Today I’m joined with one of Australia’s most respected author’s Sally Odgers.
For me, delivering a quality manuscript to a publisher would not have been possible without the professional help of Sally. I owe a great debt of gratitude to her. Now I find myself in a better position than I could have imagined. Sally has played an integral part of my publishing journey.
So I would like to begin by thanking Sally for her constructive, insightful and encouraging feedback.
Welcome Sally to my Time Out blog. I know you’ve done many interviews lately, and I thought you might like to answer some off-beat questions.
1. If you could work with any author who would it be and why?
I like working with my husband, Darrel, because we have the same experience to draw upon but different perspectives of looking at it. I like to think I’d have enjoyed collaborating with Diana Wynne Jones, but she’d not have needed my input. I have had odd experiences working (or trying to work) with other authors. For example, I once started a serial story and others came in to add chapters and before I knew it the characters had been utterly twisted to fit other genre-givens. Two writers I have enjoyed writing with are Sara Quest, an American poet, and Robert Appleton, a British poet.
2. Where do you like to write?
I usually write in the living room at home, but anywhere I have access to my computer, really.
3. If you could invite two famous people to dinner who would they be and why?
That’s a difficult one. Most famous people are performers of some kind, so I’d not be sure if the personae I think I know are real or masks. The famous people I have met have all been writers or singers and have been “as advertised”. Maybe Matt Smith the actor (who has an interesting face) and Liz Berry, a British author, who writes interesting books). Closer to home, I’d like to meet Selina Fenech. Who knows, I might one day meet Robert Vescio at a writers’ conference!
4. Aw-shucks! Thanks Sally. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what four books would you want to have with you and why?
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, Howl’s MovingCastle, by Diana Wynne Jones and Perilous Gard, by
Elizabeth Marie Pope because they are books I can re-re-read and also something non-f about 101 Ways to Escape a DesertIsland. (Might have to write that one…)
5. What makes you toss a book aside?
Clunky Style, gratuitous nastiness and characters who are purported to be in Telligent but who act as if they are stupid. Oh, and DO NOT hurt the dog. If you do, I won’t read your book.
6. Do you listen to music regularly? If so, what type?
I do listen to music a lot. I like prog rock, melodic classical, and tuneful soundtracks. Some of my favourites are the Ladyhawke theme, 39 (Queen), Forever Autumn (Justin Haywood), Midnight Dream (Neil Diamond) and the 1812 Overture (1978 recording with real cannon).
7. What films or TV shows do you like to watch?
I like sci fi and fantasy and some detective programmes. Favourites include Firefly, Doctor Who, Stargate SG1, Castle, New Tricks, Nero Wolfe and Round the Twist. Movies I have enjoyed include I Know Where I’m Going and Sliding Doors and Fargo.
On a more serious note:
8. What is the hardest part of writing?
Finding publishers who want to publish what *I* want to write.
9. Why do you write?
To make a living. It’s the thing I’m best at, and something I enjoy.
10. What future projects have you got planned?
I’m working on a children’s fantasy series called The Fairies of Farholt. I also have other ws.i.p. which don’t get the time spent on them I would like to spend.
Thanks Sally for taking the Time Out to answer my questions. You are an inspiration to all of us.
Thank YOU, Robert. You came up with some seriously interesting questions.
Sally Odgers runs a manuscript assessment business ‘Affordable Manuscript Assessments’ and offers on-line writing workshops. You can find Sally here: http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com
Join me next Thursday for a chat with Sally Odgers – author and manuscript assessor. From time to time I will endeavour to pick the minds of some of Australia’s most loved children’s authors. Sally is without a doubt one of Australia’s most busiest children’s authors. Her versatility as a writer ranges from picture books to novels for older readers. The interview will be posted next Thursday on ‘Robert’s Time Out Blog’ at www.robertvescio.com. So stay tuned!
You’ve probably noticed on my website that I’ve created a Facebook Author page. The reason it took me so long was because I wanted to wait until my books were closer to publication. The time has finally come! Now, I’ll be able to post updates relating to release dates and any media coverage pertaining to my new books.
Also, I hope to continue to thrill you with more goods news about new publishing contracts and writing accomplishments etc. Fingers and toes crossed!
Anyway, head on over and have a peek at my Facebook Author page. I’m still new to all this so bare with me while I get my head around it.
This being my first blog, I thought I’d start by telling you more about myself. But first I’d like to thank everyone that helped me along my journey to publishing. You all know who you are and without your guidance and help none of this would have been possible. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I started writing children’s stories about five years ago but I’ve always enjoyed writing, even way back in high school.
I was also actively involved in the production of the school’s newspaper and school magazine. But since leaving high school, I never believed in myself enough to actually continue writing.
I worked in the publishing industry for over 12 years and for eight of those years I was a Photo Editor working on a number of photographic Magazines. I enjoyed sourcing photographic material from world-renowned photographers. It was an amazing job and I made a lot of friends.
But it wasn’t until I left fulltime work in 2007, to become a stay-at-home dad, that I began to take writing more seriously. I had a great excuse to spend hours in the children’s section of bookstores. Also, my own children helped as well. All I had to do was to observe them and the ideas started rolling in.
Over the next few years I submitted many manuscripts to numerous publishers and received many rejection letters in the mail. With every rejection letter I received, it only made me more determined and stronger as a writer to continue submitting my work. And the long journey to publication finally paid off!
I wrote my picture book No Matter Who We’re With (published in 2013 by IP Kidz and illustrated by Cheri Scholten) following my separation in 2008. Not only was it rough for me on a personal level, with so much upheaval and sadness, but for my children too. So I decided to write a story that would not only help my children but also other children going through a similar fate to cope with the many changes experienced when parents separate. I couldn’t find any picture books in the market place that dealt with this issue so I thought I’d write a picture book about it myself. And it paid off. Here’s a hint: write what you know.
I’m living proof that the good old slush pile really does work. So to all you budding authors out there - keep persevering and don’t ever give up! I always dreamed of being an author, but I never thought I would become one. The hard part about getting published is finding a publisher who will agree to take the risk.
I love picture books and the way they express emotions and ideas in simple ways. Two of my picture books will be released in 2013, along with an early reader chapter book. I have been published in anthologies and received awards for my children’s writing.
There’s a lot more I could write about but I’ll stop here for now and hope you will drop by again to read another update.
Thanks again for dropping by.
Welcome to my blog page!
Here you will find the latest news and updates on my writing and published books.