My Ten Terrifying Questions have been answered by over 250 published authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Miles Franklin shortlisted Favel Parret and Rebecca James.
In each of these interviews I ask the following question:
Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Now, for the edification of aspiring writers everywhere, I will pull together answers to this question from three very different writers and post them here once week. Some will inspire, some will confound but all will be interesting and helpful in their own way…
“To read as much as you can and to read outside of your comfort zone—the books you like as well as books you don’t like—they all have something to teach you.
Also, go easy on yourself. It’s so easy to get discouraged when your story fails to match the vision you hold in your head, but it’s important to remember that the majority of writing is rewriting—there’s no such thing as a pretty first draft, so cut yourself some slack and keep at it!”
Runner-up for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012
“Shed ideas of privacy and shame and live by candour as best you can in your writing and in your relationships – use the great freedom that we have.”
“If you knock me off the Bestseller list I will hunt you down and kill you with a spoon.
Okay fine, that’s more of a threat than a piece of advice, so I’m also going to say write what you know. I never knew what that advice meant when I was starting out. I always thought write what you know was very restrictive. But I’ve since come to interpret it as put a little piece of yourself in everything you write. No matter if you’re writing about vampires or zombies or, in my case, living skeletons, so long as you include a sliver of raw honesty from your own life and your own experience, your story will mean something to someone.
But most of all, if you knock me off the Bestseller list I’ll kill you. Seriously. I will.”