Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My Big Exciting Life as an Author

Hang on while I pull my tongue out of my cheek.

I guess you need to be a really famous author, like JK Rowling, to have a big exciting life. For the rest of us, there are some big exciting moments – like the one where you get a call or an email or a letter from your agent telling you that something you wrote has been accepted for publication – or your first glimpse of your book on a shelf in a shop (wow!) - sprinkled very unliberally amongst the hours and weeks and months of writing in the wee hours, in between going to your day job, cooking the dinner, running a household and all those other things.

And then there's writers' block. Aaaargh!

When those ideas start to flow though..... mmmmmm, it's sweet!

Some little-known authory facts about Sue Hines, totally unfamous author:

I've had a go at writing a couple of Mills & Boon romances, tee hee. Both were rejected, but by crikey I had fun writing them!

I have a pair of flannel PJs that I call my “author pyjamas”. I wrote my third novel, The Water Boy's Story, from my bed, wearing those pyjamas. I also wrote several short stories while wearing them. They are enormous, and the elastic in the pants has seen better days – but they are truly inspirational and I will not not NOT chuck them out! So there.

My first novel, Out of the Shadows, was not allowed in the library at the school where I taught, because it was about teen sexuality – it had (gasp) lesbians in it! When it won The Family Award for Children's Literature (older readers), though, it was deemed acceptable – and a copy duly appeared in the school library.

I do my best writing at about 4.30am.

I'm horribly undisciplined. I don't like to plan a novel. I like writing to be an adventure. If I know where a novel is going to end up I can't see the point of making the journey. It's a bit like riding a motorcycle, where the journey is the thing, rather than the destination.

I've been stuck in the middle of a particular project for over 5 years. Now that's what I call writer's block! Thing is, I'm too stubborn to abandon it. One day I'll finish it!

As well as the teen novels I've written, I've also written short stories for women's magazines and some short stories for primary school readers. They were great fun, and I'd like to do more writing for younger readers.

I prefer to work on one project at a time. I'm a bit linear.

I wrote a picture book about motorbikes. Difficulty finding an illustrator means the project had to be shelved – temporarily. Again, I'm stubborn. One day it will see the light of day.

I get heaps of ideas, and write catchy sentences and phrases in my head when I'm riding my bike. Sometimes I pack the laptop and take off for a writer's weekend somewhere coastal. My idea of heaven.

I'm really cross that The Water Boy's Story, WHICH IS A REALLY FANTASTIC READ BY THE WAY, has been so hard to find in bookshops. Seems like the only way people can get it is to order it in at the shop, or get it online. Grrrr.

Being totally unfamous means I get to play around with different forms of writing – different genres and different audiences – I bet poor JK Rowling was Harry Pottered half to death! I think I would've got awfully bored if I were her. Oh dear, I suppose I'd better put another bloody Quidditch tournament in... sigh... Still, all those zeroes on the end of her royalty cheques probably made things a little more bearable!

I share my name with Sue Hines, who is a well-known Melbourne publisher. It makes me laugh when people think I am her. I wonder whether anybody has ever thought she was me?


keryna said...

Now I understand where all that talent comes from! So did the writing come before the blogging? And how exactly does one go about getting published? I can't help but think that would be the life (working from bed in pajamas at 4am). But it must be hard to make a living that way I bet.

Pisshead Pete said...

Any idea on where one may be able to purchase copies of your books?

You'll be pleased to know there's nothing on the pirate bay! :)

Sue said...

Well Pete, coz I'm so unfamous it's pretty hard to get them - the latest (The Water Boy's Story) can be ordered in bookshops or online - not so sure about the earlier ones though. Online might be just about the only option for those (apart from a very small stash of Out of the Shadoews (the US version) and the Plunketts that I have here at home, heh heh - call me!)