Inspired by Simmone Howells Anatomy of a Novel, this is a weekly series of guest posts on How Writers Work.
Children’s and YA author Julia Lawrinson talks about her writing process.
How did you get your first book published?
I had scribbled for years various half-finished bits and pieces, short stories, vignettes and felt that I was a writer long before I was ever published. But I didnt believe I could write a novel, had no idea what I would write a novel about. Then a few things happened which changed me, and delivered the sense of narrative Id been lacking: I started reading YA (before that I read a lot of plot-light literary fiction); I had a child; and I developed sudden and severe rheumatoid arthritis, triggered by childbirth this last made me fear that I soon wouldnt be able to write at all, and so I thought, if Im going to write, Id better get on with it. So, in the least auspicious of circumstances, I began.
I have been blessed with many writing mentors/inspirations, directly and indirectly: Marion May Campbell, Gail Jones, Dorothy Porter, my wonderful poet friends, Brigid Lowry, Glyn Parry. And the most blessed part about being in Western Australia, besides the beach and the sunsets, is the glorious, supportive kids writing community we have here.
Your writing routine
I work full time, and so my writing fits around this: scribbling notes on the train, writing during insomniac hours, on weekends, on holidays. Otherwise it wouldnt get done.
Does working full time interfere with my writing? Yes. It changes what I write and the way I write it. Does it stop me? No. It slows me down, but doesnt stop me.
Your writing space
My writing space is under construction/creation: it is the product of an extension we have had, but at present we lack the funds to finish it off properly. Also, I lack the necessary solitude to make as much use of it as I would like (see 2!). Still, up until now I havent even had a room, so this is progress.
Apologies for the white-out on the corner of the photo: it was 37 degrees when I took this.Your
What is your latest WIP
My WIP is due out in early 2012, and is about four scholarship girls who make a pact to lose their virginity before the end of year 12. It sounds a bit American Pie, but in fact it was inspired by Melvin Burgess Doing It its the girls version. Some of it is funny, some of it is serious. Its in the final edit stage as we speak.
6 thoughts on “How Writers Work – Julia Lawrinson Guest Post”
My daughter has just finished reading ‘Famous’ and she loved it so we’re glad working full time hasn’t stopped you writing.
Fabulous! I’m glad to hear it.
Actually, one of the effects of the f/t gig is that my manuscripts are getting shorter!
Hi Julia and Gabrielle
Love reading about how other writers work. 🙂
I know you said your work area is a work-in-progress, but I love how tidy your tidy desk – makes me ashamed at the higgelty piggelty messy desk I sit at. Right, that does it! I’m going to clean it up right now! 🙂
btw, I loved you ‘Everything Beautiful’.
I was thinking the same, Sheryl. In fact the other writers that will be appearing in this series also have peculiarly neat desks. Hmmm….
Haha, you know I really was talking about Simone Howell’s book, don’t you!! 🙂
Well, I *may* have cleared up my daughter’s mess before I took the picture …!
I can actually work in any environment, as I tune out completely when I’m writing, but I do prefer sitting down to a tidy desk.