There are only four questions, which makes it all seem very simple, but as with all apparently simple exercises, this is deceptive, as some of my answers will show.
What am I working on?
The second of my Blitz Kid novels, about a teenage girl living through World War II, and also another adult novel I wrote last summer and am revising.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Why do I write what I do?
I suppose it's that fascination with how things are connected, about hard it is to untangle ourselves from the past and from our histories.
How does your writing process work?
I have a rough outline of what I'm going to do before I start--often in the form of a short synopsis or something more 'query'-like: a quick summary of what the book will actually be about, rather than what happens in it. I like to know where the conflict points will be before I start. I now use Scrivener, so that I can separate each chapter and play with their order in the novel. If I'm writing a novel with two threads, it's important to reveal information at the right time, so being able to shift scenes around easily is very useful. Once I have a draft I'm reasonably happy with, I'll ask a first reader to have a look. Then redraft based on their comments, and then perhaps ask someone else. Ideally then I'd lock the ms. up for a year and come back to it with a fresh eye, as distance allows you some objectivity.
I have daily set word targets, though if I'm in full writing mode I imagine I probably write at least a thousand words a day. I'm a great believer in not just putting down words for words' sake. It's better to try and work that out first and not force it. I often have breakthroughs when I'm driving or walking. A lot of the 'writing' happens in my head.
Next week, it is the turn of the critically acclaimed Nicole Hayes to tell us about her writing process. Nicole is a freelance writer, editor and teacher based in Melbourne. She has an MA in Creative Writing, which she teaches at the University of Melbourne and Phoenix Park Neighbourhood House. Her first novel, The Whole of My World, was published last year to critical acclaim, and is a dark young adult story of a girl's attempt to escape her grieving father and her own terrible secret by the medium of Aussie Rules Football.