1 September 2012 - Pax Vobiscum



Pax Vobiscum


Sadly,


Today I wish to honour five Australian soldiers who were killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours. This marks one of Australia's darkest days since the Vietnam War.  Three were slain in an attack by someone wearing an Afghan army uniform. The soldiers were fired on at close range and, whilst the Australians returned fire, the attacker escaped. The other two were killed in a US Black Hawk crash. The two privates - aged 30 and 23 - died when the International Security Assistance Force helicopter they were travelling in, crashed while landing in a northern province.



These latest deaths bring the number of Australian


soldiers killed in Afghanistan since February 2001 to ...


38





The three men killed in the first incident were all based at Brisbane's Enoggera Barracks. They included a 40-year-old lance corporal posted to the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment of the Queensland Mounted Infantry. He was on his second tour of Afghanistan and had previously served in Iraq. The second soldier was a 23-year-old private posted to the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and the third was a 21-year-old sapper posted to the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment. The latter two were both young men on their first operational deployment. Two other soldiers were also badly injured.

I had not met any of the soldiers who were killed, but I do salute their effort and offer my deepest sympathies to their families and colleagues.

Pax vobiscum!

I'm Clancy Tucker.

31 August 2012 - Literary Agents


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


Quote of the day:

"Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you're born to stand up?"


LITERARY AGENTS


G'day guys,


Today I offer a few  ideas about literary agents. I've come to realise that writers in the USA need an agent to submit their work to a publisher. Correct me if I'm wrong. It is not the same in Australia. We can directly submit our work to any publisher who is seeking manuscripts. Besides, agents in this country are as rare as dinosaur eggs. Anthony Carrozza, who will appear as my guest in September, once told me that it took him 12 years to find an agent. Wow.


I was recently approached by an agent who, according to her public profile, is well educated at two of America's top universities. Her proposition was simple: no contract will be signed until she has found a suitable publisher for my work. But, it seems obvious to me that you must approach an agent with the same attitude that you would with a publisher. After all, they are working for and on behalf of your best interests, you and your literary works. This might sound like a crazy comment, but being a writer and author is all about good communication, especially with those who are representing you. Trust me. Many writers have been burnt at the stake because they did not take all due care. One tip that has always done well for me is to check what books an agent has sold and contact the authors directly. Ask them how they felt about their agent.


So, what should we do when we finally crack an agent?


1. Do your homework. Find out all you can about the agent. Check their websites and blogs. Also check 'Predators & Editors'.


2. How many authors in her stable?


3. Do not rush into things ... breathe in, breathe out.


4. Write down questions.


a. What genre do they prefer?


b. What are the terms of their contract?


c. Is it for one book or several?


d. Find out how the agent wants to work with you.


e. Check out the legal stuff. Send the contract to a literary lawyer for an opinion.


f. What is the agent's percentage? When do they get it and how often?


g. What do they expect of you? What do you expect of them?


h. Don't be shy. Ask the tough questions, but be reasonable.


i. Does the agent have a publicist?


j. If in doubt, take a step back, take a deep breath and say, 'NO!'


Keep writing!


I'm Clancy Tucker


www.clancytucker.com.au


30 August 2012 - Tania McCartney - Guest Author

Quote of the day:


"Your wealth is where your friends are."


Plautus



Tania McCartney - Guest author, editor and book reviewer  


G'day guys,


Today I'm pleased to host a well known Australian author, editor, book reviewer and founder of literary site, 'Kids Book Review'. An advocate for literacy, Tania is an ACT Ambassador for the National Year of Reading, and her latest books include: Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne (Ford Street Publishing), Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline (National Library of Australia ) and Beijing Tai Tai: Life, laughter and motherhood in China’s Capital (Exisle Publishing). Tania adores books, travel, photography and marshmallows, and currently lives in Canberra with a husband and two kids . . . in a paper house, at the base of a book mountain.


Welcome, Tania.


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING
JOURNEY.

I began writing in primary school – and haven’t stopped; my most treasured possession
is my year 3 English book with its doggie sticker on the front. My first poem
was published at age 8 and the writerly bug thereafter took firm hold – I wrote
my first chapter book at age 10, wrote my first adult novel at 19, had my first
magazine article published at 20 and my first book published (with Hodder Headline) at 26.


Most of my writing life, pre-2008, was actually magazine writing and editing, which I
loved. Moving with two small kids to Beijing for four years in 2005 was the
catalyst to shift into full time writing, and I still pinch myself that I now
make a living from my books. Fairy tale stuff. Beijing was also the catalyst
for my swan drive into the children’s book world. I have quite the obsession
with children’s books.


 WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?


I had no choice! It really overtook me at an early age and still has me by the throat. I’ve
always written but I guess I didn’t write seriously until my late teens.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?


The mental and emotional high – it engulfs me sometimes, I love writing that much. It’s a deep and very personal love that’s as vital as air. I must admit it’s a joy to create work other people enjoy, most particularly kids. What I don’t like is the writer’s thighs issue. And the
fact that I rarely have time to wash my hair.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

Being unable to locate the hours and solace to create the mass of story ideas going gangbusters in my head. It’s mad-making and relentless and makes me anxious at times. Also: writer’s thighs (or butt or belly, or whatever you particularly succumb to) and hair-washing issues.

WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?

I’ve been a bar tender, executive secretary, desk top publisher, PA to a creative
director, publisher, office manager, editor and proof reader, data entry clerk,
speaker, marketing assistant, mother, promotions girl, catwalk model and flight
attendant – in no particular order!


 WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

My first picture book – Riley and the Sleeping Dragon – because it was the launching pad for my children’s book career. Being asked to be an ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012 may not seem a far-reaching achievement but it was a personal thrill beyond words. I’m a passionate literacy advocate. I’m also really proud of Kids Book Review
(www.kids-bookreview.com).


 WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I’m just finishing up two picture books for the National Library of Australia, and am
working with Kieron (illustrator) on my fifth Riley the Little Aviator book –
this one set in Canberra. I’m in the final stages of my first historical junior
fiction book for New Frontier and have begun fleshing out the bones of a picture
book series – again for the NLA.


 I’m taking three months ‘off’ to write at the end of the year – a real luxury for me as I
do so much extra-curricular writing and literacy work. I’ll work on some
picture books and a chapter book manuscript that was highly commended at the CYA conference this year.


 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Everyday life – the small things. Humour. Travel. Reading. Illustrations. Children. An inherent and irrepressible desire to put pen to paper (or fingertip to key).

WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?

I write across several genres of children’s books – picture books, historical fiction, chapter books, non-fiction. I also write adult non-fiction and biography, and full magazine feature articles, columns and book reviews. I’ve written a few adult fiction manuscripts but have
never been courageous enough to sub them. I’m hoping the courage will arise a little down the track.

 DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

Write. A lot. Read. A lot. Be objective and self-effacing. Use a unique voice and original story ideas. Never give up.

DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?

Only sometimes but it’s easily dealt with – I just push on through and the force
unplugs the block.


 DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?

My preferred daily schedule is as many hours per day as humanly possible! This is tough because I dedicate so much time to other (literary) ventures. I ‘work’ five days a week from 8am to 4pm, and I’m trying to force myself not to write on weekends and in the evenings,
though deadline time kyboshes this!

 DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?

My beautiful, sun-strewn office with large windows and a view of our front garden. I also love writing in caf├ęs when we travel.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?

Piecing words together in a way that conjures, warms and inspires. Watching children’s eyes light up as I read to them. My greatest, greatest joy is inspiring children to write their own work and/or read.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?

Everyone says Dr Seuss and I will, too, because he’s quite simply a genius, but I also love Emily Gravett and Mo Willems for their free-reign on pure creativity, and Jackie French for her overwhelming cleverness, dedication to her craft and single-minded love for her
homeland.

WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED
FROM A READER?

From one of my literary idols: Your books are superb. It still makes me cry. From a kid: You rock!

WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?

I’ll never forget a reviewer saying she looked forward to seeing how her young grandchild would ‘cope’ with listening to the big words I use in my Riley picture books. That’s my worst comment because it worries me when people presume children are idiots.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?

Absolutely. Even the teensiest little everyday things inspire my writing and storylines. In fact, I rely on them.

OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

Reading, walking, photography, travel, baking, gardening, creating photographic travel
books, speaking to children and inspiring them to write and read.

DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?

My books with publishing houses were professionally edited. My self-published books were self-edited, but I’m a professional editor and proof reader. Nevertheless, I do believe all work needs a second or third eye before publication.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Traveling with my family – anywhere in the world – and writing and photographing every step of the way. Coffee would need to be involved, too.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

More writing. More travel. And then some more of both. I’d also like to wash my hair
eventually.


 Tania's websites:


www.kids-bookreview.com


www.taniamccartney.com


Thanks, Tania. Love ya work! Now,  forget about washing your hair. Grab some marshmallows and pig out. You deserve it.


CT


Keep writing!

Thanks for listening.

I'm Clancy Tucker.

www.clancytucker.com.au

29 August 2012 - Famous Faces


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


Quote of the day:

"Don't sweat the small stuff"


G'day guys,


Today you can see some famous faces and some quotes behind their works. Ever wondered what they looked like? Here you go. Notice the way they are dressed, the size of their working desk, their pencils and pens dipped in ink, and the good old typewriters. Mm ... I wrote my first three short stories on a typewriter. Then computers arrived, bought one and let it sit on my study desk for three days before I turned it on. I've never looked back.



John Steinbeck



Anton Checkov


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass"



Stephen King 



G K Chesterton


"I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice,


and then going away and doing the exact opposite."



Elmore Leonard


"If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."



James Patterson


"I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody.


I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished."



Ernest Hemingway


"There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."



Edgar Allen Poe


"A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it."



Elmore Leonard


"I try to leave out the parts that people skip."



Ernest Hemingway



George Orwell


"Never use a long word where a short one will do."



Kurt Vonnegut


"Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for."



F. Scott Fitzgerald


Thank you gentlemen for hours of great reading. - CT


Question: have you read any books written by the above authors?


Keep writing!


I'm Clancy Tucker


www.clancytucker.com.au


28 August 2012 - Frank Fiore - Guest Novelist and Screenwriter


Copyright Clancy Tucker (c) 


Quote of the day:

"Laziness is stupidity of the body


And stupidity is the laziness of the mind."


Frank Fiore - Guest Screenwriter and Novelist



G'day guys,


Today I welcome a very successful screenwriter and novelist - Frank Fiore, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Frank has published more than a dozen novels. Today he shares some insights into what makes him tick. Welcome, Frank. Tell us your story.


 TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.


 Well, to start with, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve done so many things in so many different areas. Mostly, I’ve been an entrepreneur but I always wanted to be a writer. I started writing guest columns for local newspapers then went on to
write non-fiction books on Internet marketing, online shopping and starting an
online business. I’ve sold over 50,000 copies of those books. But now I’ve
turned my attention to writing novels.


WERE YOU A GOOD  READER AS A KID?


Oh yeah. I’m a big WW II buff and must have read every book on WW II in the high school library. I also enjoyed reading the golden age writers of science fiction like Bradbury,
Asimov and especially Heinlein.


WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?


I really wrote my first story in grammar school.  It was called ‘I made history’ and was bout a toy metal truck in the 1940s that ended up being melted down for weapons ending up in the Enola Gay and dropped the first atom bomb on Japan.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?


Telling story and entertaining people.


 WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?


The hardest part always seems to be writing the first line of the chapter.
I know what I want to tell in the chapter but finding that entry point
that would be interesting to reader can be a showstopper. Most times I wind up
with a good ‘pull’ in to chapter for the reader. Sometimes that’s not possible.


WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?


Mostly, I’ve been an entrepreneur but I always wanted to be a writer. I started writing guest columns for local newspapers then went on to write non-fiction books on Internet marketing, online shopping and starting an online business. I’ve sold over 50,000 copies
of those books. But now I’ve turned my attention to writing novels.


WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?


A column I wrote for the local newspapers to my son on Christmas Eve.  It was entitled ‘Yes Christopher, there still is a Santa Claus’.  It was a play on the famous editorial about Virginia and her belief in Santa. I received call all Christmas Eve day from people who said it touched them. I was so surprised that it touched so many people.


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?


My current work is the Chronicles of Jeremy Nash.  Jeremy Nash is a noted debunker and skeptic of conspiracy theories, urban legends and myths is drawn into pursuing them.  Each Nash chronicle in the series is a thriller that sends Nash on an investigation of these myths
and legends. Though he doesn’t believe in any of them, he is forced into
pursuing them by threats to the lives of his family members or himself or
threats to his reputation. The Chronicles is three book series that is available on the Nook, Kindle and Apple platforms. I am currently running a promotion for the books. Two of them are selling for only .99 cents and SEED, the second book is being offered as a serial of 15 parts that can be downloaded from Smashwords for free.


WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


Movies. Lots and lots of movies. Believe or not, I break the first rule of being a writer. Read
novels. I don’t.  I watch tons of movies and write my novels as movies. The pacing is the same and plot twists are the same.  I learn a lot about story writing by watching them.


WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?


Right now I’m writing thrillers and action/adventures. But I am very eclectic in work.  For example, I’ve just completed a novel that would be considered as mainstream fiction. Not a thriller but a coming of age story.


DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?


Don’t write for money or fame. Write because you enjoy telling a story. If that story is good enough, the money and fame will come. And never quit.



DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?


Nope. Never have. I have my stories very well outlined and I have many stories to be written in the que.


DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?


I start ‘writing’  - and by writing I don’t mean just putting words on paper – at 8 or so in the AM after I walk the dogs. Then I write at my desk or at a nice restaurant somewhere to about 3 in the afternoon. I’m the cook in the house so after my day of writing, I go shopping for that night’s dinner. I don’t usually have the TV on or even music since I need to
concentrate.


 DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?


I really enjoy writing at nice bar at a local resort.


 WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?


Michael Crichton because I write in many genre’s.


WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?


The plot twist in one of my Jeremy Nash books. He said it kicked hit in the gut because
it was so unexpected. That was my intention.


WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?


From the same guy. He said It shocked him at that I should have telegraphed the scene
ahead of time. Go figure.


WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?


The first Jeremy Nash book – A Taste of the Apocalypse – has Jesuits in it. I went to a Jesuit high school and I know them very well.  I drew from that experience.


HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?


Over a dozen non-fiction and four novels.  I’ve sold over 50,000 copies of my non-fiction books.


DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?


I hire story polishers for all my books. A good one is worth every penny paid to them.


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?


I’ve just finished a novel called Murran. Murran is the story of a young
African-American boy named Trey coming of age in the 1980s, and his rite of
passage to adulthood. Trey is a member of a ‘crew’ in Brooklyn and is enticed
into helping a violent street gang. He is eventually framed for murder and
flees with his high school teacher to the teacher’s Maasai village in Kenya.
Trey goes through the Maasai warrior’s rite of passage, becomes a young shaman,
and returns to America to confront and defeat the gang leader that framed him.


WHERE CAN WE LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU, YOUR WORK OR ANY PETS YOU HAVE?


WEBSITE:  www.frankfiore.com


BLOG:  http://frankfiore.wordpress.com/


LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/frank-fiore/0/189/b86


Thanks, Frank. Now, leave your laptop, head down to that cozy bar at the local resort and have a drink for me - CT.


Keep Writing!


I'm Clancy Tucker


www.clancytucker.com.au


http://www.linkedin.com/pub/clancy-tucker/42/72/156


27 August 2012 - Bono

Quote of the day:

"It is an ironic habit of human beings


 to run faster when we have lost our way."


Rollo May



Bono 


(Honoury Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire)


(Irish singer, musician, humanitarian and political activist, best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2)


G'day guys,


A few days back I gave Bob Geldof a full post because I thought he was worthy of it. Today I present another Irish rockstar who knows Bob well - Bono; also known as Paul David Hewson to his family. Together, they have done some amazing things for almost three decades.


Bono has become one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal. He has been dubbed, "the face of fusion philanthropy", both for his success enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum of leaders in government, religious institutions, philanthropic organisations, popular media, and the business world, as well as for spearheading new
organizational networks that bind global humanitarian relief with geopolitical activism and corporate commercial enterprise.

In a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono explained that he was motivated to become involved in social and political causes by seeing one of the Secret
Policeman's Ball
benefit shows, staged by John Cleese and producer Martin
Lewis
for the human-rights organisation Amnesty International in 1979. "I
saw 'The Secret Policeman’s Ball' and it became a part of me. It sowed a
seed..."
In 2001, Bono arranged for U2 to videotape a special live performance for that year's Amnesty benefit show.


Bono and President George W Bush Junior 


Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy Of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting. U2 also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organised by Bob Geldof. In 1984, Bono sang on the Band Aid single "Do They Know it's Christmas?/Feed the World" (a role that was reprised on the 2004 Band Aid 20 single of the same name). Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organise the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2 also performed.

Since 1999, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic. In the past decade Bono has met with several influential politicians, including former United States President George W. Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
During a March 2002 visit to the White House, after President Bush unveiled a
$5 billion aid package, he accompanied the President for a speech on the White
House lawn where he stated, "This is an important first step, and a serious and impressive new level of commitment ... this must happen urgently, because this is a crisis." In
May of that year, Bono took US Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. In contrast, in 2005, Bono spoke on CBC Radio, alleging then Prime Minister Martin was being slow about increasing Canada's foreign aid. Bono was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, 2005, and 2006 for his philanthropy.


In the White House with Mr President 


In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government of Chile. Time Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most Influential People" in its May 2004 special issue, and again in the 2006 Time 100 special issue. In 2005, Time named Bono a Person of the Year along with Bill and Melinda Gates.
Also in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work.
That year Bono was also among the first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants
each winner "A wish to change the world". Bono made three wishes, the first two related to the ONE campaign and the third that every hospital, health clinic and school
in Ethiopia should be connected to the Internet. TED rejected the third wish as
being a sub-optimal way for TED to help Africa and instead organised a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007, and attracted headlines with his foul-mouthed heckling of a speech by Andrew Mwenda.

In 2007, Bono was named in the UK's New Years Honours List as an honorary
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland. Bono also received the NAACP Image Award's
Chairman's Award in 2007. On 24 May 2007, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia announced that Bono would receive the Philadelphia
Liberty Medal
on 27 September 2007 for his work to end world poverty
and hunger. On 28 September 2007, in accepting the Liberty Medal, Bono said, "When
you are trapped by poverty, you are not free. When trade laws prevent you from
selling the food you grew, you are not free, ... When you are a monk in Burma
this very week, barred from entering a temple because of your gospel of peace
... well, then none of us are truly free
." Bono donated the $100,000
prize to the organisation. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award for the Washington-based Debt AIDS Trade Africa.


The Liberty Medal


The organisation DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) was established in 2002 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, along with activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt Campaign. DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions.

Clancy's comment: you may wonder why I have provided the space on this blog to honour two Irish rockstars - Bono and Bob Geldof. Well, how many politicians do you know are making a difference to the great unwashed? Mm ... as an Australian who has taken a keen interest in my country's politics and social attitudes since I was a kid, I must now say that I've never seen a lower integrity in our politics. Recent parliamentary debates on where 'boat people', also known as 'refugees', should be housed and processed, was nothing short of puerile, disgraceful and embarrassing. So, who cares if Bob and Bono drop the occasional F-bomb? At least they are getting things done by confronting and challenging those in power who supposedly care.

Don't forget. Bono and Bob do not have to do what they do, but they do. Having said that, I do often wonder how worse off many people in this world would be without these types of guys rattling a few cages and shaking some trees so the apples will fall. 'Good on 'em,' I say.

Love ya work, Bono! - CT

I'm Clancy Tucker

www.clancytucker.com.au

26 August 2012 - Errol Broome - Guest Author


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


Quote of the day:


"Either write something worth reading


or do something worth writing."


Benjamin Franklin


G'day guys,


Today it's an honour to present a well known Australian author - Errol Broome, who states on her website, "In my books I like to explore the small daily dramas that affect the way we  feel. I hope to keep you turning the pages and that you might laugh and cry along the way." Errol has won many awards and published some great books. She has been a great mentor to me in recent years and I'm grateful for her wisdom. Welcome, Errol.


 


Errol Broome  - Guest Author & Mentor  


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.


I always wanted to be a writer. Perhaps I was just doing what was expected of me, as Mum
often told me what the doctor said when I was born Errol Carew Moss – and a
girl! He said With a name like that, she should write a book.  I mostly do
what I’m told, and my first story was published in a West Australian weekly
magazine when I was nine.


 WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?


After University, I started on The West Australian as a cadet journalist.
We had a good training there, constant scrutiny of our work and a style book
with an emphasis on short words and clear meaning. After I moved to Melbourne, I thought it was time to try my hand at fiction, and found it much harder. Sticking to facts
was easier, but not as exciting!


I had some success with short stories, then struck a problem with a grandmother who
turned cartwheels. She just wouldn’t follow my perceived text, and I’d almost
given up when I realized this was not a story for adults. It became Wrinkles, my first book for children. I had eight published children’s books before I wrote Dear Mr Sprouts.  At that time someone called me a ‘new writer’ and I was delighted because I felt  perhaps I’d found a new voice.


 WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?


I love feedback from and exchange of ideas with readers and other writers. Before that happens, I enjoy working with words, trying to give an extra sense to what we see and hear.


WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?


Isolation; trying to find it, and then to accept it. A writer must have time in A
Room of One’s Own
(Virginia Woolf.)


WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?


Always a writer, if you agree that journalists are writers.


WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?


I don’t know that I can call any ‘great.’  I’m quite proud of my junior novels, and got a kick out of Away with the Birds becoming a CBCA Honour Book.


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?


Ah, I believe what Helen Garner once said, that talking about a work in progress takes the steam off the top. But I can tell you I’m going over manuscripts that I know are not yet good enough.


WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


I’m not sure I can be honest about this. People get inside my head – characters on the street or in the train, the way they dress and speak and walk and what they eat.  Reading
inspires me too. Sometimes a feeling or past experience has been inside me for years
before it pops out as ‘inspiration.’


WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?


Books for children, mostly junior novels but also picture books.


DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?


Mostly don’ts, I’m afraid.  Don’t write for children because you think it’s easy. Don’t moralise. Don’t give us an introduction. i.e. don’t tell us what you’re going to tell us. And don’t explain. Do show us the story.


DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?


All the time.


DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?


I like to work in the morning, but I’m happy to grab a chunk of time at any hour. I’ve become more flexible lately.


DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?


My desk, when I’ve cleared it of papers and stuff. When a story is beginning, I may sit at the dining room table with a pad and biro. This way, I feel close to the work. I can let it flow, but also make changes, lots of crossing-out, arrows and notes to myself. When it’s on the way and getting hard to read, I put it on the computer.


WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?


The contact with other writers for children.


WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?


I have several authors whose books I love, but some years ago an Adelaide bookseller told
me to read Crow Lake by Canadian author Mary Lawson. I loved her characterisation. She
writes with warmth about ordinary people, but with a great plot too. Her second
book, The Other Side of the Bridge is hard to put down and painful in parts, but again heart-warming. I keep asking my bookseller if she’s written a third novel.


WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?


 A Canadian teacher wrote to tell me Dear Mr Sprouts was the first truly Australian book he’d become aware of, and that it had brought him toAustralia.


 WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?


‘When are you going to write your last book?’


 WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?


Always. There’s something of me in every book, but very much changed – and updated. My
characters don’t look like me, or talk like me or even act like me, but I give them some of my emotions. We remember what hurt us, and how we felt as children when we did the wrong thing, so I use these feelings when my characters get into similar situations. Because feelings don’t change between generations.



 HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?


Thirty-something.


 OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?


I love my garden – and never have clean fingernails. I love music too, and don’t often
have silence in the house.


 DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?


I have worked with in-house editors. Some books needed more editing than others. We added a new character in Dear Mr Sprouts, and it seemed ages before we got enough tangles in Tangles. Working with the editor is the part I love the most, getting the manuscript the best it can be.


ARE YOUR STORIES DRIVEN BY CHARACTER OR PLOT?


I have no sense of direction; turn me around and I’m lost. So I don’t have a clear idea of plot. I need to know my characters, and when I’ve thought about them enough I set them loose. They lead me on. I might have a firm idea of the ending, but not always sure how we’ll get there. I find out by writing, feeling my way through the plot.


DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.


Time to think, to immerse myself in the work, but not so much time to let in negative thoughts.


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?


Not to give up. Age won’t stop me, nor the state of the publishing business. Remember
when pessimists said TV would see the end of the movie industry?


Errol's website:  http://www.errolbroome.com.au/


Errol's awards:

















Song of the Dove, listed in the 4th CJ Awards for International Picture Books, top 100 recent publications 2011
Dear Mr Sprouts; WA Premier’s Award for a Children’s Book 1992; shortlisted Multicultural Children’s
Literature Award 1992; listed USA Children’s Books of the Year 1994; shortlisted
Speech Pathology of Australia Award 2007
Gracie and the Emperor, notable book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2004The Judas Donkey, notable book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2004Away with the Birds, Honour Book, 2001 CBCA
Book of the Year Awards 2001; CBCA notable bookWhat a Goat! shortlisted WA Premier’s Award 1998; CBCA notable book 1998Rockhopper, shortlisted WA Premier’s Award 1994; CBCA notable book 1994Tangles, shortlisted WA Premier’s Award 1993; CBCA notable book 1993Mary Grant Bruce Award 1990.

Thanks Errol. Turn some music on and head out to the garden. You deserve a break. Love ya work! - CT


Keep writing!


I'm Clancy Tucker.


www.clancytucker.com.au


clancy_tucker@hotmail.com



Horst Faas (c)

25 August 2012 - Write Cartoons ... right?


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


Quote of the day: 
"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am 

convinced there is, no one has ever been able

to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed 

from one person to another. The formula seems

to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer

to convey something he feels important to

the reader."


John Steinbeck 1963



G'day guys,


Today I have some light humour, courtesy of talented people who can draw. Hope you enjoy these.



























Thank you to the artists who drew these wonderful images - CT.

Question: what's the funniest thing you ever did?

Keep writing!

I'm Clancy Tucker

www.clancytucker.com.au

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/clancy-tucker/42/72/156