Ep 327 Meet literary agent and author Danielle Binks, author of ‘The Year the Maps Changed’.

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In Episode 327 of So You Want To Be A Writer: Meet literary agent and author Danielle Binks, author of The Year the Maps Changed. Discover what you need to know about writing a series and tips from the AWC team for working from home. We also have 3 copies of The Cobra Queen by Tara Moss to give away. Don't miss out.

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Show Notes

5 questions to ask your self before writing a series

AWC team share their useful tips for working from home

Writer in Residence

Danielle Binks

Danielle Binks (Janis House, Janis House Photography)

Danielle Binks is a Melbourne-based writer, reviewer, agent, book blogger and Youth Literature Advocate. In 2017, she edited and contributed to Begin, End, Begin, an anthology of new Australian young adult writing inspired by the #LoveOzYA movement, which won the ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children (Ages 13+) and was shortlisted in the 2018 Gold Inky Awards.

The Year the Maps Changed is Danielle’s debut middle-grade novel coming out with Hachette Australia in 2020.

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Interview Transcript

Allison

Danielle Binks is a Melbourne-based writer, reviewer, agent, book blogger, and youth literature advocate. In 2017, she edited and contributed to Begin, End, Begin, an anthology of new Australian young adult writing inspired by the #LoveOzYA movement, which won the ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children, and was shortlisted in the 2018 Gold Inky Awards. The Year the Maps Changed is Danielle’s debut middle-grade novel and it's out now with Hachette Australia in 2020. This is 2020. That was my best radio interview intro there, Danielle. How did you feel about that?

Danielle

It was very good. I'm very impressed. Well done. Brava.

Allison

Until I got to the end and lost it. Anyway, so let's talk about your novel. Can you talk me through the back story of your debut novel, The Year the Maps Changed, which is out now. What is it all about? And where did the idea come from?

Danielle

So the novel is set in 1999, which pretty quickly I had to grapple with the fact that that makes it historic fiction. Even though I actually chose that, to make it middle grade, because I myself, much like my protagonist Fred in the book, I was eleven going on twelve in 1999, so it was very hard for me to come to terms with the fact that that makes me ancient.

But basically it's about this period in Australia's history to do with Operation Safe Haven, which was when the Howard-era government gave temporary sanctuary to the refugees of the Kosovo war at the height of the NATO bombings. And what they did was they brought over 4000 Kosovar Albanian refugees, and they brought them to eight different safe havens in five locations around Australia. And one of those locations was at the very tip of Point Nepean down here on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. And the thing is, I grew up in the Mornington Peninsula, it's where I still live, and when I was eleven going on twelve I vaguely remembered this event unfolding pretty much on my back door.

And it's just a little piece of history that's stuck with me. And then about five years ago, I decided to re-examine it, just because it was sort of niggling at the back of my mind. And as I started delving into it I thought, there's a story here. There's a story here about a moment in time when Australia kind of did the right thing while also laying down a blueprint for the way we currently treat refugees and asylum seekers, which is horrendously. And I thought, there's a story in that about a kind of young country in many ways stumbling their way through a humanitarian crisis, and at the same time a young girl realising her place in the global community from this event that comes pretty much to her back door, and also as she comes of age.

So it evolved from memory, basically, and true story, inspired by real events, is the very tricky answer to that question.

Allison

No, no. It's a great answer. Because I think we often talk about the fact that ideas are often a lot closer to home than people realise sometimes, I think.

Danielle

Yeah.

Allison

And it's about delving. I always encourage kids to keep journals and when I talk about journals it's not, you know, today I got up and had breakfast and went to school. Mind you, ‘went to school' is historic fiction now, too. At the moment, anyway.

Danielle

True!

Allison

But about those small, you know, things that strike you from that day. And then those things can then become stories. But from that first idea, what was the actual writing process for the novel? Was it something that you… As you say, it's from memory and stuff so did you have a basic… I mean, your memories and turning those into the narrative arc of someone else, a character, what is the process for that?

Danielle

It was a long process. It was a five-year long process of writing and researching and editing. And from the very beginning I firstly struggled with deciding whether or not to set the book close to home and whether or not to make it young adult or middle grade. And for a long time, in the very beginning, for a very long time I thought, no, I have to write YA because everyone knows that I love YA. And I'm going to set it somewhere like NSW just so it's out of my way, it's a little bit more distance between me and the real story.

But then at some point, my character of Fred her voice just came through to me and I wrote the prologue. And the prologue pretty much didn't change in five years. What the prologue is was my blueprint for the whole story because it's a little bit of Fred looking back at the end of the story at the very beginning. And I thought, that's my blueprint for how I'm going to go forward.

So once I decided that, no, I'm going to lean into the fact that I am the same age as Fred was in 1999 and I'm going to set it close to home and I'm going to try and do justice to where I grew up, once I decided that – and it took a long time to decide that and to be okay with that decision – then I really hunkered down and took everything that I studied and researched. And I did research in terms of I travelled out to Singleton in NSW and I went to their library where they have wonderful, wonderful archives from their newspapers of their time as a safe haven. So I really, I kind of travelled around looking for research to help me fill out this story a little bit as well. And in doing so, I can no longer tell you what is my memory and what is research and what is fiction. It all kind of blends together after five years. So yeah, that was the start, the kick-off.

Allison

So was the first draft a five-year process? Or was the first draft… Talk to me about how long it actually took you to draft it. And I know you were doing research and all of that sort of thing, but the actual drafting of it, that first draft.

Danielle

Yeah. So I actually found that… I mean, I never thought I would write historic fiction, for one thing. That was never… If I went back to when I first started dabbling in my own writing, I was doing a lot of Twilight fan fiction. So I was writing a lot of… Actually one of the people I went to RMIT and studied professional writing and editing with, she DMed me recently and said, hey, remember when you were writing that werewolf story? So for a long time, my writing was very fantastical and paranormal and romance. So I never thought that the first thing I would write would be middle grade, let alone historic fiction, contemporary in a lot of ways.

So what I did was, I realised that writing historic fiction, one of the pros of that is that you have a timeline you have to stick to. So I'm not a plotter. I'm very much a pantser. That's the way that I write, is I like to kind of just fly by the seat of my pants. But I realised with historic fiction, it gave me a little bit of a grid to work to because there were particular events that I hit my marks on for dramatic effect. So that was really good for me, was that I had to map out all of the big dramatic moments based in real life that I wanted to hit.

So for a long time I had that plot, but I still had to pants it. Because I can't write any other way except waiting for a character to come along and tap me on the shoulder and say, here's what I'm going to do.

So I had the plot vaguely worked out, only because I had the history worked out, which was a pro of setting it 20 years ago, 20 odd years ago. But the actual pantsing of it, I probably actually wrote the thing in a fever in about three months.

Allison

Okay.

Danielle

So it was very much doing a lot of research. And I probably tricked myself for too long thinking that research was writing, when I should have really been writing. And then towards the end when I just thought, I just have to get this out of me now, it's ready, I know the whole story in my head. And I really did, I wrote the rest of it pantsing completely in a fever in about three months' time.

Allison

All right. So you've studied professional writing and editing, and you've previously edited and contributed to an anthology, so you've had that, you know, short story. What do you think that sort of experience taught you about writing a novel?

Danielle

Oh gosh. So I did professional writing and editing, but before I did that I also studied communications with a major in journalism. Which is why in my book there's a lot of respect for the news and engaging with the news as young people. So there's a lot of the kids reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, watching the news on the TV. And I think my start in editing started with journalism, and it started with two words that one lecturer said to us one day, which was “Jesus wept”. And he said those are the most powerful words in the entire bible. And it's not, you know, “Jesus cried rivers of tears down his tear-stained cheeks” and all this sort of stuff. “Jesus wept.” He said, less is more, get to the point and get to it quickly. Jesus wept.

And I myself am not terribly religious, but that stuck with me forevermore. And it's what I take with me when I do editing now, it's less is more. Less is more.

I can't say that I'm great at editing myself as well as I am other people. I think that's a blind spot for me. It's very hard for me to kill your darlings. But when I edit other people, I do like to have… I kind of edit as though I'm an audience watching a movie trailer, and I always compare the trailer to what the story ends up being.

So I always love being sent a synopsis, just so I can… I think people often in a synopsis tell you more what their intentions are. And then sometimes they go off the rails in the actual delivery of it. So I always come back to synopses. Which is also again a little bit of me as an editor preferring a plotter to a pantser. Which I know goes against everything in my own practice, but there you go. But I always love a synopsis to show me what a person intended to do. And then I think the actual manuscript itself is did they deliver on it?

And I also know that's a great way to talk to writers because you can say to them, you had the right ideas, you know what you were wanting to do because you hit all those marks in the synopsis. And a synopsis, I should say, it reveals spoilers and all. It's a here's the entire story arc, generally, is what I ask for in a synopsis, being one page.

So I'm very much somebody who treats it like I'm going to watch a movie trailer, and then I hope that the movie is as good as the trailer promised. And it better deliver.

So that's the way I edit is with “Jesus wept” and with a kind of I'm an audience member watching a movie kind of brained thinking.

Allison

Okay. So given you work also as a literary agent, was there anything about the… I'm going to get to the deal in a minute, for how you actually came to be published. But was there anything about the publishing process that surprised you? Like once you were actually the person under the spotlight as the author, so to speak?

Danielle

Only that I am as neurotic as any author, I think.

Allison

You thought you were going to be different, didn't you?

Danielle

Yeah. I really did.

Allison

That's so funny!

Danielle

And all of the good advice I'd ever given to my authors, which is generally, “don't panic”, I can't take that on board myself. I think it is because, especially with this book, with any book generally but with this one in particular because it's so close to home for me quite literally and my own childhood quite literally, you're offering a slab of yourself up on the plate. And it's really hard to be chill about that, for want of a better expression.

So I was surprised that like all my authors, I went through waves of thinking, nobody's going to like this, nobody's going to read this. That could very well happen now. But nobody's going to let me write anything ever again. I've bastardised the English language, I can't do this. Just spiralling in my own head.

And much as authors come to me with those worries, and I'm the person who can say to them, “calm down, here's the reality, let me just bring back you down and tether you to the real world for a second”, I find that I very well could have somebody doing that for me, being Jacinta, who actually runs the agency I work for, but I find that because I think I should just go it alone, I'm an agent and an author, I've got this, I find myself spiralling in my own head a little bit more.

But more often than not I'm able to give myself a reality check, eventually, saying, hey, you sound a lot like so and so who you just talked down last week. So once I can do that… But yeah, the thing that surprised me the most was that all authors are neurotic, even those who are also agents, who are used to talking down neurotic authors.

And I say that with a great deal of affection. I love neurotic authors. I think, like I said, I think it's a signifier that somebody has put a lot of themselves into a piece of work if they get really emotional about how it's going to be received. But I was surprised that I couldn't handle that in myself every time.

Allison

Interesting. So let's talk about how your book, The Year the Maps Changed, came to be published. Did you act for yourself in organising the deal with Hachette? Or did you get someone else involved? And I'm only asking is I'm wondering how important you think third-party input is.

Danielle

Oh, okay. So when I initially pitched, I pitched myself. And I pitched myself horribly. I pitched a half-finished manuscript, which you should never do.

Allison

And did you pitch it widely? Did you send it out widely?

Danielle

No.

Allison

No. Okay.

Danielle

I didn't. I sent it… I was very lucky as an agent. I had an idea in my head of the editors who I wanted to work with. Which isn't to say that all editors in Australia for youth literature aren't wonderful. I just thought that this was, what I was writing was a quieter book, and it was maybe going to be taken by some editors as this is a quiet novel. Which is kind of code for, it's contemporary. It doesn't have dragons, it doesn't have werewolves like I was once upon a time going to write. It doesn't have magic, which is what middle grade has a lot of. It's not genre. So I just thought, lots of editors are going to think this is a quiet book.

So I kind of knew the editors who were looking for more literary middle grade fiction who would take on board a quiet book and let it do its own thing. So I kind of had two editors in mind, and I pitched to those two. And one of them, the one that I ended up going with, the wonderful Kate Stevens from Hachette who also came up with the title for my book, which I'm forever grateful for…

Allison

It is a great title. And it's a beautiful cover as well, I really love the cover.

Danielle

Yeah, that is Astrid Hicks of Astrid Cherry Design. Wonderful.

So she was the editor who didn't want me to change one of the big aspects of the book, being Fred's family life. She really could see why I was writing the story of these refugees coming to Point Nepean alongside the story of Fred's coming of age. So she didn't tell me to cut back on Fred's story, which I really loved. Because this is very much also a family story, even as there's a global crisis happening, it's also about how a family responds to that. Which I thought was really important, because I'm trying to talk about how, you know, it's the year the maps change and it's this idea of you have your little corner of the world, but please know that the stuff that you do in your little corner of the world has repercussions around the world. Which, yes, is very interesting to have written that in the year 2020.

So she was the editor who got that. And I thought I want this book to come out with you. And I have felt safe and secure in that decision ever since, just as much as I felt safe and secure in once knowing she wanted it, I tapped out and said, Jacinta is going to tap in and do negotiation for me. So that was great. That was great. Because by that point, I had no bargaining chips because I just wanted her as my editor. So I had to take myself out of the equation and say, I need somebody to come in who has a more level head who can just get the contract done.

So I completely took myself out of the contract equation and brought Jacinta in. Which was, again, a very wise decision, I think.

Allison

Okay. So I think for me one of the most difficult aspects of being both an agent and an author would be you're reading a lot of other people's work and a lot of other people's voices and a lot of other people's ideas. And then you're working on your own stuff or trying to… And also just that whole thing of, oh my god, this is so amazing and is my work good? And all of those sorts of things. How do you keep those things separate?

Danielle

I didn't for a long time. So I joined Jacinta in 2016. I became an agent. And that was a big reality check for me as well. Because I did, as you say, I started to see the level of where first draft manuscripts were at for some authors, both seasoned authors and debut authors. And I thought, wow, I have to really get my manuscript into shape because this is what actually gets through to publishers. And even some manuscripts that were so polished and so wonderful, even they didn't get up.

So it was a real reality check for me in 2016 when I got to see a whole different side to the industry from being an agent. And I guess I was also working on building up my author list and actually pitching work.

So from 2016 when I started agenting, which is also when I started working on this idea for The Year the Maps Changed, I think a lot of what I was learning stopped me from hitting send too quickly. Because, you know, there probably was part of me that thought, oh, I wonder if publishers are still doing that thing of acquiring a manuscript based on really liking an author's prologue. And I promise that I'll finish it in a year. And becoming an agent was the reality check of that doesn't happen anymore. Sorry to tell you, but no.

Allison

But I think that's really important for people to know that. Because one of the things that I think – and everyone does it, like every new writer does it – we have all at some point submitted something way too early. All of us.

Danielle

Undercooked. Yeah. Absolutely.

Allison

Yeah. So maybe you can explain to our listeners what does it look like? When people get the advice to polish a work until it shines before submitting, what does that mean? What does it look like?

Danielle

So particularly working in youth literature, I always like to know if young people of the target audience have read it. And that does mean not just if you have a child yourself who's aged between eight and twelve for middle grade, that they've read your middle grade manuscript. That's a question of did you get their friends to read it? Did you get any relatives who are that age to read it? A little bit more distant cousins, maybe. Those questions of who else has kicked the tyres on this thing.

I really like to know who else has read it, particularly those who write, I would say, and I hope that they write minor and secondary characters from diverse backgrounds, and if that's the case then I wonder has anybody from that diverse background read it to see that you have represented their culture correctly.

And I always get really concerned when people submit me manuscripts with a protagonist from a diverse background that the author themselves do not share. And then I'll throw words at them like ‘own voices' and ‘we need diverse books' and if they stare at me blankly I think, you haven't done enough research in this.

So over the last few years, since I've started agenting, certainly, that's been a huge consideration. And I'm always floored at the number of authors who I'm telling them for the first time that there has been this huge grassroots movement in youth literature of ‘we need diverse books' and own voices, which is authors who share a minority cultural background writing from that background as well. And if somebody has done that who doesn't share the background of their protagonist, I'm always really concerned. And I pretty much put a stop to it straight away and say, look, I'm not prepared to even read this until you get somebody to do a… It's called a sensitivity read, but I'm also hearing it called an authenticity read. Because sensitivity would suggest from the get-go that you don't try writing from a perspective that's not your own without understanding the entire, like I said, cultural movement around it right now, youth literature in particular.

So all those sorts of things. A lot of my kicking my tyres has to do with who else has read this.

Allison

Okay. And what makes a manuscript stand out for you? In the sense, you know, if I'm an author and I'm looking for an agent, what kinds of things are going to make you go, okay, I need to read more of this?

Danielle

It sounds so obvious, but I also take this on board as an author, I'm somebody who loves a killer first line and a really great prologue or chapter one. I'm actually not averse to prologues. There's a prologue in my book. I actually love a prologue if it's well written and short. But I love a killer opening line has some sort of hook in it from the very beginning. I do hate it when authors… What I generally say is, send me the first three chapters. And if somebody comes back to me and says, look, the action doesn't really start until chapter seven, can I send you up until chapter seven? I'll kind of say, why does the action happen on chapter seven which is page 60…

Allison

What's happening for the other six chapters?

Danielle

Yeah, exactly. Which is page 65. Think about how you browse in a bookshop. When you pick up a book, you generally the first page, maybe the second page, maybe you'll randomly turn to a random page in the middle. But what thinking has you believing that a browsing person in a bookshop would pick up a book and on the blurb it says, I promise you it gets good in chapter seven? Like, it just doesn't happen. Why do we need the first six chapters then? Why not start from chapter seven?

And I'm also a really big fan of that idea of start as close to the action as possible. And as an editor, a lot of times when I'm talking to my authors, a lot of my editing is always, let's start it here. Which is often, let's cut out the first ten chapters. Let's cut out the first ten pages. Let's get to the action quicker.

Allison

Yeah.

Danielle

Especially if you're working in youth literature. Just because… Like, if my attention is not kept for the first six chapters, why would you ask an eight year old kid, who could be playing video games, who could be skateboarding outside (hopefully), who could be group chatting with their friends, why would you ask them to persevere through the first six chapters? It's just not gonna happen.

So I'm a really big fan of hook me from the get go. And if I can just tell most authors, tell me when your action starts and then give me a good reason why that can't be where the book starts as well.

Allison

Fair enough. All right, so your debut is coming out under different circumstances than you might have imagined. Things have certainly changed over the last weeks and months. What are some of the things that you're putting in place to get the word out? To help get the word out? Like, what are the sorts of strategies that you've had to… You, having a good understanding of the industry, of publishing in general, of the way things work, what are the things that you're doing to help push the word out about your book?

Danielle

So online is going to be big. And it's really interesting for me because, way back when, I started my book review blog in 2009, called Alpha Reader, and it's still going to this day. So I was an early book blogger. I was somebody very early on in the industry who was getting free copies of books from publishers to review, particularly in the young adult space. So my book blog's been around since 2009.

And from the get go, I think for that reason, my publisher set up a book review tour that was going to kick off on April 27 and go until May 7, I believe, organised by the OzYA bloggers and Kelly over at Diva Booknerd, who is an absolute legend. So because I've always been in the book blogging space, we were always going to target the book blogging space.

And now what's happened is… So book bloggers have to register if they were interested in reviewing the book. And I think there were 25 slots to receive free copies. Now though, I'm saying to them, anybody who wanted to review the book, who wants to do a Q&A with me, I'm here. I don't care if you get a free book sent to you, I'll do anything with you.

So it's definitely moved back into the book blogging space. I think book blogs and YouTube vloggers will be really big again as well, where they were kind of starting to… Not recede in popularity, but it certainly seems like Instagram and Tumbler and TikTok, probably, in some capacity, were taking over the social book review space. But now we're going to go back to it, which feels a little bit retro, which kind of is in keeping with the whole 1999 setting, that we're also going back to 2009 when I started book blogging.

So I feel really comfortable in that space, and I feel really comfortable saying to those book bloggers, hey, I've been doing this since 2009, I'm happy to go back to it.

I also think Facebook Live will be a thing that we do to promote the book. I mean, I was meant to have my very good friend Carly Findlay launching me at Readings in Carlton. I don't see that happening now, but Carly has said, you know, let's do a Facebook Live event together. Let's get dressed up, because we both miss dressing up, let's get dressed up and let's do something online. And let's do Q&As and stuff.

So it'll move to an online space. I'm also very aware that lots of kids are going to be doing virtual classrooms. And I think lots of parents and schools and everything will be looking to do virtual book clubs. And I know bookshops are as well. Some really wonderful book shops, like Squishy Minnie, The Younger Sun, Beachside Bookshop over in NSW, all of them are going to be thinking about virtual book clubs. And I'm more than happy to get involved in that.

Allison

And are you getting involved in those via… Like, what technology? Like via Zoom? Via Skype? What are you using to facilitate that?

Danielle

I'm hearing Zoom. I'm hearing Zoom is the way to go.

Allison

Yeah, I'm seeing Zoom everywhere.

Danielle

Yeah. I mean, if you had stocks in Zoom, I don't even know if Zoom is a public, you can purchase, I have no idea. So Zoom is the way to go.

The other thing of course is this. It's podcasts. It's talking in people's ears. I think there's something comforting, there was always something comforting in podcasts anyway, of just listening to a bunch of people talking to you. There's a storytelling element to it, I hope. I hope that that's coming across in this interview. If not, I'm so sorry that I'm not very eloquent.

Allison

We are so fascinating. Our narrative arc is on fire, Danielle. And I feel like we're zooming towards a climax right now. It's going to be very exciting. Action. It's all happening.

Danielle

Should we have started the podcast from this point? I'm so sorry if everything that came before it was just…

Allison

You can't start at the climax.

Danielle

No, that's true.

Allison

That would be the world's shortest book ever.

Danielle

That's for short stories.

Allison

All is soon going to be lost, all right!

Danielle

No, but I mean, it's true. It's podcasts, more important than ever. And thank goodness podcasts really took off a few years ago in such a huge way. Yeah. It's all of that. And you know, as I've been telling my children's authors, especially, I've also had them thinking in terms of those of us who write children's books, those things are forever. Because we write them that way.

Allison

Yeah.

Danielle

And we will thankfully always have schools that in some amalgamation in the future we can go and visit. Schools will always be doing things like school talks and school assemblies and book clubs and workshops. And some of them even run their own festivals.

We are very lucky as children's authors that we will have that audience forevermore. And that our books are an extension of us. And books really are magic, and they are time travellers, and they will last the tests of time. They may not take off the way that we hoped they would at the very beginning, with launch and huge sale spikes from release day. But I promise you, all those children's authors, these are steady. We are steady sellers. We are people who are always here for kids. Kids will always reach for books and will always be encouraged to reach for books.

So I'm not panicking about that. I am though looking out for bookshops right now and making sure that no one is left behind, and that we can help as much as we can to drive sales to bookshops in some sort of capacity.

But I'm content. And I'm accepting of the fact that we will talk about this books in the future. They will be there for years to come. We may not be having the fabulous launches that we hoped for. And the spike in sales initially that we hoped for. But they are steady. They will be here forevermore. Kids will always be reading. It's okay.

Allison

All right. Well, I think that was our climax right there. So now we can just slide down into the denouement of our story with our soothing top three tips for writers. So Danielle Binks, author of The Year the Maps Changed… And where can we find you online, Danielle? If we go looking for you?

Danielle

So I'm at DanielleBinks.com. I'm also on Instagram as DBinks. And I'm on Twitter as Danielle_Binks.

Allison

So you're a bit like me where you picked up bits and pieces along the way, as I did. This is what happens when you start in 2009. This is what happens with your social media. You start with one thing and then you add something else and then you add something else and they're not necessarily all the same.

But anyway, what are you top three tips for writers, Danielle Binks?

Danielle

So I think I've already given a really good one, which is start as close to the action as possible. I never want to hear from an author who sends me their manuscript, ah, I promise you it gets really good in chapter seven. I never went to hear that. So start as close to the action as possible.

I would also say, read widely. If you write middle grade, don't just read middle grade. I want you to be reading adult crime fiction. I want you to be reading paranormal romance. I want you to be reading poetry. I think there is something to be learnt in every single medium and readership.

And the same goes for… It's completely okay to get inspiration from watching television and movies. I think that's how you learn great pacing and plot and dialogue. So read widely and read often.

I definitely can tell people who have maybe read a little bit too immersively in one genre or one readership, because it sounds like they're just sort of faintly copying and outlining other people's work, instead of going out and trying to find their own voice. And I think you find your own voice by reading widely and taking bits and pieces from everyone in some sort of way and then fusing them together to make it work for you.

Allison

That's two. One more.

Danielle

The last… Oh gosh, one more. I'm going to say, share your work. I'm going to say, share your work. I am somebody who started out in fan fiction, and I shared my work anonymously with strangers on the internet, and that was a really wonderful precursor to sharing my work with editors and marketing people and my agent and fellow readers and young people. Share your work.

I think that could also be the antidote to procrastination is if you have people who are expecting to read your work and to critique your work, you'll probably work on your work if you have people that are waiting to read it. So share your work, I would also say.

Allison

Brilliant. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Danielle. Best of luck with your debut novel. And we shall look forward to seeing how it all goes for you.

Danielle

Thank you so much for having me. And take care, everyone.

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