People often ask me if life is different now that The Mapmaker Chronicles has been published. The answer is no… and yes. Mostly, on a day-to-day basis, life goes on as always. I spend my days walking Procrasti-Pup, writing features, marking assignments for the Australian Writers’ Centre, podcasting, blogging, wrangling kids and fitting in the fiction writing, just as I always have. But there are other obligations now, and the balancing act becomes even more precarious – and also inspiring.
I spent much of last week in Ipswich, Queensland, visiting schools and being the Quizmaster for the regional Readers’ Cup Challenge. I’ve always enjoyed taking part in quizzes (my whole family are mad Trivia fans), but now that I’ve actually been in charge, life will never be the same again (she says, angling for Eddie McGuire’s job…). The Readers’ Cup is a terrific initiative and I wish that it had been around when I was a kid. I’ve always thought I could read for Australia, and the Readers’ Cup is the place to do it…
Let’s introduce it nation-wide!
Other things I’ve been doing include livestreaming myself wandering around my house and backyard for the Where I Write campaign – check out the website for lots of Hachette writers internationally sharing their writing spaces and processes, or you can see my version here:
If you’ve ever wondered how to write a series for children, this post I wrote for Kids’ Book Review gives an insight into my process. I think, as with most things writing, everyone will approach a series in their own way, and you never really know how to go about it until you try it for yourself, but if, like me, you’re not a plotter, you might find it reassuring to know that it is possible to write a trilogy in your own way.
The other, best and possibly most exciting, thing that happened recently was that I received my first honest-to-goodness fan letter. It nearly floored me. When you sit alone at a computer writing stories, you can sometimes forget that people will read them. When those people are 11 year old boys, who go to the trouble of writing you a letter, well, I think that might be the biggest thrill of all.
And all the balancing is worthwhile.