Gabrielle Wang

Author and Illustrator

Gabrille Wang

The Beast of Hushing Wood – the tribulations and trials of a work in progress

The Beast of Hushing Wood

In May, I travelled to the US, to the Berkshire woods to further research my forthcoming novel The Beast of Hushing Wood. I saw squirrels and chipmunks, woodpeckers and deer.

I stayed with a friend in her beautiful house on the edge of the woods overlooking Williamstown in Massachusetts. Her very first airbnb guests arrived one week after I left and were treated to a mother bear and her two cubs ambling across the meadow in front of the house. They had just emerged from  hibernation. I wish I had seen them too.


But I did capture this somewhat magical photo of a squirrel who looks like he has a small creature riding on his back.


I had a lovely day talking and illustrating with the kids at the local Pine Cobble School. It is such a cute school and now I have a setting for the school in Hushing Wood.



Can you guess what made these marks? If you said a woodpecker, you are right. If you go for a walk in the woods, you can hear their sounds echoing through the trees. And here is a painting I did of a woodpecker.



Here I am in the woods picking ramps. Ramps are yummy wild plants with a taste similar to chives. Stirfried they are delicious.


The view across the valley at sunset from my friend’s balcony was stunning!

Some other paintings I did while I was there.



But of course, researching is the easiest part of the novel writing process. It is the first draft, the restructure and the multiple edits that cause the headaches and heartaches and moments of self doubt.


Working on edit after edit for a novel reminds me of those seemingly endless middle-of-the-night breastfeeding times when I felt as if I were the only one doing this in the whole world.
And I could not imagine it ever coming to an end.


Sometimes I need to remind myself that other authors are going through the same emotions and sleepless nights with their novels. And that one day I will be smiling and my heart will be filled with joy at holding the published book in my hand.


For the next few days, while the current edit is back with my editor at Penguin, I will work on the internal illustrations.

The Beast of Hushing Wood will be published by Penguin Australia in April 2017.


2 responses to “The Beast of Hushing Wood – the tribulations and trials of a work in progress”

  1. marg Gibbs says:

    Dear Gabi

    Your reference to breastfeeding and working on edits is so good. The sleepless nights, perseverance and wondering if others are going through these trials really made sense to me. What a lovely setting for your story in the woods.


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