This month our featured author is a very prolific Australian children’s author. Her interview is below.
Margaret, you are an Australian author, can you tell us about yourself (where you live, what you enjoy doing, what you’re like)?
I spent my younger years belonging to a bush walking club. The bush grows on you, so I have ended up in an underground flat in the Dandenongs that is bush fire proof. I like swimming as it is one sport that you don’t have to be physically coordinated for. By today’s standards I would drive any school sports’ mistress into a nervous breakdown with my general ineptitude and unfitness.
You have written a lot of books, where do you get your “inspiration”?
I think I have an active and undisciplined mind that jumps around and looks at what should be normal patterns of life in a skewed manner. I must be the only person who looked at the song, ‘I wonder who’s kissing her now?’ and puzzled what part of her anatomy a now was.
Raising children gives very good background knowledge for writing about and for children. Just keep hoping they don’t bother to read what is in my books too closely. Think my only disaster was when writing one primary book they’d rush home from school saying, ‘Quick! Where’s the next chapter?’ It ended having to be divided into four or more primary books because of its length.
And how do you maintain the discipline to actually get the books written?
As a compulsive writer I don’t need discipline any more than you need discipline to eat when you are hungry. If it is sitting in my mind I have to disgorge it, even if none of the editors love it.
Do you have a favourite genre?
Of course. It used to be science fiction but I now just love fantasy, and there are such wonderful books of fantasy these days. Other people might obliterate the current world with drugs and booze. I prefer to move away from reality and into fantasy which might not be more intriguing than reality but definitely more fun.
Out of all the books you have written so far, do you have a personal favourite?
The first one I had published, The Circus Runaways. Although my daughter explained she hadn’t really run away to join a circus, but ended up running away from the circus to join home when she got sick of it.
Do any of your characters reflect friends or family in real life? If so, are there any you can identify for us?
Ouch! What if someone is reading this?
What are you planning on writing in the next twelve months?
I wrote a sword and sorcery book based on a D&D adventure. Leaving it open ended I started the sequel and tailed out a quarter of the way through. As it is most improper to leave a book unfinished my resolution to finish it this year.
Do you have any advice for potential writers?
Not without being pretentious. The experts say don’t write to the clink of the cash register but write from the heart. Writing to the clink of the cash register often pays better but isn’t as satisfactory as producing a piece that reflects the real you.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Only that writing is a form of communication and everyone needs to communicate, whether it is their personal view of how they see the world or the straight facts of a witnessed car accident.
Check out Margaret’s Author page for purchasing information for all her books (both direct from the WEE site or from Amazon):