Monday, April 25, 2011

A fantastically artful Q&A with the amazing...WHO???

Kate Knapp, the author of the Twig Seeds series (like the Nest Eggs book I got for my birthday and The It's not always Black and White book, they've got such lovely quotations and artwork in them.....) you can see her website Here.

Here is the Q&A, I hope you enjoy it!

*How did you first start out with your art?
I began drawing and writing when I was quite young then after studying art at school went to the Queensland College of Art and studied Graphic Design. After years of trying lots of different jobs I began to focus on my art. I made decorative papier-mâché articles and painted on anything I could find.  At first I sold my original art at markets then opened a gallery of my own work.  Then as it grew in popularity I began to license my work on to items such as greeting cards and books so it found a larger audience.
*Did you always want to be an artist?
Not really I wanted to be a nurse. But I’m very happy now to be an artist!
*What was your first job?
My first job was working in a juice bar. 
*What are some of your hobbies?
Going to coffee shops, travelling, playing squash. 
*How did you start getting your work published?
I approached a publisher I admired and though was a good fit for my work. It has been and still is a tremendous relationship.
*Where do you get your ideas from?
I get lots of ideas from observing life and the emotions of people and animals. Nature is so beautiful it is great inspiration.
*Do you remember what the very first thing you ever drew was?
I have many of my childhood drawings and one of my first was a girl in a red dress sitting on a hill under a rainbow. I was about 6 when I painted it but it’s quite sweet.
*What is one of your favourite things to draw?
Spotted dogs.
*How do you describe your work?
Whimsical and naïve. 
*Do you have a very arty 'drawing in' room?
It’s a very nurturing room with computers on one side and painting on the other.  I look out into trees and have lots of plants on my windowsill.
*What most recently inspired you?
Today I was in my local coffee shop and the most adorable native marsupial, which I think was a common Planigale, turned up to nibble on a breadcrumb. It was the size of a strawberry and seemed to enjoy an audience. I could have watched it all day!
*What artists/illustrators do you look up do?
I think Mirka Mora is extraordinary.
*In five words, how can you describe the feeling of starting on something new?
Scary, challenge, duty, love and excitement.
*Do you have a favourite quote?
Many but here’s one that’s special …
‘Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.’
*Do you have a favourite animal or creature?
I love all animals but dogs and birds move me enormously.

Thank you very much Kate! 

Keep being inspired,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q&A filled with awesomosity with.....

The very nice Broede Carmody (and the one who wants my Converses) did a Q&A with me and I did one with him; Broede is an aspiring writer and is writing a novel during his gap year, this is the amazingly fun and funny Q&A I did with his! It was such a larkity lark!
ENJOY and Thanks Broede! I had a great time, and you can't have my Converses, absolutely not!

Q1.What was it like being a judge at the 2010 Inky's?

It was fantastic to be one of the judges for the 2010 Inky Awards. I was in the midst of Year 12 last year, and so to have something like that I could escape to was really important for me. There's nothing like running away from the world through a good book--and I met so many nice people and authors. When we received the books in a big cardboard box, it was like having another birthday or an early Christmas! In terms of a favourite book, I honestly didn't have one. But in saying that there were some that I enjoyed better than others, but I also tried to keep in mind that I was judging on behalf of a wider audience. So basically I just loved them all.

Q2. How is your book going?

I'm working on a YA novel this year, mainly as it's my GAP Year and I don't have schoolwork in the way all the time, and also partly because I got a laptop for my birthday earlier this year. It's going great: I decided to drop all expectations, all previous novel ideas, and just start with something fresh and exciting. I also (right from the outset) decided to aim small; two pages a night is great, one page a night is the minimum. I know this is a really lowly goal, but I work full time at a law firm and Saturdays I teach swimming, so on one hand while I don't have Year 12 to worry about anymore, I probably have less time overall to write creatively. Plus it's nice to achieve any sort of goal, no matter how small, and knitting up those chapters slowly has given my time to think about it deeply, think of new directions that it could flow to. It alternates between the perspectives of two teenagers (like some of my favourite YA books). To sum it up for you I would say it's about a girl with amnesia, who just wants to remember, and a boy surrounded by personal tragedy, whose only wish is to forget

Q3. When you started writing, what age group did you expect your novel to go for?

I've always written, for as long as I can remember. When I started writing the YA novel that I'm workin gon now, though, I guess I expected it to be just that: a book about young adults for young adults (consequently, also written by a young adult). But as I progress I'm not so sure. I know plenty of older people who adore YA, and plenty of young people who adore books for an older market--so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Q4. What makes you want to blog?

Basically I started my blog to post up interviews with authors from the 2010 Inky Awards. But I also maintain it in order to read what other writers are doing and saying, so I guess a major part of it is also feeling part of the Australian literary scene. It's great to read an author's latest book, but it's even better to see what they have to say about ordinary, mundane things as well. It reveals a lot about the person. 

Q5. What is the best thing about being published (the thought) to you?

I think the best thing about being published would be having people read (and hopefully enjoy) my work. But mainly I write for enjoyment--whether I publish or not I will still be the same person, and I will still write. I think if I got to choose a second best thing about being published it would be the opportunity to (hopefully!) present at writers' festivals. That would be neat because you would meet so many like-minded people

And lastly Q6. If your book was made into a film, who would you want acting the mains?

I have no idea who I would want to act in the main roles! But I think it would be exiting to have some fresh faces, say a pair of Australian teens who have never been in a lead role before, but have an abundance of talent.

I had a really fun time doing this Q&A, so thanks again Broede!

Keep writing (I've basically finished my VoiceWorks submission and I've finished the Double revision on my text entry!) and Reading,
P.S. The internet is better due to more gig or something like that being bought.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Ooh! Lookie!

My dear readers and buddieos,

Firstly you ought to know that I may not be posting until around the 22nd because the internet connection is appallingly slow paced at the moment (due to to many little monsters sucking out all the power from my very computer... or maybe that's just what I think..?) so beware... and I can't get to my emails with out lots of tiresome waiting waiting waiting, so I'll get back to your comments around about a soonish time... hopefully! Or maybe I can do it another way... we'll see.
Now, to business-

I am extremely excited about this amazing thing that has occurred! I've had my very first Q&A! I was asked a few very extrodainaryly (um... spelling error maybe?) amazingly spiffy questions by the awesome Broede Carmody from Listening to the Ants Scream  which I implore you to look at, it was such a larkity lark! Broede is also the one who has said he will steal/borrow my converses, which I note are now in a high security bank, so that's a no go.
Well, they're not really, but let's just not mention them again... agreed?
So my very first Q&A, I'm so excited about that! Thanks for asking me Broede! I had a lot of fun!

I am very pleased with how my second and final revision is going, the Text entry's open on the 2nd of May and I'll be finished revising soon, which is fantastical!

I've got an idea for my Voiceworks magazine submission, so hopefully I will be able to start on that today! It'll be grand to be writing new again, I haven't for an age!

And I've something very excitement filled for you, but I'm going to actually let you guess until I publicly announce it... fully.
Well I've got a very exciting and bookish competition on the way, so grab all your friends and school teachers and dog owners and people who like books, reading and writing and please spread the word, because I would adore this to be as huge as possible, to be all the more fun!
Get ready for a marvy competition! It's going to be so fun!

Well, I best be off!
More writing soonish!
P.S. Thanks for all the comments on my Nerds post glad you liked it! I heart it myself personally! Wootitioot!
Now, if anyone calls someone anyone else a nerd in my hearing I'll be like "Oh don't you know? Nerds like are are allowed  to me unironically enthusiastic about stuff. You see, nerds are allowed  to love stuff, like jump up and down in your chair can't control yourself love it. So when you say we're nerds, what you're really saying is that You like stuff. Which is honestly not a good insult at ALL  that's like saying, look, you're too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness, and that's rubbish... and anyhow, it's up to me!" Yeah!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne review...

What I thought:

When I read the boy in the Striped pyjamas I don't think I was as affected by it as I would be now, and as I was by the film.
It is an amazing book, very emotional and really, the sort of book you almost wish hadn't been written, because of the themes and what it makes you feel and think.
It is a beautifully heart wrenching work of writing, and truly is one of the saddest books I know of.
The film is terrible, in it's feel, performances and how well it followed the storyline, it is amazing, brilliantly acted and beautifully thought out.
It is the closest I've gotten to crying while watching a movie, I was so glad of the lights being out, but when I looked around, I saw that I wasn't alone.
I've never cried in a movie, I've got very lightly damp shiny eyes.
But never has a tear rolled down my cheek when watching a movie.
That was absolutely the closest; my eyes were filled to overflowing, but they didn't.
Not Quite.
It is almost a nesscity, to read that book,  and see that movie.
But beware.
They are heart breaking.
And you won't feel the same afterwards.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson review...

What I thought:
Well, I did find it quite a scary book in parts, unusually scary, especially as it is publicised as this amazingly awesome book and little boys in years gone by were all totally (almost spelt totoro...mmm) obsessed with it.. but I suppose, they wanted adventure, action and that jazz as we jazz folk say.
I liked it, yes, it's an amazing story, imaging writing something that became a classic... gosh, that would be a dream come true to so many writers these days... can you imagine writing a novel, either never publishing it or it not doing fantastically when you're alive, then it becomes this massive phenomenon after your death.... imagine that.
Tragic, but it makes me smile for some reason.
Books and writing do that to me.
I liked it, but it was a surprise.

Keep Reading and Writing... and reviewing your work!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Here I've got a lovely dovely Q&A for you to enjoy and nourish your selves on, with...

Well, even though I've had a relapse of tonsillitis  (humph) I haven't lost my touch! (except now it's better, I was planning on posting this ages ago)
Here is a Q&A with Gayle Forman, author of (just to note a few) "If I stay" and follow on/up-coming novel "Where she Went."
This is your local does of Q&A for the week, enjoy!
So, here is the Q&A! Enjoy!

*Why did you become a writer?
Because I had stories to tell. I've been telling them since before I could write, writing them down long before I ever thought I'd become a writer. I became a journalist in my twenties, which is a different kind of writer. And then, after I had my first child, I wound up writing a novel, sort of out of the blue. 

*Did you always want to write as your profession?
No. I started college when I was 21. Initially, I was pre-med, but that didn't pan out and I started taking random classes, a few of which were journalism classes, which I loved. It was then that I realized I could travel and talk to people and write for a living. Wow! I'd always written but never really thought of doing it for a job! And as I mentioned before, I never considered writing a novel until I wrote one.

*What inspires you?
Everything. Love. Loss. Music. People I've known. Things I'm curious about. Teenagers. Life. Stuff in the news. Sounds. Smells. Feelings. Feeling. It all goes into a big stew and comes out a book, don't ask me how.

*How long did it take for your first book to be accepted and selling in bookshops?
My first book was actually a travel book called YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE. But the process was about the same for that and my first YA novel SISTERS IN SANITY, about two years from writing to accepting to publication. 

*Did you use an agent?

*What tips can you give to aspiring authors?
This might sound hooky but if you tell the story you believe in, the one that is coming from that deep, true place in you, I believe you stand a better shot at success than if you write for the market. A story that is just bursting out of you, impatiently jumping onto the page—which isn't to say you should rush your way through a manuscript—will more often than not, read the same way, which is to say, compulsively. Compulsively readable=good. Emotionally authentic=good. Worry about that first. The work first, the selling, marketing, platform, etc. after. Cart before horse.

*What are your favourite books?
I can't answer that—it's too hard and then I always forget other favorite books. I can only say which books I've read recently that I'm gaga over. So I'll say that after being sick of paranormals, I've recently read a bunch of fantasy YA that I've loved, including Holly Black's WHITE CAT and  Frannie Billingsley's CHIME. Nova Ren Suma's  upcoming book IMAGINARY GIRLS blew  me away, too. On the adult side, I finally read Patti Smith's memoir JUST KIDS and wanted to live in that book. But those are favorites  from the last three months.

*In a film version of If I stay, who would you ideally choose to play the main characters?
That would suppose I have a clue of young actors today, which I don't beyond the obvious ones. What I'd love would be for unknowns to play Adam and Mia (and to have them become huge as a result of the movie, natch) and to see cool actors in the parent roles/grandparent roles. Ryan Gosling as dad. Robert Redford as grandpa. Marisa Tomei as mom.  A girl can dream, right?

*What was one of your first jobs?
I was a cashier at a healthfood store in high school. Then I was a maid in a backpacker hotel in Amsterdam. Then I waited tables, with a brief turn as a shop clerk in a vintage clothing store, right up until my first journalism job.

*What does writing mean to you? What does it do to you?
It opens up whole worlds to me. It creates characters who, though fictional, become real to me, so real I feel a responsibility toward them, so real that they keep me up at night. In the rest of my life, I'm a mom to two young kids, so the writing is also an escape from the, well,  tedium of the soccer mom, cook-driver-butt-wiper part of my life.

*Has becoming a well known author opened up a new world to you?
Mostly it's allowed me to devote most of my non-parenting hours to writing novels, which is a huge privilege, and it's allowed me to work only the hours that my kids are in school. And of course,  I've met lots of great YA authors and librarians and readers! 

Thank you so dreadfully much Gayle! I had a great time!

Keep reading, just like me!
And don't stop writing either! I'll be posting more soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My entry into an awesome competition! Yay!

There are amazingly awesome prizes, I hope you enjoy this, and enter yourselves!

1.My favourite season: I don't have one, they are all so amazingly beautiful and unique...I couldn't have just ONE!

2.My personal style: would be unique, some would say slightly odd, but I say unique-if I love something, I'll wear it, as in with my new Totoro beanie, I adore it!

3.1 weird thing I can do: Sing! It's weird because I never really knew that I could!

4.Rain or shine: a sun shower! Best of both worlds!

5.A flaw of mine: I get annoyed and cranky really easily...which I hate.

6.Favourite Music: Taylor Swift most absolutely!

7.Have you made a decision you instantly regretted?: No... I wouldn't want to regret something I did that much.

8.Who do I admire: Taylor Swift, Gerald Durrell and Jane Goodall.

9. Won an unlimited supply of: Books!

10. If I were an animal what would I be: either a totoro, a bird of some sort, a tiger or an orang-utan.

11. If I knew I was going to die in a year: I would make sure I became all the things I wanted- no, did all the things I wanted. And never be crotchety!

12.Your now very rich, what would you buy/spend your money on?: Firstly a house in Corfu for me to live in, then I'd donate tonnes of it to different nature organisations ect and conservation societies and projects.

13. Classical music- love it!

14. Phobias?: Heights and Darkness vaguely.

15. Go somewhere for a year?: Corfu!!!!

16. Extrovert/introvert?: huh? maybe a bit of both.

17. Perform on stage?: Yes! I used to HEAPS!!!

The site where you can enter is:

Keep Writing,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Word count is almost there!

I just wanted to update you on the word count status; I'm upto 20,000 words and am thrilled, as 25,000 is the minimum! I'm so happy! Yay! Yippie!
Now, before I go out to commence writing again, I thought I'd spread the word; I've officially finished the Odyssey! by the time I got back into it, I mostly really enjoyed it, which is grand!
So now, I'm reading The Garden of the Gods, the third and final instalment in the Corfu (G.Durrell) trilogy!
It's all mine and has such a fantastical fabnostic cover, I think it's called Cover Love what I'm feeling right now for that cover, it's pretty amazing! I love it!

Ooh I love it!
Now, back to writing!
Love lots,
Keep reading and writing,