Monday, February 28, 2011

Here, once only, is an absolutely brilliant Q&A with the amazing author...

My suspense skills are just perfecto, aren't they? I amaze even myself!
Well, here and now I have a short Q&A with Jennifer Donnelly, the amazing author of A Gathering Light and 3 other books, for you all to read and enjoy! It's got some really interesting help on writing and such and is as interesting as interestingness and is marvy for becoming writers!
Here is is! Enjoy!

Why do you write?
I write because I love to create people and worlds with words. And because I feel a need to go back in time -- to the Adirondacks in 1906, to Paris during the late 1700s -- and change history, if only a little. To try to set something right.

What tips can you give to aspiring writers?
There’s only one thing that makes you a writer – and that's writing.
Writing – any kind of writing: journals, term papers, letters to your grandmother – will hone your ability with words. As you keep writing, you'll learn how to do more with less. You'll get a feel for simplicity and elegance, when to let rip and when to hold back, and how the subtle art of suggestion can lend incredible power to a paragraph or scene. These are all things I still struggle with. I have a tendency to overwrite, but when I do nail a scene, I can sense it, and it's a tremendous feeling.
Reading is also incredibly important. It shows you how other writers do it, how they succeed and where they fail. Whether it's a novel, a newspaper article or the copy on the back of a cereal box – it's all writing. Someone had to think about it and make choices. It's your job as a reader to decide how well the author did. You may not be aware of it, but every time you get lost in a story, or intrigued by a magazine article, you're also picking up pointers on structure, plot, and style. I couldn't afford to go to grad school, or take a workshop when I started trying to write, so I used what was available to me – good books.
Another crucial key to writing is finishing what you start. Lots of kids, and older people, too, tell me that they have so many stories started. Started is good. Beginnings are good. But you have to finish. Finishing is what makes the difference between ideas and books. Force yourself to sit down at your desk – glue your butt to your chair – and work through the problems. It's very important. It's very good discipline. It forces you to see an idea through from beginning to end and to do the hard work of bringing the various threads of the story together in a satisfying way. Do this and you’ll become more confident in your ability to tell a story. The problems of structure and plot and narrative drive may not get easier for you – they certainly haven’t gotten any easier for me and I’m on my fourth novel – but with experience and a bit of confidence, you’ll become braver about facing them…and besting them.
Lastly, listen to your own thoughts and feelings very carefully, be aware of your observations, and learn to value them. When you're a teenager – and even when you're older – lots of people will try to tell you what to think and feel. Try to stand still inside all of that and hear your own voice. It's yours and only yours, it's unique and worthy of your attention, and if you cultivate it properly, it might just make you a writer.

What makes you want to keep writing everyday?
The absolute joy that comes from creating stories. 

Thank you ever so much Jennifer, for answering my questions! It was great fun!

Keep Reading and Writing,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Here is an absolutely amaz-didily-daddily Q&A with...guesses of guess!

Jackie French! You are about to read a lovely of loveliness Q&A that I did with Jackie French!
Thank you ever so much Jackie; I hope you all enjoy reading!

*What are you currently writing?

Nanberry: Black Brother White, a true story of extraordinary people in the early Sydeny colony, a boy who became both Cadigal warrior and sailor; a convict brat who became a hero of waterloo; a woman reprieved from the gallows to become the wealthiest and perhaps best loved woman in Australia.
Out in September, A and R/ harper Collins

*Who would you have star in a film version of A Waltz for Matilda?

Absolutely no idea!

*What character in any of your books do you think you are most like?

A touch of Mrs Puddleham in The Night they Stormed eureka; a small bit of Auntie Love in a Waltz for Matilda, and perhaps Matilda too. But no character is made of one person.

*Do you ever base a character on someone you know, a friend, family?

Only once, the bus driver Mrs Latter in Hitler's daughter.

*What was your favourite job before you became published?

Cooking at various restaurants; farming vegetables  to supply restaurants; sheep farmer. The echidna milking would have bene best if the funding hadn't dried up.

*What was it like being a Gopher for a Private Detective?

Part boredom- you find a missing person usually by looking up the phone book or electoral roll. Sometimes heartbreaking, as those were the days of 'guilty' parties in divorce, where bashed women would be hiding in case their husnands found them and divorced them for desertion- and thus had custody of the children. But with the help of the University legal aid it as possible to help them.

*If you had to choose a number of books to write and then had to stop, how many would you go?

I'll be writing till the breath leaves my body, and possibly a few seconds more

*What is your favourite book to movie?

None, i think- the movies and books are such different things. I love the pride and Prejudice series for example, but it seems nothing like the book, which I also love,  apart from some plot overlaps.
it's like Hitler's daughter, the Play- it's not the book i wrote, though it began there. it moves me every time i see a new production. Each new actor or producers creates a different art work from it.

*What one author do you particularly look up to?

socrates, since i was seven and found his words on the living room shelf. Integrity, the courage to die without recanting, the generosity of spirit to teach the young to question and look at the world about them.

* Can you please describe one of your books (any of your choice) in five words?

A Waltz for Matilda: the women's stories we've forgotten

*And lastly What makes you keep writing?

The joy of creating, the fascination that keeps me examining the world and it's species, the love of crafting words, the chance to vanish into 1,000 universes, some of them mine.

Thank you again Jackie!

Keep reading, being inspired and writing,
And thanks to everyone who voted on my poll, thanks very much!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Busyness is actually emanating from me and my surroundings! What a to-do! Golly Gosh!

I'm just so absolutely busy at the moment, so busy in fact, that I just had to Tell you all!
I knew you would appreciate it immensely!
Well, here are the reasons for my utter busyness-

1. I have just started back at my school work, which seems so busy now that I don't have the whole day basically free-but I am glad to get back to it too!

2. I am going to be writing an article for Good Reading magazine...that will be published in GR magazine and the YA version- Spine Out! I am so utterly overwhelmed about it! So you must buy the GR magazine when it comes out, ok? Please! ( :

3. I feel totally overwhelmed with my writing at the moment on top of everything else.

4. I need to put one of my stories onto the computer so I can enter the Text Prize- it's the story about the girl who is involved in mystery, though I will most likely also have to get the word count up to 25,000 in time to enter!

5. I don't want to stop blogging or not write for ages...I hope never to.

And I am slightly worried that I will run out of time for reading and doing everything else, but I think it will all be fine once I start on the GR thing and get the beginning of my story onto the computer...hopefully.

Well, I best be off so I don't get behind for the day (though everyone who knows me personally will know that I never get behind, I'm quite particular about keeping up with everything!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Family and other Animals By Gerald Durrell review...

What I thought:

I first saw the film version (the one with Imelda Staunton, also known as the all evil Umbridge in Harry Potter) I just adored it, such an eccentricly amazing family in the most trying situations, they are totally loveable and just the sort of family that you at once love!
The book is everything the movie is and more besides, it is full of smiles and laughter, happiness, rage (mostly from Larry, Leslie and Spiro mind you), full of animals and full of everything that comes with a family who have moved from England to Corfu.
It is Officially my all time favourite book, ever! I am now just trying to decide on the cover that I like best, because there are so many!
The copy my family owns is the rather smashing one up there.

And it is absolutely full up of amazing names for animals, such as: Quasimodo, Achillies and Widdle and Puke (the dogs)- you see, after reading those names a few times, you will want to buy a dozen copies of the book, correct?
I honestly think I have too long been deprived of the Durrell affect that comes with his books.

Keep reading, writing and Blogging.
And let me know at once if you are going to read My Family and Other Animals too, I'd love to know!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Update so everyone doesn't think I've left you, which I haven't, of course.

I finished My family and other animals, it is my favourite book in the world, which seems starnge because I love so manny, but when I finished it I felt so nice, so accordingly I'm reading the sequel now! Which seems just as good! And as well, I have decided to go to Corfu when I'm older, I'll b lliving there for a few years I think! It'll be just lovely!
Doesn't it look just amazingly magnificent! I'll be living their  with my Greyhound, I'm really looking forward to it!

Well I have to go in a second so I'll just say that I think I've finished one story and the rest is going really splendidly!
Toodles Poppies!