Now that I’ve finished my edits on Close to Home I’m excited to be focusing back on my blog and plan to post a few times each week. Fridays are going to be all about Inspirations – the people, places and things that inspire me to write. I’ll also be inviting a number of other writers on to the blog to tell us about their inspirations so I hope you’ll visit each Friday and I hope you’ll be inspired.
To kick off this series I’ve done an interview with myself, so here goes …
1. What – or who – first inspired you to write?
I can’t exactly remember what first inspired me to write back when I was a teenager scribbling down poems and writing in diaries. I guess it was about finding an outlet for all that teenage angst. When I travelled extensively in my twenties I wrote journals about the places I visited and the people I met, following this up with a correspondence course in Travel Journalism that I never did anything with. After teaching for about 15 years I decided I wanted to write creatively rather than put red marks on student essays and so I enrolled in a Masters Of Creative Writing and haven’t stopped writing since. One of my first inspirations in terms of place was Nepal, which i wrote about in my previous post. The book that first gave me the ‘I want to write like this’ thought was The Hours, by Michael Cunningham. I loved the way he switched times and characters so seamlessly and weaved the stories of the three women together so beautifully.
- Is there a place and time of day when you feel most inspired?
I used to get up and write first thing in the morning but these days can’t seem to drag myself out of bed. Now the best time for me to write is between about 9am and 2pm. After that the house starts to get noisy again, there’s dinner to think about and my brain starts to hurt. Usually I write in my study but when that resembles a war zone (as it does now) I resort to the dining table. My favourite place to write is on the deck of my getaway house at Milton with a gorgeous view to look at in between jotting down words.
- When you’re feeling uninspired what sort of creative activities help you get your writing mojo back?
Nothing works better for me than a deadline! But we don’t always have those. Writing in a beautiful place (see above) can work, meeting with fellow writers (I am blessed to have quite a few in my life) and chatting about books and writing and getting out of the house and walking or doing some yoga usually re-energises me. Listening to music often helps too. And going for a horse ride, of course!
- Can you tell us about one of your characters (current or past) who has been inspired by a real person or a situation in one of your stories that was inspired by a real life event?
To begin with my characters are usually bits and pieces of people I’ve met but they gradually morph into themselves and I start to think of them as real people by the time I’ve finished the first draft. My first published book, Blackwattle Lake, was inspired by my involvement with horses and that has continued through to my soon-to-be-released novel Close To Home. The Black Saturday bushfires also had an influence in that first book and in Essie’s Way I was inspired to a story of a woman rescuing a shipwreck survivor in the middle of a storm on horseback.
- What was the inspiration for your current book?
The initial inspiration for Close to Home was my conversation with another pony club parent about the Hendra virus. It made me realise what a contentious issue vaccination was and made me wonder what would happen if an outbreak occurred in the area where we live. For those who don’t know Hendra is a disease carried by bats and spread to horses and then potentially to humans. It has been responsible for quite a few horse deaths and 4 human deaths in Australia over the last two decades. I’ve taken a real situation and fictionalised it but the story developed into a much deeper one about family relationships and dealing with the past.
Essie’s Way (ebook) is currently on sale at Amazon for only $4.99. Click here to buy.
Close to Home is now (ebook) is now available for pre-order. Click here to order.
All three books are available in print at your local book seller. If you can’t see them on the shelves please ask at the counter. 🙂
Thanks for dropping by.
Would love to hear about who or what inspires you – in writing or in life .