Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Kylie Ladd, Alex Miller and Chris McCourt

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog. 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 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…


KYLIE LADD

“Write! It sounds stupid, but it’s the only way. Write and write and write, and then write some more. Think about what you’re writing, and why, and how. Read widely, pay attention, and write. Show your writing to people you trust, submit it places if you like, but just keep writing.

The Man Booker prize-winning novelist Anne Enright recently advised new authors that “The first twelve years are the hardest.”

I’m up to year eleven, and I hope she’s right. Writing can be lonely and horrifically frustrating and disappointing and cruel- it can make you bang your head against your keyboard and question yourself day after day. But if you want to do it, if you have to do it, you just have to persist… and when it works, even if that’s just for a paragraph or even a sentence, it’s the most satisfying thing in the world.”

Read the full interview here…

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CHRIS MCCOURT

“Speak with your own voice, because it’s the only thing you have to offer a reader that is yours alone. Be true to your characters, don’t manipulate them for the sake of a clever plot twist.

Beautiful prose is not enough…you need a story. Write for a reader…if you’re writing for therapy, then write a diary. Don’t listen to flattery…seek objective opinions on your work because your friends and your mother will always lie.

Don’t write drunk…what looks like a work of genius when it’s swimming in front of your eyes at 3AM will not look so good in the cold light of day. And lastly, don’t give up…practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but it does make better.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy The Cleansing of Mahommed from Booktopia
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ALEX MILLER

“I give encouragement.

Advice is useless.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Autumn Laing from Booktopia
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For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Isobelle Carmody, DBC Pierre and Chris Flynn

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog. 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 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…


ISOBELLE CARMODY

“To write for themselves before they ever think about editors or publishers or reviewers or audience. The first person who has to care about what you write is you. How can you possibly affect or reach anyone else, if you are not affected? Never write to preach or teach or change the world. Try to use your writing to understand the world and your place in it. Try to incorporate the questions that animate your life in the things you write, that way even if you never get published, it will nourish and sustain you and help you grow. Do not write unless you are passionately in love with writing. Write all the time.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Metro Winds from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


DBC  PIERRE

“Tell everyone you’re writing a novel, then they’ll hassle and ask about it so bloody much you’ll end up having to actually do it.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Lights Out in Wonderland from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


CHRIS FLYNN

“Be patient. The average age of a first time novelist is 42. And don’t think you’re a genius. You’re not. Relax. Have fun writing! If you enjoy writing your book, chances are someone will enjoy reading it.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy A Tiger in Eden from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Drusilla Modjeska, Jenny Lawson and Shamus Sillar

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog. 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 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…


DRUSILLA MODJESKA

“A young writer – any writer – needs courage, and also patience.  Courage to write from the heart, patience to return to draft after draft.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy The Mountain from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


JENNY LAWSON (Aka The Bloggess)

“Find your voice.  Trust your editor.  Don’t become a hermit and die alone because your cats will eat you.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Let’s Pretend This Never Happened from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


SHAMUS SILLAR

“If you’re sitting at your desk and the words aren’t coming, don’t give up. Stare at the screen or the page; move some sentences around; change a few adjectives; keep tinkering with your text. (Don’t go online.) Invariably, things will start to gel; it might take an hour, or even half a day. With a bit of luck, you might even find yourself in “the zone” – a glorious, almost frenzied state where every idea is gold and words pour out like water from a burst dam. If that happens, do not move from your chair. Ignore the sun going down and the house plunging into darkness. Don’t go to the fridge for a snack. Don’t answer the phone. Just type like the clappers.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Sicily, It’s Not Quite Tuscany from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Kirsten Tranter, Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, and LEE CHILD

I had promised to post a new set of three authors offering writing tips every Friday evening but this is the second third fourth time in a row I have forgotten to do so. Hmmm… Maybe I should just promise to post every Saturday? Or even better, forgo the promise… I know what I’ll do.

New announcement: I have long thought the advice offered to aspiring writers in answer to question ten of my Ten Terrifying Questions deserved a vehicle of its own. Well, here it is. I shall post the advice of three very different writers  every [mumble mumble]. Is that clear? Every [mumble mumble].

Bit of history: On March 1, 2010 I posted the first of the Ten Terrifying Questions author interviews. Since that date I have posted over 200 interviews with authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?


LEE CHILD

“Ignore all advice. There’s room for only one mind on your side of the transaction, and it needs to be yours and yours alone.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy The Affair from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


TIM “ROSSO” ROSS

“Just type. Also, keep a book with notes in it and collate thoughts in your head when you run, walk or are on the train – it is as, or if not more, important as putting pen to paper.

If that doesn’t work, put a sign on your fridge that says, “If that dingbat Rosso can write a book, anybody can.””

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Mum Had a Kingswood from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


KIRSTEN TRANTER

Read as widely as you can, and train your eye to see what good writers are doing well and how they do it.

Bring to your writing the kind of passion and urgency that Donna Tartt‘s narrator describes in the prologue to The Secret History:

I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.” I think I was only able to find the courage to write my first novel once I truly felt that myself.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy A Common Loss from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: John Birmingham, Jennifer Egan and R.A. Spratt

I had promised to post a new set of three authors offering writing tips every Friday evening but this is the second third time in a row I have forgotten to do so. Hmmm… Maybe I should just promise to post every Saturday? Or even better, forgo the promise… I know what I’ll do.

New announcement: I have long thought the advice offered to aspiring writers in answer to question ten of my Ten Terrifying Questions deserved a vehicle of its own. Well, here it is. I shall post the advice of three very different writers  every [mumble mumble]. Is that clear? Every [mumble mumble].

Bit of history: On March 1, 2010 I posted the first of the Ten Terrifying Questions author interviews. Since that date I have posted over 200 interviews with authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?


R.A. SPRATT

“Authors don’t earn much so it is a good idea to have a day job, preferably a lucrative one that does not take up a lot of your time. Like bank robbing, cat burgling or being a super model. (T.S. Eliot did all of these things).”

Read the full interview here

Click here to buy Nanny Piggins and the Pursuit of Justice from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


JENNIFER EGAN

Three things:

1. Read at the same level at which you hope to write.

2. Make writing a regular part of your daily routine—even just a tiny amount per day—so that it feels more natural to write than not to.

3. Be willing and unafraid to write badly, because often the bad stuff clears the way for good, or forms a base on which to build something better.

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Pulitzer Prize- winning A Visit From the Goon Squad from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


JOHN BIRMINGHAM

Read.

I am constantly astounded by the number of young would-be writers who do not read.

They don’t have time, they tell me.

Bullshit, I reply.

If you can’t be bothered reading, do not bother trying to write. You’ll fail. “

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Angels of Vengeance from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Matthew Reilly, Sandy Thorne and Leah Giarratano

I had promised to post a new set of three authors offering writing tips every Friday evening but this is the second time in a row I have forgotten to do so. Hmmm… Maybe I should just promise to post every Saturday? Or even better, forgo the promise… I know what I’ll do.

New announcement: I have long thought the advice offered to aspiring writers in answer to question ten of my Ten Terrifying Questions deserved a vehicle of its own. Well, here it is. I shall post the advice of three very different writers  every [mumble mumble]. Is that clear? Every [mumble mumble].

Bit of history: On March 1, 2010 I posted the first of the Ten Terrifying Questions author interviews. Since that date I have posted over 200 interviews with authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?


MATTHEW REILLY

“Write what you yourself love to read. If you love poetry, don’t try to write a thriller because you think you’ll make money. Or if you like more cerebral works of fiction, don’t try to write a romance. Fans of those kinds of books can spot a fake in ten seconds flat (and writing the wrong kind of book will quickly become a chore, not a labour of love).

If you write what you enjoy reading yourself, not only will every writing session be a joy (I love sitting down at my computer and writing the biggest, baddest, most outrageous action stories I can think of), but readers will detect your enthusiasm and warm to your work. Money and glory are not the end goals of writing—appealing to those who like your kind of book is.”

Read the full interview here

Click here to buy Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


SANDY THORNE

“To always carry a pad and biro, everywhere, plus keep a diary. To always put anything they write away in a drawer for at least a month, then read and edit it. To assess the time-wasting factors in your life, e.g. watching crap on t.v., verbal diarrhoea on the ‘phone, cut them out, and use that time to write. To only write about what you know about.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Great Australian Old-Timers from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


LEAH GIARRATANO

The inner critic is your worst enemy. Find the mute button, or you’ll always be thinking, ‘One day…’

One day is today.

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Watch The World Burn from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Patrick Ness, Lauren Kate and Natasha Solomons

On March 1, 2010 I posted the first of the Ten Terrifying Questions interviews. Since that date I have posted over 200 interviews with authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

I have long thought the advice offered to aspiring writers in answer to question ten deserved a vehicle of its own. Well, here it is. Every Friday evening (or Saturday morning if I forget. Ahem) I shall post the advice of three very different writers…

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?


PATRICK NESS

‘1.  Call yourself a writer when people ask what you do (it’s important)

2.  Find time to write every day.

These are both far, far harder than you think they are, but they’re the most important things you’ll do.

Fear and panic in the air
I want to be free
From desolation and despair
And I feel like everything I sew
Is being swept away
When I refuse to let you go

(Lyrics by Muse)’

Read the full interview here

Click here to buy A Monster Calls from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


LAUREN KATE

“Live curiously. Make the whole world your muse. Never let yourself get bored—instead: eavesdrop, ask questions, try to learn as much as you can about as many things and as many people as you can.

If you live your whole life like a curious person, you’ll never be at a loss for things to write about.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Fallen in Love from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


NATASHA SOLOMONS

“If the thought of doing anything else can make you happy, do that. Writing is a difficult career. In fact it’s more an affliction or an addiction than a job. If you read this, know the odds are against you and you don’t care – you’ve got to write anyway, then the chances are that you’re a writer.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy The Novel in the Viola from Booktopia Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

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