A bit of fun!

I thought I’d wrap up the weekend with a new post of a slightly different variety. There is a series of questions doing the rounds among authors at the moment that reveal their reading secrets. Thanks to Natasha Lester for inviting me along.

There are rules!!! So here’s the official bit:

  1. Post these rules
  2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover File:OnBeautybookcover.jpg
  3. Answer the questions below
  4. Tag a few people to answer them too
  5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
  6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

Now here’s the fun bit:

What are you reading right now?

The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak. I am so close to the end but I love the book so much that I don’t want it to end so I am trying to drag it out by reading slowly.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

Undecided as this one will be a tough act to follow. Probably Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites or Zadie Smith’s NW.

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to

  1. Ulysses – I’ve started it before but never seem to finish it.
  2. Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
  3. Grace by Robert Drewe
  4. The Inheritance of Loss by Hiran Desai
  5. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/ lounge right now?

House and Garden – we are slowly renovating our old cottage so I am always looking for ideas.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

I’m not sure I have one. There are books I didn’t particularly like but ‘worst ever’ seems a bit harsh!

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like?

Harry Potter – too much hype put me off.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Where do you usually get your books?

Anywhere really; library, bookshop, second hand store. I love the big charity book sales that take over massive halls – I can spend all day looking around.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?

I loved Anne of Green Gables and many of Roald Dahl’s books. I would read just about anything though. I used to get busted by my mum hiding under the doona at 3am with a torch so I could read way past my bedtime!

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?

The Book Thief until I realised that meant I was approaching the end too quickly

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?

Ulysses again, started but never finished

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

The Vintage Classics edition of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

What book changed your life?

White Teeth by Zadie Smith – I was studying creative writing at the time it was published and her novel was so descriptive and well written. I dreamed of being able to write like her.

What is your favourite passage from a book?

Once upon a time…

Who are your top five favourite authors?

  1. Zadie Smith
  2. Sebastian Faulks
  3. Craig Silvey
  4. Alison Weir
  5. Barbara Kingsolver

What book has no one heard about but should read?

The Six Wives of Henry the XIII by Alison Weir

What books are you an ‘evangelist’ for?

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

What are your favourite books by a first time author?

Rubarb by Craig Silvey

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

What is your favourite classic book?

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Five other notable mentions?

  1. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  2. The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy
  3. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon
  5. Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks

I am going to tag Bridget Tombleson, Kara Pisconeri and Mel Berry. You don’t have to be tagged to take part. Feel free to post a link to your answers in the comments section so others can have a look. Thanks again to Natasha for tagging me.


A Creative Stuck

I have no idea how to write a book and there have been many times over the past couple of months while trying to produce something vaguely readable that I have questioned the mental capacity of the judges at the ASA for giving me this mentorship. I have also written many an apology letter in my head to my lovely editor who is stuck reading my sentimental, clichéd rubbish when surely she has something far more enjoyable to do.

And then, because I was procrastinating more than it is healthy for any one person to do, I came across an article about getting stuck in the creative process, about hating every single thing you have written, about wanting to find the closest shredder (although it would be a virtual shredder these days) and line your chicken coop with the strips of torn paper so the hens can crap all over the garbage you have written! So someone else has felt like me at some point. And not just one someone but a whole lot of them. They didn’t all succumb to alcoholism or drugs in true literary fashion either! Six local authors just wrote blog posts addressing what they do when they are feeling discouraged about what they are working on. Dawn Barker talks about a ‘cycle of euphoria and despair’. Emma Chapman recommends reading about how other writer’s cope and Natasha Lester voices my worst enemy, that old procrastination, when I would rather clean the toilet than sit in front of the computer.

Although it is a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone I am finding comfort in the fact that so many other writers out there have been exactly where I am now. So what I am going to do? I am going to plough on, word by word. I have added a few new inspirational quotes to the cork board in front of me. I allowed myself time off to sweep the house – which I’m sure has you scratching your head in wonder but getting up and doing something active helped. And I’m going to accept that there will be ups and downs and that actually I love writing so what have I got to complain about!

Just in case you are an emerging author and you stumble across this while procrastinating about your own work – have faith, read and it will get better (I hope!)