www.pocketbonfire.com for film trailer.
Write about what you know is good advice for the setting of your first book. I’d lived in a country store as a teenager, but it is not an autobiography.
What is your education and writing background?
You have written in many genres. Tell us about what you enjoy writing the most.
Quirky satires like ‘Duckstar’ . Mysteries like ‘Project Spy Kids’ or ‘Frequent Flyer Twins’ where I find out about new settings or subjects like greyhound racing, wedding bird hire, or hot air ballooning, and set the clues within those facts.
‘f2m:the boy within’ co-written with Ryan Kennedy, about transitioning gender, is my most important book because it enables readers to enter a world about which they know little, and be more tolerant of those whose circumstances are different. It’s also a funny read with punk music. And I enjoyed our collaboration, since Ryan works at a comparable pace.
Collaboration with others where you trade skills is a strategic way of learning fast.The much reprinted ’Difficult Personalities’ (Penguin) co-written with Dr Helen Mc Grath has just gone into a Polish edition and has a USA edition and e-book. http://www.hazeledwards.com/page/difficult_personalities.html
What makes you passionate about writing?
Captures and deepens experiences.
What do you like to read?
Biographies, especially about females, activists or artists who have juggled unconventional lives as well as having families. Well plotted mysteries which have credible motives. I also read-research subjects such as Antarctica, sociopaths or outback feral pigs when I’m writing a book or play. Recently I have been reading about heroes such as Weary Dunlop and Fred Hollows for the Aussie Heroes series for 7-10 year old readers, published by New Frontier. I’d like to write more junior history in approachable ways about REAL people who have contributed to solving problems in significant ways like inventions, or improvements. I’m NOT interested in skinny celebs only famous for misbehaving and getting their photos in the media. I think young readers deserve ‘real’ heroes from extra-ordinary, ordinary people to inspire them.
What sort of workshops do you conduct for aspiring writers?
Mystery writing ones which make participants observe and value their surroundings. Where ever you live might seem ordinary to you. But your ’local’ is exotic to other readers. My YA novel ‘Outback Ferals’ is set in Darwin, and NT (Northern Territory) youth love that.
I also run ‘Writing a Non Boring Family History’ sessions for genealogists and those parents and grandparents wanting to write family history stories for the children in their families.
I write a story each birthday for the 1 year old and 12 year old in our family.’ Henry-Garnet the Serial Sock Puller’ was the latest family story with photos.
I also run ‘Authorpreneurship’ seminars for those wanting to organise their creative work in a businesslike way. The Australian Society of Authors run some of these. Later in the year I’ll be releasing an e-book on ‘Authorpreneurship.’ from my website and I do some mentoring online.
Increasingly, I mentor aspiring writers on book length projects, by web-chat on Skype. This overcomes barriers of geographic distance. So a writer can work anywhere, with new technology.
Can you please describe a typical day?
What do you think are the biggest challenges in writing and publishing today?
Stories can be shared in any of the new formats like e-publishing. As writers we need to be brave enough to experiment beyond the conventional print book.
In collaboration with illustrator and graphic designer Jane Connory I’m learning via the e-book mystery literacy series offered from my website. Slowly I will add some of my other rights- reverted , popular print titles to my website store. ‘Astrid the Mind-Reading Chook’ is next. So I have become an e-publisher and Jane’s illustrations are also available as gifts.
Why co-design junior literacy mystery e-books from your own website?
- Choice of junior literacy mysteries in two proven print series was deliberate. Hero Art, the sleuth in ‘Project Spy Kids’ is an ace problem-solver but is reading challenged. ‘The Frequent Flyer Twins’ are Asian-Australian ten year old sleuths.
- Creating a series name and using the same cover but a different colour, links the titles. Jane’s art is also on t-shirts, mugs and stickers. http://www.janeconnory.com/p/gift-shop.html
- Curriculum: Reading outcomes reassure teachers.
- Price. $2.95 will not offset costs so far but , a test case.
Viable now. Soon, students will expect more e-gadgetry …
Jane’s Viewpoint: I illustrated the covers in Adobe illustrator and formatted the documents in InDesign. Then taught myself to produce these files as ePub documents.
Illustrated & merchandise designed by Jane Connory
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
As a writer, you live more intensively, using participant-observation. You do things, using all senses, knowing you will write about them afterwards."
My three hints to aspiring writers are: "Write regularly. Persisit. And always consider your reader- who are you writing for?"
Check http://www.hazeledwards.com/page/aspiring_writers.html for articles and strategies on how to craft your ideas and words.