This week’s chat sees Sean interviewing fellow chatter and recent HarperCollins author David McDonald.
They talk about David’s new film novelisation and volunteering in the speculative fiction community. Of particular interest will be some of the expectations on writers when writing for tie-in properties.
David also talks about the wonderful and enlightening responses he’s got to his Paying For Our Passion guest post series.
Surround yourself with creative people. One of the challenges of being a writer is that it can be very lonely. As supportive as your family and friends are, unless they are writers themselves it is hard for them to understand the challenges you face, whether it is dealing with the inevitable rejections, or writer’s block, or all the other struggles we go through. My loved ones are wonderful, and they will at least pretend to be interested when I talk about writing, but they do get that glazed look in their eyes after extended exposure to my rambling. But, it is much easier, on them and on me, to talk writing with people who are as passionate as I am about it, and love to discuss their craft. Whether it is my writer’s group, or a convention, I love going to places where I can be surrounded by other writers, and it is the best antidote to creative exhaustion I can imagine. After spending time in conversation with my writer friends, and hearing about their achievements and challenges, I feel reinvigorated, filled with a renewed passion to go and write.
Well, like a lot of people I have a first draft of a novel sitting on my desk, but right now I am focussing on short stories. I love the form, and as I am trying to develop my writing it gives me a lot more room for experimentation – after all it is easier to discard five thousand words than a hundred thousand! I always have a few stories on the go.
In terms of goals, I have a list of Aussie markets that I want to crack. Not only are there some very exciting things happening in Australia that I want to be part of, but most of my sales have been to US markets that don’t necessarily have a lot of circulation here. I think we all want our friends and peers to read our work, and I’d like to be known for my writing as much as for my blogging. So, as you can imagine I was very excited to make my first Aussie sale!
And, of course, there is that desire to start making sales to the pro markets. That’s one of the benchmarks I have set myself and hopefully if I keep working hard and submitting it will eventually happen.
But, none of those things are any more than ways of helping to measure your progress; I just want to be the best writer I can. That’s all I can control.
I am in the enviable position of having had a number of exciting opportunities present themselves this year, the key is to actually put in the hard work and not let them go to waste. I hate to do the whole vague thing, but I don’t like talking too much about things that aren’t definites. But, I have had the opportunity to pitch for some big projects so we will see how much more exciting news I have to share at the next snapshot.