Writing Processes Blog Tour

aussie yearMy friend Tania McCartney, whose book An Aussie Year is accompanying me to Bologna (along with a bag load of others) tagged me to join in this writing Processes Tour – a few of my friends will follow me next week.

You can read Tania’s post here.

And now you can read more about me ….


What am I working on?

Its been a little crazy here being in and out of my home base. I have been travelling to attend conferences and speaking but I have been finishing a picture book as well as finessing the notes for the musical, Pa’s Christmas Star musical (which will hopefully be grabbed from the site in a few weeks) and I’ve been preparing for Bologna which is not so much writing as organising! And – yes it is way much fun!!! Then there is my picture book Water that was published by AFCC last year. For that I am putting together the digital book which will also be available on iTunes in the not too distant future but first I need to do a little bit of music making for that!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to write lots of different things – including picture books, historical fiction, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy, although besides the occasional article about children’s books and the notes for teachers about my books I do NOT write anything much above older fiction. Writing just one genre would be rather limiting and I like trying new things. And as for writing the libretto for a musical – well that was just something that I never imagined that I would do … but then I never imagined being a children’s author either. I just liked writing.

Why do I write what I do?

I have often said that my brain stopped growing when I rolled into my 14th birthday. That’s why I write for children or more precisely that’s why I write up to that age group. I have always written for children or for those who teach them. When I worked at the zoo I also wrote many information labels about the animals there with the wonderful keepers – and it’s not easy condensing the known facts into a label of no more than 50 words!

And of course I write for children because it is fun … and I don’t do anything I don’t enjoy!

How does my writing process work?

First I have to come up with ideas. These ideas could come from things i have seen, things that i remember, things that my wife has told me happened at school … and heaps more! With those ideas comes the scribbling down of my thoughts to expand on those ideas, seeing where they take me. I have numerous books (the little red and black made in china ones. Guess what I am buying during my Hong Kong stopover) that are filled with thoughts. Some of the ideas have been expanded into full blown stories – others will never see the shelf of a book store. All my recent books were born this way including the complete first draft – its where I get to play with the words. After the initial ideas comes the crafting and the crafting and the crafting … oh and did i say there comes the crafting! This could take weeks and months – maybe even years!

But that is still only the start … then comes the awesome editors who work with me. Thank you to my lovely editors!

And as for the quiet of the writing time … that might definitely be true, but only sometimes. At other times the only sound i want to hear is that of a 2B lead pencil scratching the paper of my note book. At other times it could be the sound of my finger nails tapping at the keys (when i will also say cut those nails). and still at other times I HAVE to have music playing in the background – a Beethoven or Mahler or Wagner orchestral work or maybe even Miles Davis jazzing up the room.

And for at least two or three times through the day a freshly brewed pot of tea (not tea bags) will be consumed.

That’s the writing way of me!


Next week tune click along and find Akiko White – the recent recipient of one of the most wonderful awards – the SCBWI’s Tomie dePaola award. Akiko’s creations are just delicious – literally!

And also Benjamin Johnston whose work is featured in the BIG gallery for the Bologna Book Fair.


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  1. Pingback: Writing Process Blog Tour | Akiko White Cakelustrator

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