Through the Book Shelf – Discovering New Worlds

Posted by Jenny on Nov 29, 2013 in Snapshot |

Let's talk about books and writing

Writing and painting are two passions I’ve dabbled in since I was a young child. In my twenties, I took up both my brush and the pen but soon other pursuits – marriage, career, children, ministry – crowed out my time and led me in a different direction.

Then a couple of years ago a chance conversation with the mother of my son’s best friend inspired me to enrol in a post-graduate writing degree at Swinburne.

What has followed has been an exciting voyage of discovery

I’ve taken up the pen again. It started with the first unit when I dusted off an old manuscript I’d written in the 80s & 90s – a YA Fantasy novel, Adelphi – and had a go at re-editing the first couple of chapters. Before I knew it, I was re-editing the whole book then writing the prequel – which soon turned into the Akrad’s Legacy Trilogy: Akrad’s Children, Rasel’s Song and Mannok’s Betrayal. In the last 22 months I’ve completed 3 unpublished manuscripts and am halfway through the fourth. It has been so much fun sharing adventures with my characters – their joys, tragedies and triumphs.

- I’ve learnt so much more writing craft. I already had a solid base to work from as an avid reader since Grade 3, majoring in rhetoric in my Arts degree, doing workshops and joining Queensland Writers Centre in the 90s. But the world of fiction-writing is fast moving and a number of things had changed. The last 22 months has been a learning adventure – the niceties of Point of View, Deep third person, speech and action tags and cutting those adverbs and weasel words. Learning the craft has sharpened my prose and given it a more modern twist.

- I’ve faced the publishing Mount Everest and kept on climbing. Getting published has never been easy – but in today’s world of struggling bookshops and publishers inundated with tens of thousands of manuscripts – it sometimes seems like winning the lottery. Moreover, publishers now expect authors not just to write and dream up new novels but to market and build a platform. One thing is for sure though; you can’t achieve a goal unless you actually try. So I’m writing, re-writing, sending manuscripts to publishers, entering competitions and keeping my options open.

- I’ve discovered a group of Aussie authors I knew nothing about. Through my course but also, in one of those God-incidents, when I connected with an about-to-be published author (I went to Bible College with her Dad), I went on a writers camp. Here I met both published and aspiring authors, publishers and editors, linked in with some writing groups through Facebook and began to contribute to some great group blogs. I have received so much encouragement and inspiration from these fantastic writers.

- I have read and enjoyed a whole bunch of books I knew nothing about. And I am sure that there are many, many people who are totally unaware of inspirational Aussie and Kiwi books available through publishing companies such as Even Before Publishing/Wombat Books, Splashdown Press or Daystar Publishing. I’ve found that Aussie authors are often more down to earth and willing to meld genres. If you haven’t already, it’s well worth a look at what is offer.

- I dabbled in some creative non-fiction and poetry. While fiction is my current focus, my course has given me opportunities to explore other areas. I continue to blog, write poems, reviews and social commentary. My current unit is on Writing History.  I have a number of areas that I want to write about including ethics, apologetics and family history – and one day I will .

Next week, on 6th December, Michelle Dennis Evans will be posting on Jenny’s Thread as part of an Excerpt Tour from her recent YA release – Spiralling Out of Control as well as giving the opportunity of winning $200 Amazon voucher.

Did you say "win"

Some authors I’ve met, read and grown to love their books:

Paula Vince – New Adult (NA) contemporary fiction with suspense, romance and creative take on difficult issues, e.g. Best Forgotten, Picking up the Pieces and her fantasy Quenarden series.

Lynne Stringer –YA Science Fiction Verindon series – The Heir, The Crown (The third book The Reign will be released early next year.)

Skye Elizabeth Wieland – adventure, faith and romance against the magnificent background of the Krueger National Park in Sarah’s Gift and newly released Mark’s Strength.

Amanda Deed – historical romantic fiction set at the time of the Victorian Gold Rushes.

Meredith Resce – long time author of historical inspirational romances set in England and Australia.

Rose Dee – her Resolution series are inspirational contemporary romances set in North Queensland – with elements of intrigue and suspense.

Paula, Rose, Amanda and Meredith collaborated in The Greenfield Legacy, tracing the impact on past decisions on family dynamics.

Michelle Dennis Evans – her hard hitting YA novel Spiralling Out of Control

Jo WanmerThough the Bud Be Bruised – gritty yet hopeful fictionalised account of abuse

Lisa Taylor – her YA book Motive Games

Ian Acherson – supernatural thriller Angelguard

Kayleen West – delightful picture books Without Me and Adoptive Father

Michelle Worthington – delightful Yellow Dress Day, Wonderfully Madison and other titles

Katrina Rowe – picture book Marty’s Nut Free Party

Carol Preston – Australian historical series from convict days – based on her own family history.

Paul Clark – modern day parables with the Car Park Parables

David Malcolm Bennett – Biographies and historical non-fiction (though I already knew David & had read his books back in Bible college Days ;) )

Sheridan VoyseyResurrection Year (Again, I knew Sheridan & Merryn from Bible college days.)

Other authors I’ve met online and/or in person whose books are on my to-read list:

Annie Hamilton – especially her fantasy books

Andrea Grigg – an Australian romance – A Simple Mistake

Elaine FraserA Perfect Mercy

Lisbeth Klein – children’s fantasy series

Penny Reeve – children’s books

Jo-Anne Berthelsen – novels and non-fiction Soul Friend

Ray Hawkins devotional books

Mary Hawkins inspirational romances

Jennifer AnnBroken Pottery the life of an African girl

Andrew Lansdown – award winning poetry

Graham AitchisonNo Way But Through a personal journey from mental illness to health

Melissa Gijsbers Teapot Tales and other anthologies.

And then there are the up and coming authors (watch this space):

Alison Steggert – writing YA adventure stories

Nicole Nugent – contemporary fiction about a nurse’s adventures in remote indigenous communities

Kristine Barrett – epic fantasy

Amanda – Australian historical fiction

Virginia Moncrieff – journalist & contemporary fiction

Dorothy Raymond

Charis Joy Jackson – fantasy

Vicki Stevens – contemporary mystery set in Australia

Trina Denner -  middle grade children’s book (for boys)

Adele Jones – about to be published Integrate

Nola Passamore – published poet, working on a novel

Julie-Anne O’Hagan – journalist, editor and writer

And (cough, cough) Jeanette O’Hagan – YA/NA fantasy

(My apologies if I’ve missed anyone.)

We have a lot of local talent – so let’s celebrate, enjoy and support our local home-grown authors.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

Photos by Jeanette O’Hagan (All rights reserved)

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