I wonder what the collective noun is for a gathering of YA novelists? A "Wonder", perhaps? Hopefully not a "Murder", as with crows. Nor something as disappointing as a "Parliament", though I suspect a Parliament of owls would have more meaningful discussions than many human parliaments.
Sydney Writers' Festival is on again, with many great events and fascinating writers here for a week or so. It is rather like the circus coming to town, and I do think that there should be a parade of all the guests on elephant-back down George Street, and hucksters announcing the acts for the day every morning at Central Station. I suppose failing that, there is the website www.swf.org.au Check it out. Many of the events are free.
Ask me questions. Go on. Otherwise I shall have to ask some of myself, and who knows where that will lead.
So please do ask me questions in the comments here. In the meantime, here is a question to be going on with, that I will also answer.
What did you do today and was it a typical writing day?
I've been away the last three days, hence the lack of posts. The time was not entirely devoted to fishing, though I got out a few times and exerted my angling skills upon the local piscine population, without noticeable effect. I did catch a rock cod. Rock cod excel in behaving like a lump of seaweed so they are no fun to catch. They also taste terrible and are full of bones and spines, so their sporting and culinary qualities pretty much guarantee their return to the sea. I think I've caught one particular rock cod every time I've been fishing in the same place.
The accompanying photo is the first page of a novel I started writing when I was 19 and driving around the United Kingdom in a beat-up Austin 1600 with a gold flame stripe down the bonnet. The novel was called CAPTAIN OF GUARD, and I wrote about 50,000 words of it, probably at least half or more of the book.
This perennial question has both many, many answers, and none. Possibly the most honest answer is "I don't know, but thank heavens they do."
CLARIEL is my next YA novel, returning to the Old Kingdom. It takes places about six hundred years before the events of SABRIEL, and is the story of a goldsmith's daughter who also happens to be the grand-daughter of The Abhorsen. Caught up against her will in the internal politics of the Kingdom, she finds herself drawn to forbidden magics . . .
The release date of the book has just been set. It is September 2014 and will almost certainly be simultaneous in the USA, Australia/NZ and the UK from my various publishers. Translations will follow more slowly, I expect.
A chance post on my Facebook page about E. Nesbit and her book THE ENCHANTED CASTLE led me to thinking about some of her other books, and their influence upon me. I read pretty much all of Nesbit's work when I was fairly young, probably before I was 10, and like everything else I read it went into the great store of stuff in my mental reservoir that I would later draw on to write my own work. (That mental reservoir being filled up not only with the books I read, of all kinds, but also what I saw and heard and experienced, either directly or vicariously.)
Like most writers, over the years I've developed certain work habits that help me keep writing. Overall, this is a good thing, humans seem to mostly need structures and habits to help any long-term activity like writing a book. But the downside of some of these habits is when you become convinced that you can't work any other way.
One of the comments to my first post asked how I know when to go on with a story or not. It's a difficult question, because there is no easy answer. In general, I think it is always best to push on, because every story or novel will have points where you feel defeated or unable to continue, but if you do keep on going you will get past that. However, there are also times when a piece of work really isn't working and the temptation is to simply put it aside and move on.