Okay, okay, I know I said I’d be posting more frequently again now that I’ve finished writing my newest book, but life has been hectic in the last week since then! Most of that craziness has come because I broke my cardinal rule and jumped straight into editing that book (normally I let my manuscripts rest a little while so I can go back to them with fresh eyes), but I was just so excited to re-read it that I had to get straight into it again!
Because of that, I slept very little over the course of the last week (it was worth it) and I finished the first round of editing at 3:30AM on Sunday morning and was then able to send it off to my first ‘test subject’ for some feedback. ‘Test Subject #1″ is a girl called Dana and she reads books like she breathes air. She’s just, quite simply, amazing – not to mention, she’s 15 years old, so she’s the perfect age for my YA demographic. She’s also currently part of an exchange trip overseas so I sent it off to her at 3:30AM (our time) and, no kidding, by 5:30AM the next morning (our time) I had an email back from her telling me that she’d already finished! Apparently she couldn’t put it down and wasn’t yet able to give me any feedback because of her whirlwind of emotions… but she said she absolutely can’t wait for the next book. So, yeah, that was seriously, seriously awesome for me to hear!! YAY!!!
Since then I’ve sent it off to a couple of other ‘test subjects’ as well, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say, too! Man, I seriously love this part – where people start to experience the book with me. And constructive criticism is just so amazing. It’s so helpful! It just makes your work sooooo much better than you could have ever managed on your own! I love it! For any writers out there reading this, I totally encourage you to share your work with others and to be open to not just hearing, but also listening to what they have to say about it. You’ll be amazed at how much you can improve with good, solid, helpful feedback!
Anyway, other than that, I’ve just arrived home from an overnight stay in Brisbane for some author-ly events in the city. Yesterday I spoke with a total of about 450 teenagers (!!) about world building and character development and fantasy writing in general… As well as chatting about reading and books full stop. It was awesome, but totally insane-o. I think I spoke for about 3 hours back-to-back – yikes!
And today was even longer! Less students, but more sessions – I think all up it was about 5 hours today, 4 one-hour school sessions and then a drop-in at a council library (Kenmore) to chat with the local writers’ group for a Q&A. Phew, it was a full-on day! By the end, my voice – and the rest of me – was pretty much shattered! Speaking for that long and giving a similar presentation over and over to different groups of people is so incredibly mentally draining!
But you know what? It was so worth it! It was so beautiful to have an overwhelming number of teenagers (and teachers and librarians!) come up to me afterwards and say things like, “I stopped writing a while ago but now I’m going to start again!” or “I’ve never wanted to write anything before but now all I want to do is go home and get started!” and stuff like that. It’s just so nice to see them kind of, like, inspired, you know? Almost like, if I can share even just a little bit of the passion I have for writing with others, then that’s just so beautiful. It’s such an honour and a privilege – I love it!
Anyway, as I said before, I’m shattered, so it’s off to bed for me. But one last thing: I also received some SERIOUSLY AWESOME NEWS about an hour ago with an invitation for me to be a part of a national event coming up later this year, so when all that is confirmed and the program is set, I’ll share with you what it is and we can all happy dance together!
Until next time!