Thursday, September 2, 2010

Interview with Kirsty Eagar

Spellbound By Books would love to introduce Kirsty Eagar, Author of Raw Blue and Saltwater Vampires which has only just been released!

So here goes:

1. How would you describe Saltwater Vampires?

It's the story of a fifteen-year old surfer called Jamie Mackie who has to deal with both girls and vampires over the course of a weekend at a music festival.  And I should add that the vampires in the story hail from the shipwreck of the Batavia in 1629, off the West Australian coastline (which really did happen).

2. What was the easiest/hardest part of writing Saltwater Vampires?

The easiest part was definitely getting to know the characters.  Especially Jamie

The hardest part was how to structure the narrative.  That's because I had three or four different stories in a sense - the present day at the music festival, what happened with the Batavia, a theft in Amsterdam three weeks earlier, and Jamie's back story (Jamie and a friend nearly died in a boating accident; Jamie managed to swim for help, but his friend was badly injured, and now the two of them don't talk to each other and they've never told anybody what happened).  So yeah ... just thinking about it makes me tired.  I ended up going WAY overboard on the Amsterdam and Batavia stuff and having to cut a lot of that out.

3. Was becoming a published author how you expected it to be?  Any surprises?

I like hearing from readers.  They alwasy have a different take on your story and characters, and because of that you see things you hadn't noticed before, which is really cool.  I also love the collaborative relationships I've got with my editor, Amy Thomas, from Penguin.  She is extremely talented and an excellent person.  What took me by surprise with the whole thing, though, was how you feel like you've lost something.  I think it's because hyou can't go back into the story and be with your characters again, and you really miss them.  Sounds weird, but you did ask :)

4. Where do you do most of your writing?

In my head and at this two-desk set up (sorry about the mess - I wish I could pretend that it's unusual for me).  The desk on the left was my first ever writing desk.  I bought it at a garage sale.  I like how it has bits of masking tape stuck to it for no apparent reason.  The maneki neko is for luck, and the slinky is for playing with.  My daughter made me the star.  I found the doorknob on the beach.

5. What routines/quirky habits do you have for when and how you write?

I get up early (usually around 5am).  If I do that regularly I'm too tired to doubt myself too much, and it's the only way I ever get through a first draft.

6. What keeps you writing?

The knowledge that when I finish the first draft all will no longer be unknown and I get to play with it.

7. Finish this sentence 'When I'm not writing/editing ...'

I'm doing a lot of surfing.  For such a slack writer, I'm a very disciplined surfer.

8. Is there a question you've always wanted to be asked but haven't?  What would your answer be?

Q. What is the best sound you've ever heard?  A: My girls laughing.

9. Are there any tips and advice you would like to pass on to aspiring writers?

Well, for what it's worth ... Learn to recognise the people who give you good feedback.  It will be a genuine response to the work and you should be able to bounce off it.  You will recognise what they're saying (which doesn't automatically mean you must implement it) and it won't smash your self confidence.

And build a solid relationship with the process, that is, the work.  Because ultimately that's what gets you through.  You might pile up rejections, or collect awards and good reviews, or be met with a wall of indifference, and all of these things can make it hard to write.  But the only thing you control is whether you are going to sit down and play with words today.  Back yourself.  If you love what you're working on, that's reason enough.

10.  And last, your stuck on a deserted island which character from your books would you take with you and why?

Probably Ryan from Raw Blue.  I've always had a crush on him.

Thank you Kirsty for an awesome review.  I look forward to reading more of your work.

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