The idea for my debut novel,FAST FORWARD (coming out with Escape Publishing in February 2013) first came about when I was reading in bed one night. I don’t remember the book, I just remember that it mentioned a young character who behaved like they were years older, and I thought... ‘I would love to do a story where the character ages suddenly overnight!’. I was reminded of movies like Suddenly 30 (13 Going on 30 for those in the US) and 17 Again but wanted to do something a little different
where the character becomes an age where they’re NOT in their prime. An age that they don’t want to be. I decided age 50 would be a good milestone to write about, and I chose to make the character a model with no desire for domestic life become a middle-aged housewife and mother overnight. The title Fast Forwardcame to me then, and gradually the main character and story developed in my mind and I wrote it all down as quickly as I could!
2. When did you take up writing?
I always enjoyed writing stories from a young age and in my early twenties I started to get ‘The Itch’.For writing that is. I began jotting down snippets of prose and story ideas, and even wrote one chapter of a mystery/suspense novel, but I never continued this story. Life got in the way and I forgot about writing until some major changes occurred in my life and I thought ‘It’s now or never.’ That was three years ago (late 2009) and I’ve been writing seriously ever since.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
It depends on the type of story I’m writing. For example, for the series I’m writing set in a small Australian town, the setting is very important, it’s like a unique character in itself. For my romantic comedy, Fast Forward, the setting is a
combination of the city and the suburbs, but it’s more of a generic setting. What’s more important in this story is the time period it’s set in – twenty-five years in the future. I had to think up new inventions that would be plausible but add some interest and comedy to scenes in the book.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
I should say my main character Kelli, but I have quite a soft spot for William – her geeky middle-aged husband in the future. He was the high school nerd who grew into a confident successful man and loving father. He’s a funny, charming, and affectionate character with a positive attitude about life, and will do anything for the woman he loves. He’s quite a Superman (joke – you’ll see why in the book!).
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
‘Write what you care about.’I care about making the most of life, following your passions, and staying true to yourself, and I try to incorporate these themes into my stories.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
I’d like to, and I do my best to have a routine, but my son does his schooling from home so everything revolves around this. If I can get some writing or editing done in the mornings I will, otherwise I write whenever I can and as often as I
can. Evening sprint sessions have been productive for me (the writing kind not the physical exercise kind ;)), because I find when I have a strict time limit and another writer sprinting along with me I get more words down. And sometimes
I write best on the spur of the moment so a combination of going with the flow and military precision works for me.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I start with a basic premise in my mind and then wing the first scene or chapter to see what happens and find the voice of the story. Then I become a plotter. I usually start with the beginning and end so I have a clear idea of the purpose of the story, and then write an outline in dot points, listing as many scenes as I can think of to drive the story forwards. If needed I also get a long piece of paper and handwrite a timeline. I usually also work out my characters’ goals, motivations, conflicts, and what they need to learn by the end.
8. Can you name three or four of your current favourite books?
It’s hard to choose favourites, it depends on what I’m enjoying reading at certain times in my life. A classic I really enjoyed was The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, and two by Sophie Kinsella that I loved were Remember Me (because it inspired me to finally start my first book), and Twenties Girl (because it was so much fun – and I love stories with ghosts!).
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I’m working on revising a manuscript, outlining the next book in my small town series, while also writing a new manuscript called HauntedHousewives. It’s a similar style and set-up to Fast Forward – taking a character and throwing them head on into an outrageous situation for which escape seems impossible!
In this case... During a weekend away with her bridesmaids, bride-to-be Sally becomes haunted by the ghost of her fiance’s ex-girlfriend who seems intent on stopping the wedding, while having a lot of fun at Sally’s expense along the way. It’s in no way a horror or suspense novel, it’s a romantic comedy – with a ghost!
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
If you have a passion for writing, don’t give up! Keep writing and learning your craft, and be true to your own voice. Write the book you’d want to read, and join a writing organisation such as Romance Writers of Australia. Also, learn how to edit your book, and consider getting a critique partner or paying a freelance editor to assess your work and provide feedback before submitting to publishers.
coming Feb 2013 from Escape Publishing: www.escapepublishing.com.au
Aspiring supermodel Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her 25th birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.
Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really
important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy
advances from her husband, and hideous support underwear forever?
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