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