When I started writing, I never expected that my work would be read by anyone. There's such a negative mentality amongst young writers about the likelihood of our writing ever being read, that I just assumed my work would go unnoticed.
When I was still in university and studying a creative writing degree, I used to hate reading my work out. My throat would tighten and I would be terrified of the reactions I’d receive.
If I had a good evening of writing, I would invest a lot of meaning into it. I would fantasize about the praise I would receive and that it may get published and reading it out to a real audience meant testing how good it actually was.
Perhaps other don’t feel this way, but surprisingly, one of the hardest things I’ve had to face up to, is that I will need to get a job. It sounds a bit whiney and spoilt of me now that I see if written down. But there it is.
While researching my book, I read a lot of Young Adult novels. One thing that I found was that there was a habit for writers to ‘talk down’ to their readers. They did this by using many short, sharp sentences, by having two plot changes per page and by having the characters change their emotional state abruptly. All of this points to a fear of losing the reader’s attention.
Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve had to deal with a fair few angry comments. I don’t think I’ve written anything particularly offensive, however there are still those who will write something aggressive.
I’ve quickly realised that angry comments come from people who may be having emotional difficulties themselves. I could write about rainbows and puppy dogs and still someone out there will say they take offense and blast away at me.
I went to an orthodox Jewish school. All my friends lived within the Jewish community, which stretched out for about a ten block radius in the suburb of Caulfield in Melbourne.
My entire life was within the community. I saw my friends all day at school, then in synagogue on Shabbat and on Sunday as well.
My first novel, The Boy’s Own Manual to Being Proper Jew, is about, Yossi, a homosexual teenage boy living in the Melbourne Orthodox Jewish community. I was raised orthodox myself and felt pretty comfortable writing about an orthodox teenager. I could just draw on memory.
Seeing that I’m straight, though, writing a gay character was a bit more a challenge. I was scared I would offend gay readers who felt that I’d misrepresented them. I guess we’re all a bit scared of offending people.
My last post has landed!
To finish things off with a bang, I’ve organised the most epic press conference of all time, featuring the winner of my Inside A Dog 'Win A Signed Copy of The Intern' competition, as well as questions from 11 incredible Aussie authors.
I can’t believe I’m nearly at the end of my Inside a Dog residency. I’ve been having so much fun sharing parts of my world, and chatting on here, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with you all.
I’m shocking with goodbyes (excuse me while I reach for the tissues), so to delay the inevitable I’ve decided this is my second-last post. That’s right. I’m not ready for the farewell, so you’ve still got me for another few days – woo hoo! *cracks out the streamers and confetti*
Confession: I have crushes on fictional characters.
Whether they’re from books, TV or movies, I’ve exclaimed ‘I love this guy’ over plenty of made-up chaps (Hi, Randy Taylor!).
Some pull at the old heart strings. Others’ dagginess makes them loveable. Maybe it's the character’s brains, or values, or strengths (or weaknesses). Or maybe they're designed to make knees go weak on a global scale.
Either way, let the drooling begin!