(Obviously this is a cliff note version of what I would have responded with had it been directed at adults)
--First a little bit about me. I have been writing for eleven years now! I write mostly what is called Historical Romance. They are love stories about a man meeting a woman and falling in love but in a time when there were no cars or tv’s or even electricity. Most houses didn’t even have running water or a toilet. Horses pulled carriages, pirates roamed the seas, the ladies wore long dresses and the men were handsome and heroic. That’s how I like to think it was. That’s the beauty of writing in a different time period, you get to make lots of stuff up because no one who is around today was there, so they can’t say it didn’t happen. It’s the beauty with writing any kind of fiction, you as the writer, get to make it all up as long as you can do it well and make people believe you.
How do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from everywhere. I might see a movie about a woman who doesn’t want to go back to her small home town because she’s frightened of something that happened there when she was a teenager. Then I think about the time period I write in and start to wonder how the hero and the heroine would handle the situation without a phone or email. Most often I get my ideas from reading lots and lots of books or I wake up at three in the morning with an idea for a character and build a story based on the kind of person he or she was.
What books? And your favourite?
I have three books published and one more on the way. Scandal’s Mistress, Behind the Courtesan and The Road to Ruin are all historical but the next one called, Mixing Business is one set in the present day, right now, in Adelaide. My favourite is always the one that was the easiest to write! Behind the Courtesan is the story that I love the most though. The characters have really strong, emotional feelings and it’s always better for the book
What’s it like being famous/author?
Haha, when I’m famous I’ll let you know! What’s it like to be an author? Amazing! I love to put my story ideas onto paper and know that people all around the world are enjoying what I’ve had to say. I also love the social aspect of hanging out with other authors and talking about writing and romance all day long. It’s loads of fun and people always have great questions to ask.
How many books have you written?
So far I’ve written around twelve books. Sometimes when we write a story it might not make it to print or ebook straight away because it needs some work or the timing isn’t right to sell it well so we sit on it for a bit and hope for a good day. Sometimes it’s just plain bad. Bad writing or a bad storyline. Think of a singer you really like. You might like five of her greatest songs and hate the next two. That’s how it’s like for my publisher. If they don’t like the book or it’s just not good enough at the time, they won’t publish it. So then I get to work on it some more and try again later.
How much time do you write each day?
I don’t write every day. I wish I could but I have to work at Foodland some days and then other days, there’s other stuff to do. I try to write at least two days a week and get around 5000 words done a day. Each one of my bigger books needs to be around 100,000 words plus editing time so it takes around six to eight months to complete.
Do you get stuck for ideas?
I never, ever get stuck for ideas on how to start a book. I usually have my two main characters sorted out and the beginnings of how they meet and then I start. I have enough ideas written down to last me more than one lifetime. I do, however, get stuck though in the middle a lot. When you have so many words and such a big story, it can be difficult to know how to keep going. I’m also what’s called a pantser. It means that I can’t sit down and write quickly a short summary of how the book is going to go from start to finish. I fly by the seat of my pants and write as it comes. It can make it very hard! When I wrote The Road to Ruin, I got to around 80,000 words and then realised that my characters were doing all the wrong things and the story wasn’t as good as it could have been so I cut out a whopping 30,000 words and threw them in the bin and started from the middle again. Sometimes we have to start again when it isn’t going smoothly. Most of the time I just wait for good ideas and then keep writing.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
The short answer is no. I wanted to be an opera singer when I was six. When I was seven, I wanted to be a teacher. When I was fifteen I didn’t know what I wanted to be at all. It wasn’t until I was twenty-two that I discovered I wanted to be an author and write books. That’s the great thing about life, we can change our minds and try different careers.
What inspired you?
To become an author? I read a book one night while I was working night shift and the story was lovely but the ending was awful. I thought to myself, I could do better than that. It turns out I couldn’t do any better. Not straight away. I had to read lots of books and take special classes and fail a lot before I could be a great writer.
Who’s your favourite author?
I don’t have a favourite. Not really. I love to read romance books written by Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens and Bobbi Smith but I also love to read dragon fantasy by Robin Hobb and magic stories by Raymond E Feist. Just like music though, sometimes the author will write a book I don’t enjoy but that’s okay because we all like different things. It’s why there’s so many books in the world. There’s always one to suit every person.--
Hopefully most of the kids get it :)