Frequently Asked Questions
Do you do any work other than writing fiction novels?
What is your best memory from your childhood?
How do you balance writing and being a mother?
What inspired you to write?
Where did you get your ideas for your Australian YA fiction saga?
Who inspired you to become an author?
Who is your favourite ever fictional character?
How would you describe your writing style?
Where can I submit my book reviews for your monthly newsletter?
Will you beta read my work?
1. Do you do any work other than writing fiction novels?
I am lucky enough to live in Australia where it is very possible to have a career and pursue my passions/hobbies simultaneously. I work in Mental Health Support currently but have also worked in Ambulance and Fire & Emergency Services. I personally feel that having a job outside of writing is healthy and allows for more meaningful character development in your novels. Write what you know right? Making a living writing books can take years, even decades of time so you need to be practical in your approach to this endeavor. Publishing for profit comes with more than its fair share of trials so bare that in mind as you embark on the writing journey. I also supplement my publishing and day job income with other freelance writing gigs and contracted work as a narrative practitioner and hope to one day have my own local practice.
2. What is your best memory from your childhood?
There are five moments that stand-out to me as being pivotal in my early years on this planet, thinking about each of them never fails to fill me with unadulterated joy.
Hot Milo made in a saucepan by my Grandma when I would visit the farm during school holidays.
Weekends at the beach swimming and playing Animorphs with my favourite cousins.
The night my cat Princess had kittens underneath my bed
Camping at the gravel pit and telling ghost stories in front of the fire pit.
Driving while listening to loud punk music with my boyfriend and my friends. Blink 182, Brand New & Taking Back Sunday CD's were all abused in my stereo during my teen years.
3. How do you balance writing and being a mother?
Like many women before me, at times I have found motherhood gruelling. It is a lesson in sacrifice. You give up your body, your time, your money and of course to some degree, your sanity. It is rewarding, like any pursuit that requires hard work, though at times I wonder how many more books I would have been able to write had I only ever been beholden to myself. Balancing my time for writing and the time I need to give my boys is never easy, there are times I am resentful of how often they interrupt me or need attending to when I am trying to work on my novels. I try not to hold it against them, I choose to have them and they deserve the best of me. But sometimes I want to hang a sign from the door off my office that reads “Do Not Open Unless House Is On Fire” just so I can finish more than a paragraph a day… I know this is just a season of life, it will pass all too quickly. In the meantime I plan on enjoying my sweet children as much as life permits. There is nothing more important than family.
4. What inspired you to write?
I've always written. Poetry; lists; journal entries; extra credit essays even. Putting my thoughts and feelings on paper is something that comes naturally to me. But I started writing my debut series after my first real break-up. I had just moved 700 km away to start over in a new town, with a new job and I didn’t know anyone. I started writing one night as a way to escape the loneliness. That draft sat for ten years before NaNoWriMo 2018 and a very sad patient at the rehab clinic made me take The Girl Diaries concept seriously.
5. Where did you get your ideas for your Australian YA fiction saga?
For my original series The Girl Diaries I can’t pinpoint the one idea that started it all, but I actually can for The Unseen Forest. I was walking to the park with my then three-year-old son and he ran ahead and hid from me in the bushes. When I looked for him, he had crawled under a fence and was stuck, he started crying out that he was being kidnapped by goblins and from there Lydia and Shaun’s adventure just grew. The idea wasn’t new, lots of stories feature children being kidnapped by Fae creatures but once I started researching Australian folklore my book really came together. In my first draft of my Urban Fantasy novel I wrote in dual point of view but when the time to edit came around I found the story was better served by third person limited and I cut a heap of Shaun’s chapters in order to do this. For my spin off books featuring Kacie Lavers and Stavros Harris
6. Who inspired you to become an author?
John Marsden was the author who made me a reader. The series Tomorrow When The War Began got me through the hardest times of my young adult life. Louise Rennison was the author who made me want to write. Her UK series Confessions of Georgia Nicholson showed me that great books can be in any format we choose. Every story matters, you just need to get writing!
7. Who is your favourite ever fictional character?
I would have to say that it is the nameless main character in The Bride Stripped Bare. The raw, unflinching, brutally honest yet very relatable voice Nikki Gemmell created is something I hope to achieve in my own writing endeavors someday and is partly why I have never given a name to the cheerleader who takes her life in my debut series.
8. How would you describe your writing style?
I would say my style is conversational, in that my characters often meander between outward and internal dialogue and thus my writing becomes stream of consciousness storytelling quite quickly. It takes quite a few edits for me to bring it all together. That is the fun of writing, where is this narrative going and will I ever catch it up?
9. Where can I submit my book reviews for your monthly newsletter?
10. Will you beta read my work?
I love helping other writers and if you have a complete draft I am happy to give feedback when time permits. I only beta read fictional work so please don't send memoirs or non-fiction through.