writing

Happy New Year!

My LiOS advances. They may have pride of place on my mantelpiece...

My LiOS advances. They may have pride of place on my mantelpiece…

So it’s been a busy couple of months. I had yet another birthday (which, as is typical, I did my best to ignore). I moved house (always a fun, and not at all stressful thing to do over Christmas). I made New Years resolutions, which I have promptly forgotten about three weeks later. And oh, I finished the final, final, final copy edits and tweaks and last second panics, and I sent my book to press. It’s in stores tomorrow, which is something I haven’t quite managed to get my head around yet. I’ve been chatting with lots of very cool people over the past few weeks, doing interview-type things and answering questions about my book – the sort of questions that are forcing me to think back to when Life in Outer Space was but a couple of random paragraphs on my laptop. Surprisingly, thinking about the book this way – the actual process of writing, of forming and developing a world – is a weirdly difficult thing to do. As I wade through the initial research and drafting stage of my new novel – battling the empty page and the difficult slog of a first draft – I’m finding that I need to constantly remind myself that Life in Outer Space, and these fictional people who I feel like I know so well, weren’t always fully formed. There were many, many moments where the only whiny words that my writing buddy and I could share, were, ‘writing a novel is really hard…’ It may be a naff thing for an author to admit, but two years later, these characters – Sam and Camilla and Mike and Allison and Adrian – feel like old friends to me. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I did.

Now, here are some links to a few of those very cool people I mentioned above:

Book Probe

Where the Writer Comes to Write

Vegan YA Nerds

Final drafts and ‘Star Wars’ fishbowls

It’s done! The final draft of my novel has been dispatched to the expert hands of my editor, and I have succumbed to my standard pattern of a couple of mental high-fives and a brief happy dance, followed by sleepless nights of crushing insecurity. I know that that the manuscript is in the best shape it could possibly be; but at this stage, I am pretty sure I could recite the entire 70-odd thousand words by heart, and it’s a little difficult to see them with anything approaching fresh eyes. But, it is one step closer to becoming a real book, and I will be keeping my fingers and toes and other crossable bits crossed that the thumbs-up from my editor will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, the things I’m most excited about are:

  • Getting designed first pages
  • Being able to officially announce the title
  • Seeing the cover
  • Cleaning my desk

Over the last year my desk has become a bit of a haven for character-related props and other novel-esque ephemera. My protagonist has a Freddy Krueger stuffed doll? I, too, must own a Freddy Krueger stuffed doll! I know that this was partly because a hasty trip to the shops was my way of assuaging writers block – after all, tracking down a DVD of a movie that the character watches or a book that he reads was sort of related to the writing – but suffice to say, my credit card and Minotaur have become good friends over the past year.

Yes, that is a fishbowl of Star Wars plushes. I doubt there was a Woolies in Melbourne left un-plundered in my quest for the complete set. And believe it or not, I wasn’t a horror movie fan before I started writing this book. Except for The Evil Dead. The Evil Dead was always awesome…

Welcome!

So this is, officially, my very first blog post on my very first blog/website/interwebs page thingy. Huzzah! It’s a slightly odd thing to be writing because at this point no one is reading anyway, but nevertheless, I shall shout out into the void – welcome to my little corner of the web. 

Today, I am polishing what is hopefully the final draft of my first young adult novel, an as yet untitled romantic comedy that will be published in March 2013 by the wonderful folks at Hardie Grant Egmont. As a writer and book editor, I should probably be able to produce a searingly brilliant and insightful post about the editorial process; but really, after working on this novel solidly for over a year now, and with my final draft due tomorrow, the ‘process’ has come down to this: drinking copious amounts of coffee, and desperately thumbing through my thesaurus for synonyms for the word ‘scrambled’.

And procrastination. Oh, the procrastination. My word document shall be opened, and stared at, and closed again with nary a comma altered. The font on my blog will be changed, and changed again. Episodes of Game of Thrones will be watched. My house will be the cleanest it has been since the day before my last draft was due. 

Hopefully, searingly brilliant writerly insights might be possible in the future. But for now – I really just need another cup of coffee…