Posts tagged writer

Well, Hello There …

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for having me as this month’s Star Author. It’s a rather sparkly title but I’ll try and wear it well.

So … a bit about me, to start? Not only am I from Australia but I live all the way over on the other side – near Fremantle, in Western Australia. It’s a brilliant place to live, near beaches and a little patch of bush, and one of my favourite things is staring out the window when I really should be writing.

Writing-wise, I’m all over the place. I came to children’s writing via poetry and have published everything from picture books through to novels for upper primary/lower YA. I continue to write poetry and wherever possible try to sneak poetic language into my prose.

As both a writer and a reader, I’m driven much more by things like character and images/ideas than by plot or story itself. The challenge for me is often trying to find a plot on which to hang the quirky little ideas that have captured my imagination.

I haven’t really decided what I’ll be blogging about this month, but that’s also in keeping with how I write. I’m not much of a planner and tend to launch myself into things, having faith that the story will unravel before me as I go. I’m very fond of a quote by the American writer EL Doctorow: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

I look forward to journeying to wherever it is we end up going this month, and I hope you’ll join me along the way. I should add that I’m the kind of traveller who likes to make sudden detours down unexpected tracks, so if there are any particular sights you think we should take in along the way, feel free to grab the wheel!

* Someone who Knows Things About Blogs once told me you absolutely must have a picture in every post, so here is a photo of a boathouse on the Swan River. I love that you can see the river through the open door because it didn’t have a back wall when this photo was taken. It sat like this for ages and whenever I rode my bike past it would make me think about imagination, and portals (which are kind of the same thing, if you think about it a certain way).

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Meet our September Star Author – Meg McKinlay

Our super September Star Author is Meg McKinlay from Australia.  Meg grew up in Bendigo, Victoria, in a book-loving, TV- and car-free household. On the long and winding path to becoming a children’s writer, she has worked a variety of jobs including swim instructor, tour guide, translator and teacher.  Meg divides her time between teaching and writing and she is always busy cooking up more books.  Meg has written picture books and novel and is the author of Duck for a Day, Going for Broke, No Bears, and her latest novel, Surface Tension.

Thanks for joining us Meg!  We look forward to hearing all about your writing and your wonderful books.

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Some writing tips

For those of you who love writing, I thought I would share some tips that have helped me on my own writing journey:

* Write about what interests you and then your passion will shine through in your writing.

* Great stories involve the main character facing a problem or obstacle and overcoming it through their own efforts. The main character grows and changes as a result.

* Great stories need great characters. Characters must be both interesting and believable. And remember your main character shouldn’t be perfect: even Batman has his weak spots.

* Use all the five senses when you write; describe scenes or action using sight, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste.

* Use strong and interesting verbs. Instead of “he walked to school” what about “he trudged to school” or “she skipped to school”; they convey more emotion and meaning.

* Show, don’t tell in your stories. For example, if your character is unhappy, don’t tell your reader by writing “Susan was unhappy.” Instead show how Susan is unhappy: for example, “The tears tumbled down her cheeks.”

*Start your stories with a great hook that will make your reader want to continue reading. And end chapters with a cliffhanger or a question not answered so readers want to turn to the next chapter to find out what happens.

* Writing is a craft: the more you practice it the better you’ll get!

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What superpower would you like to have?

zackids said,

“Charlie is a really cool character but my favourite is General Pandemonium because things never really work the way he planned.

If you were a superhero like Charlie what superpower would you like to have?”

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, General Pandemonium is my favourite character too. He really is more of a wannabe than Charlie is. At least Charlie gets things done. General Pandemonium has a big mouth (and nose) and tries to impress everyone with how cool he is. But really, he’s a nerd.

If I had a superpower it would be flying. I used to be a fast sprinter at school (I have really long legs) and zooming fast through the sky would be the ultimate rush of speed. Also it would mean avoiding traffic jams too.

Anybody else out there like Lieutenant Kurse as a character?

See ya


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Who is Richard Newsome?

Richard Newsome is another of the fantastic authors that are joining us for the launch of the Christchurch Kids Blog on Wednesday 8 September, 7pm at Central Library.  Richard is an Australian author (although he was born in New Zealand) and his first book, The Billionaire’s Curse was published in 2009 when he won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing.

He’s had lots of different jobs before becoming a writer, including a journalist (“he chased after police cars while they chased after bad guys”) and jobs in TV and radio.

He’s written two books in The Billionaire’s Trilogy, The Billionaire’s Curse and The Emerald Casket.  They are both amazingly adventurous stories and I really recommend them.  You can read my review of The Billionaire’s Curse here on the blog.

If you would like to meet Richard Newsome and maybe even get his autograph, come along to the launch of the Christchurch Kids Blog on Wednesday 8 September.

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