WRITER 585: Michelle Upton on writing her novel ‘Emergency Exit Only’.

Host and CEO of the Australian Writers' Centre, Valerie Khoo, shares her recent experiences, including mentoring members of the freelance writing masterclass program and editing a manuscript. She also talks about the importance of creative curiosity and not limiting yourself to one passion. The guest for this episode is Michelle Upton, an author who shares her journey to becoming a writer after the passing of her father, which led her to question her life's purpose. Michelle speaks about the process of writing her novels Emergency Exit Only and Terms of Inheritance, focusing on dealing with rejection, having perseverance, and the value of preparation and research. The episode also highlights the importance of setting deadlines, venturing into social media platforms for marketing, and advises writers to build a strong pitch before starting a novel.

You can listen to the episode below, on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or add the podcast RSS feed manually to your favourite podcast app.  

00:00 Introduction and welcome
00:19 Personal updates and mentoring experiences
01:27 Exploring multiple passions and interests
03:02 The importance of creative curiosity
06:51 Encouragement to pursue creative interests
09:19 Nat Newman on how learning new languages can help your writing
17:27 Win Rabbit Hole by Kate Brody
19:42 Word of the week: solecism
21:40 Meet author Michelle Upton
23:39 Discussion on the inspiration behind Emergency Exit Only
29:02 The start of a writing journey: Short story success
29:35 The power of writing competitions: The Furious Fiction experience
32:10 Building a writer's platform: Leveraging social media and websites
34:38 The birth of a novel: From idea to publication
42:04 The art of plotting: A systematic approach to writing
52:35 The emotional journey of a writer: Perseverance and validation

Links mentioned in this episode

Writer in residence: Michelle Upton

Michelle Upton writes short stories and novels that examine our darkest fears and shine a light on hope and possibility. Born in Birmingham, England, Michelle emigrated to Australia in 2006 and is proud to call herself Australian. Michelle has a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Literature with Psychology, and before having children, she was a primary school teacher. Her debut novel, the much-loved Terms of Inheritance, was shortlisted for the HarperCollins Australia 2021 Banjo Prize. She lives on the Redlands Coast with her family. 

Follow Michelle on Instagram.

Follow HarperCollins Aus on Twitter and Instagram.

This podcast is brought to you by the Australian Writers' Centre and our course Romance Writing.

Find out more about your host, Valerie Khoo (@valeriekhoo on Twitter and @valeriekhoo on Instagram).

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