Sharing exciting news is always fun and I've got exciting news to share. In a few weeks I will be the guest speaker at a local writer event. You know in the movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray's character says, "I'm not a god, I'm the god." I feel a bit like that. I'm not a guest speaker. I'm the guest speaker. It's an awesome feeling. Anyway, let me tell you a little about the event and what I've got planned.
The Eurobodalla Fellowship of Australian Writers is celebrating 20 years of writing with a literary lunch, a writing activity, and myself as guest speaker. My topic of choice is on the cycle of writing/publishing which I've now done four times, and because the writers at this event will be at different stages of their careers, I thought I'd offer some tips on mental preparedness.
This event also sparked a great idea for some posts. I'm going to interview a few published authors (more if everyone/anyone is interested) who have already been down this road to gain some insight and tips.
The most important thing to learn about a writer's journey is that it is never over. We are always learning.
Today's interview is with romance author Noelle Clark. She lives in Brisbane, Australia and you can check out her work at www.noelleclark.net. It's a wonderfully lengthy interview, and I say wonderfully because it's so full of great advice and tips, that I've decided to post it in two parts.
Out and About with Noelle Clark Part I
And first up let me say a huge thanks for sharing this information. I know I've found it invaluable and I hope other writers do too. And readers, of course, might be interested in learning more about their favourite author.
D L: Every writer sits on one side of the pre-published stage until they finally get to sit behind the desk as a published author. What, for you was the biggest difference between the two sides?
"Once you’re published, it gives you the confidence to keep going."
Noelle: The biggest difference for me was the quantum leap in my confidence levels. An author—especially an unpublished author—is very vulnerable. It takes courage to send your manuscript out there for someone else to judge. It’s akin to entering your baby in a baby show, watching on as someone critiques your baby, judges it, and then decides that perhaps it’s not as good as the next person’s. Once you’re published, it gives you the confidence to keep going. But I’d advise any author to grow a thick skin.
Noelle: I attend as many writers’ conferences, conventions, festivals, and library talks by other authors, as I can. I never fail to learn from others, and I respect how each author goes about their writing journey. So, in one way, I prefer listening to others, but because I can put myself in the shoes of aspiring or unpublished authors, I’m very keen to pass on any tips from my own experiences. I love talking to writers groups, book clubs, and readers, about how my books came to be. What triggered the story, the theme, characters, and my choice of location.
D L:Have you done an event alone or have they been joint events?
Noelle: Thus far, I’ve only done solo sessions. Recently, I delivered a series of one-hour writing craft talks for Logan Libraries (Queensland), attending several branches with a session called ‘Person, Place and Passion’. The topics covered three major elements of romance writing: development of the characters, the importance of location and setting for the story; and the character arc that the heroine and hero travel to arrive at a Happily Ever After.
"You often get questions about writing sex scenes too."
Noelle:Yes, very much so. I’m always asked how I came to be published. There are always questions about self-pubbing vs traditional; about word lengths; about how much you earn (try not to grimace...); about your writing process – how many hours a day, where you write – I’ve even had questions about whether it’s okay to submit a handwritten manuscript. I’m often asked about beta readers, editors, manuscript assessors, and whether I can recommend any. Probably best to be prepared and point them in the direction of your State writing association or the FAW. You often get questions about writing sex scenes too. This can be a lot of fun to answer. Be creative. J
D L: What is the most unusual event you’ve attended both as an attendee and as a guest speaker/author?
Noelle: So far I’ve had great experiences at all my events, but I did attend a private book club held in a home. The women had read my books as their monthly read, and I spent a lovely evening with them as they sipped champagne, and asked me all about myself and my books. It was very informal and relaxed, but most enjoyable.
That's it for now. Part II of this interview will continue tomorrow. In the meantime if you want to check out more of Noelle's work you can do so via her website www.noelleclark.net