first picture book, designed to open children’s imagination for the purpose of igniting these potentials I was taught.

I went on to write The Timekeepers Void to enhance our lives, to step out of the programming of our system, to entice children and adults to think outside the box, to believe in magic again, that anything is possible.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I used to be a singer/songwriter and always an artist so I would probably still keep on creating in some form or another.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Honestly I totally failed English at school so to let that go, the belief that I wasn’t good enough, and to believe in myself enough to send my books out to the right people and never give up has been huge. I’m a bit like a dog with a bone, if it feels good, ignore the logic and just do.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Working from home so I can still be with my girls as I am a solo mum.

—the worst? Spelling, grammar and motivation when there’s still housework to be done.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Invest more in myself earlier.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? If it’s your passion, then treat it like a business and invest into that business all your time and finances that you are able to…don’t hold back.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? To keep your eye on the ball, no matter what drama you create in your mind.

BOOK BYTE

Jonar & Kitty –the Timekeepers Void

The story takes the reader on an exciting adventure through an inner porthole to another dimension.  This dimension is full of magical, fantastical creatures where animals and humans are equals and plants have the ability to heal and lead us into other realities. This other-world adventure throws two teenagers, Jonar and Kitty, into a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Through saving their friends, they also find a hidden gem within themselves and are then able to unite both dimensions, returning us all home.

Visit the world of Elphnye where the colours are brighter and the days are shorter, where the stars move before your eyes and the trees hold other realities. Meet Spirit, the black panther; Jabene, a dramatic fairy; Alder, a wizard who made a terrible mistake and was sentenced to a life as a badger; Loopnit, a crazy little man with the ability to teleport and many more characters.

Designed for children who are looking for awareness of self and unlimited imagination.

Jonar & Kitty – The Timekeepers Void, is an 18 chapter magical adventure novel written and illustrated to introduce other dimensions, whilst learning the value and potential of the imagination, stillness of mind, and focused intention. Taking you through a maze of self-awareness, it is written like a fantasy story along the lines of: Narnia, Golden Compass and Alice and Wonderland. Therefore, any child could read it as just a mystical fantasy or they could choose to delve deeper and explore their own potential.

Written to enhance our lives and to step out of the programming of our system. It entices children and adults to think outside the box and to believe in magic again, that anything is possible.

The ebook is available here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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.