Recently, as part of the Like a Girl blogtour, fellow author, Maree Long, interviewed me about my involvement in Like a Girl anthology. She posted the interviews with ACWF and Fibro and CMS/ME Poetry Facebook groups.
On the previous blogstop author Lynn Fowler reviewed Like A Girl anthology here. Lynn is an Australian writer who delights in sharing with readers about her writing and reviewing good inspirational books.
Maree Long is the founding curator of Café Soiree, providing events and a platform for poets, writers, playwrights, musicians, and artistic photo media to share their talent. A prolific writer of poetry herself and, being inspired by nature and her surrounds, she is well known for her lyrical unique style.
Maree has kindly allowed me to reproduce the interview here:
Like a Girl Blogtour
I would like to introduce Jeanette O’Hagan, one of the contributors to Like a Girl anthology, who has agreed to share as part of a blog tour
As you will see Jeanette has been very busy writing. I had the privilege of working on and collaborating on the anthology Let The Sea Roar with her with the inclusion of my own story ‘Catherine and the Dry Stone Wall’
Please enjoy the following interview:
1. How long have you been writing?
A long time. I started imagining my narrative world when I was nine and wrote some of the stories down soon after. In my early twenties I wrote my first novel but put it on hold for many years, only really taking writing up again seriously four years ago.
2. Do you have a particular writing process you employ?
I usually need a story idea which could be based on a character or a situation. I reflect on it a lot, allow my characters to ‘act out’ and interact with other characters to work out what happens before I start writing the story down. So in part the story comes from allowing my imagination free reign, in part from the flow of actually writing it down and in part from planning and research. I like to ask questions, to turn the scenes and plot around and look at it from different angles.
3. Who is your favourite author?
It’s always hard to pick a favourite. C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were the most influential authors, but I would say Lewis because he has influenced me both with his fantasy fiction and with his theological works.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Like a Girl is an anthology, the ‘brain child’ of the talented Mirren Hogan who wanted to contribute toward Plan International Australia’s support of girls education around the world. When she mentioned her idea and asked for contributions, I immediately began thinking of how I could write about the theme of girls education in my narrative world and the result was my short story ‘Lakwi’s Lament.’ (I also have two poems in the anthology.)
5. How has this book impacted you? And who do you think will enjoy this story?
It’s been a privilege to see the enthusiasm of the contributors and editors of Like a Girl and to see how each author approached their stories in a different way. One of the stories is written by 15 year old Kathryn Hogan. I also had the opportunity to help with some editing and proofing along with our head editors Mirren Hogan and Christina Aitken.
I think the book would appeal to anyone who enjoys fiction and values girls’ education. There are a number of sci-fiction and fantasy stories, some contemporary and also historical stories – as well as a handful of poems. The book could also appeal to teens.
6. Briefly what is the story about?
My story in the anthology is about a young princess’ desire to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. She is lonely and is flattered by the attention of her dashing cousin. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?
7. What other projects are you working on?
2015 has been an exciting year for me with five short stories and seven poems published in 7 anthologies. In particular I was co-editor of an inspirational anthology Glimpses of Light (with Nola Passmore) – stories and poems on the theme of light in dark places. I continue to work on my Akrad’s Legacy series and hope to have the first couple of books in this series published this year. I’m also planning on publishing a longish short story – Heart of the Mountain – which follows the adventures of three young people as the lights in the below ground kingdom begin to flicker out.
8. To write what do you need in terms of aesthetics, environment etc?
I can write just about anywhere – as long as it’s not super noisy – or I’m not being constantly interrupted. I often write at home but also love to write in cafes or libraries.
9. What other books have you written, and do you have a favourite?
Written or published? I’ve finished or am close to finishing five fantasy novels, all part of the Akrad’s Legacy series. Of the seven anthologies with my short stories and/or poems – my favourite would be Glimpses of Light. I loved writing ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’. Like a Girl would also be a favourite.
Thanks for some great questions. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
Jeanette O’Hagan enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing and is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy. She has stories and poems published in another anthologies, including Glimpses of Light, Like a Girl and Let the Sea Roar. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.
Jeanette’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/…/B00RBSE85C/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Like a Girl anthology
Fourteen Authors from around the world have contributed their stories to raise money for PLAN Australia.
‘Like a Girl’ is a celebration of the strength and resilience of women, told in a variety of genres and voices, the proceeds of which will help empower girls and women all over the world. It turns the derogatory term ‘like a girl’ on its head, celebrating the contribution girls and women can and have made.
Featuring stories and poems by Jeanette O’Hagan, Avril Sabine, V. Hartman Di Santo, Kathryn Hogan, Mary Grace, Coralyn Swift, Christina Aitken, Mark Taylor, D.L Richardson, Mimi Emmanuel, Erin Yoshikawa, Druscilla Morgan, Michelle John and Mirren Hogan.
The stories and poems use humour, adventure, imagination and emotion to explore themes of resilience, determination against odds, empowerment, relationships and women’s achievements.
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More Behind the Scenes
For more behind the scenes information about Like a Girl anthology – check out the rest of the blogtour, the coffee chats with D L Richardson and news items:
Girl power with the pen - Mirren Hogan, Kathryn Hogan and Debbie Richardson interviewed by Bay Post.