Ep 158 The differences between crime, mystery and thriller novels. And meet Carole Wilkinson, author of the Dragonkeeper series.

Share on Pinterest

podcast-artworkIn Episode 158 of So you want to be a writer: 5 ways to find time to write. Learn the differences between crime, mystery and thriller novels. How an author used Google Street View and YouTube to write her novel. Find out how you could win a copy of Candice Fox’s latest book, Crimson Lake. Meet Carole Wilkinson, author of Bronze Bird Tower and the Dragonkeeper series.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Review of the Week
From thebusinessdude:

Allison and Valerie are a staple for your writing resources. Their witty and insightful humor adds to the already helpful education of writing. They provide practical advice as well as explain a variety of resources available to you. If you are a writer, want to be a writer, or enjoy the subject, this is a must have! Thank you Valerie and Allison!

Thanks, thebusinessdude!

Show Notes

Baileys Women’s Prize longlist: how Google Street View helped one author to write a hit novel

5 Sneaky Ways to Steal Time to Write

The Differences Between a Crime Novel, Mystery Novel and Thriller Novel

Writer in Residence

Carol Wilkinson

Carole Wilkinson is the internationally award-winning and bestselling author of the Dragonkeeper series. Carole writes both fiction and non-fiction and her stories are loved by young people all over the world. Carole embarked on her writing career at the age of 40 and she has been making up for lost time ever since.

Atmospheric: The Burning Story of Climate Change, was the winner of the Wilderness Society’s 2016 Environment Award for Children’s Literature – Nonfiction category as well as a Notable Book for the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards.

Bronze Bird Tower is the 6th and final book in the Dragonkeeper series and was released in March 2017.

Follow Carol on Twitter

Visit Carol’s website

Competition

WIN “Crimson Lake” by Candice Fox!

Your hosts

Allison Tait

Valerie Khoo / Australian Writers’ Centre

Connect with us on twitter

@altait

@valeriekhoo

Email us

podcast at writerscentre.com.au

Share the love!

Interview Transcript

Allison

Carole Wilkinson is the internationally award-winning and bestselling author of the Dragonkeeper series. Carole writes both fiction and non-fiction and her stories are loved by young people all over the world. Carole embarked on her writing career at the age of 40 and she has been making up for lost time ever since.

Her latest non-fiction book, Atmospheric: The Burning Story of Climate Change, was the winner of the Wilderness Society’s 2016 Environment Award for Children’s Literature, Non-Fiction category, as well as the notable book for the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards in 2016. Bronze Bird Tower, the sixth and final book in the Dragonkeeper series, was published on the 1st of March 2017. Welcome to the program, Carole.

All right. So let’s start at the beginning. You say that you didn’t even begin writing until you were nearly forty. What were you doing before that and why did you suddenly embark on a writing career?

Carole

I was a laboratory technician. For, I don’t know, 15 years or something like that. And science was something I kind of fell into rather than chose. And that was a good job so I stuck with it. Interesting people. Interesting work. But I kind of knew it wasn’t really what I should have been doing. And so when I got pregnant with my daughter Lili I just thought that that was a time to make a cut. I never went to university so I thought the best thing to do would be to do an Arts degree. And when confronted with the, on the, what do you call it, the day when you sign up for your course?

Allison

Yes, enrollment.

Carole

Enrollment. That’s the word. On enrollment day, I was confronted with all the choices and I guess I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to have a go at Creative Writing and that was what I chose. I chose, I actually chose a double degree, Creative Writing and Mandarin.

Allison

Oh.

Carole

Learning to speak Chinese.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

Just a random thing.

Allison

As you do.

Carole

Yes. And, it got… You know, from this point, looking back it looks like a careful plan, but it wasn’t.

Allison

It does. I was just thinking that. I was thinking, ‘Okay, so now it all makes sense.’ Right?

Carole

No. It was just one of those things where… The choices that you make eventually bring you to where you are but not necessarily with any great thought behind it. Not necessarily with any planning.

Allison

Yes. So, how old were you when you went back to university then? Or when you went to uni?

Carole

Oh about 38. 38.

Allison

Okay. All right. And so, when did you actually…

Carole

That was the first time. That was the first time I have been to university.

Allison

Oh. There you go. Okay. And when did you actually start writing your first manuscript?

Carole

Straight away.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

Pretty much. Well, I started writing short stories and… I actually thought I was going to be a non-fiction writer, like a journalist that writes non-fiction pieces for weekend magazines. The thing I knew about myself at that stage was that I liked to research. And so I started… You know, when you do a course like that, you do all the different streams and so fiction was actually not one of my choices. I was doing short story, but long-form fiction was not one of my choices. And it was just an elective, really.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

All right. So how did you then… Because your first novel, Stagefright, was published in 1996.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

How did you come… What was the process for that? How did you come to write that novel and how did it come to be published?

Carole

Well, for a start, I did two writing courses. I did my degree at Deakin and then I went straight on to do the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing. I think it was an Associate Diploma back then. So that was kind of 8 years’ part-time studying.

Allison

Yes, wow.

Carole

And all the time I was trying out all different sorts of, of types of writing. I did some script writing; I had a telemovie produced; I wrote all these newspaper articles. But I was surprised by how I was taken by fiction. I did quite well in my fiction class. And it was not what I was expecting. So… I was very fortunate. I had a day job, which was my first job as a writer, where I wrote brochures and handbooks, educational handbooks for an educational institution. And even educational handbooks need a publisher. And so I was working with a publisher for two or three years and it turned out that that publisher was Andrew Kelly of Black Dog Books. Just doing this sort of thing, you know, to pay the bills.

Allison

Right.

Carole

And so I was in a position, when I found out that he was the kids’ author just to say, ‘You know, I’d like to do some writing.’ But that didn’t happen straight away. And I also met Andrew’s partner, wife, called Maryann Ballantyne and she was at the time not working for Black Dog, but she was working for, I can’t remember which, in one of them, one of them, Heinemann I think, I can’t remember. And she, I handed her one of my manuscripts that you know, the manuscript that I had written which I thought was an adult novel, and she, I don’t, I still to this day don’t know if she actually read it from cover to cover, but…

Allison

Okay.

Carole

She is my publisher now and has been for many years. And she said, ‘Carole, I can’t help you with this, but I am doing a series of educational novels for, novels for the educational market, that are for teens. If you can come up with something like that, that would fit in with that. And maybe I can help you. So, you know…’ This will probably be on my list of tips. Never say no to anything.

Allison

Yes, fair enough.

Carole

Say yes, okay, I’ll have a think about that. And you know, in the back of your head, you are thinking, ‘What? Teen novel? Never occurred to me.’ But I’d came up with an idea, I wrote a synopsis, Maryann liked it and so that was my first novel, Stagefright, which…

Allison

And that was Stagefright, was it? And…

Carole

Yes. Which was actually published for the educational market. It was a full-form novel.

Allison

Okay. And so, where were did the idea come from? You’ve never considered writing for teens, you’ve never considered writing for children on any level.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

Fiction is not necessarily your, sort of like, you were originally thinking non-fiction.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

And there you are. Published in what would be now not YA. Where, where did you get the idea from? How did you come up with a synopsis and the whole thing?

Carole

I stole it. I stole it.

Allison

Oh, there you go.

Carole

My daughter Lili, Lili Wilkinson who is now also an author was…

Allison

Of course. And an excellent author at that.

Carole

Yes, absolutely. I think she was like 13 or 14 at the time. I had a teenage daughter, so I… She was very involved in theatre at school. She was in a theatre group, which was hilarious, really. The productions were hilarious. They write their own words and… Very diverse group of kids involved in it. So yes, I just stole that, that scenario. I made up the story.

Allison

Of course.

Carole

In my own defence, I made up the story, but I stole the scenario from Lili. And she has never really quite forgiven me for that I think.

Allison

And she never will. All right. So let’s move on to Dragonkeeper, which is an internationally bestselling series for children. Would you consider Dragonkeeper to be your breakout series?

Carole

Oh absolutely.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

My bestselling book by yards, you know.

Allison

Okay so, how did we get to Dragonkeeper? When was that first published? Where did the idea come from? And how did you, how did that come to be?

Carole

For me ideas sort of percolate for quite a long time. I had already written a story about a dragon for a screen, a screenplay, which was actually produced and it is now available for download on my website.

Allison

There you go. Right there.

Carole

I wrote it… It was made in 1997, I think. And it was about a dragon. This was not my idea. It was actually my husband who came up with the, who is not a writer, he’s a sound recordist. He came up with the idea of a dragon story, which he told Lili as a bedtime story. And he’d always thought it would make a good movie. And he tried to write a script, but to be honest, he’s no writer. And so I said, you know, ‘Give it to me. I’ll have a go.’ And so I was introduced to dragons by him. And because of my research, my past penchant for research, I didn’t want to just kind of make up my own fantasy dragon. I wanted it to be based in the dragons of myths and legends. And so I started to do the research and kind of haven’t really finished since.

Allison

Still researching.

Carole

Just goes on and on. And yes, so the Chinese dragons were the stand out ones for me. They were, there was such a lot of charming and arcane information about Chinese dragons in the myths and the legends and the writings, the ancient writings that I came across that were just sort of crying out for stories to be told. And I had been to China. We’d been on a holiday in the 80s with no language, when hardly anybody went to China. And then when I was learning Mandarin I went with college as well. So I went to China two years in a row. And so… Yes, I just thought, ‘I am interested in China. I find Chinese history fascinating. I like dragons.’ It was kind of like, just dovetailed.

Allison

Okay. So that is where the world came from.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

But then as far as creating the fantastic Dragonkeeper, particularly the first book. It is talked about by librarians, teachers. The whole world loves that book…

Carole

Yes.

Allison

Including my boys.

Carole

It’s good to know.

Allison

It’s on the shelf babe, don’t worry. I’m just wondering, it is one thing to have the world there, but with, obviously with children’s novels particularly the story is everything. Where did the idea for the story come from?

Carole

To be honest, I can’t remember. I just had… I’m going to have to do spoilers here, but I had the idea of a dragon egg. It is talked, the eggs are talked about in the myths, and so that was sort of the first spark. And I wanted a female protagonist and I wanted her to start with absolutely nothing. I wanted her to have a really big arc.

And I have kind of… You know, I’ve read fantasy in my time and I don’t like those sort of stories where your hero is ready made with all the skills, just waiting to be introduced to the world and they can just do everything. I wanted her to have to really struggle to find her skills and to be able to utilize them.

And I guess, looking back, it was kind of like what I was doing as a writer. You know, no real self-belief. Just not convinced I could do this in a proper way. How could I? I didn’t have any credentials. So that sort of self-doubt, lack of confidence I guess went into Ping’s character. And you know, that sort of journey that you do as a writer to just sort of put all that self-doubt aside and just do it. And put it out there with full knowledge that it could just all fall in a heap and be far from critically acclaimed. Whatever the opposite of critically acclaimed is.

Allison

I think it’s ‘ignored’.

Carole

Yes. Or worse, people could say bad things about it.

Allison

Yes. Did you always know it would be six books? Did you start out… I guess, what I am asking here is, did you plan the whole thing out in advance before you started?

Carole

No, no, no, no. Nothing like that. I wrote the first book and in the synopsis I had material, too much material for one book. And so, when it came to the end, with my publisher’s help deciding when was a good place to end it, I had a bit of story left over for the beginning of the next book.

Allison

Right.

Carole

And you know, there is no way that a publisher is going to commit to a series with a new writer. I should not be in a… Certainly not a small publisher as Black Dog Books was. Black Dog had only just sort of gone out from being entirely an educational publisher into trade. So, you know. The first book had to succeed before there was going to be another one and I had, I certainly had not thought that far. But then once I got into the second one, a trilogy seemed obvious.

And I did actually say at the end of Dragon Moon, the third one, ‘Well that’s it.’ I was, I wanted… You know, poor old Ping, she’s had such a hard life, I put her through so much. I wanted her to have a nice, quiet life. But I had a lot of emails and letters from readers who wanted me to continue to write. But, I said I wasn’t going to. But after a couple of years I kind of missed the dragons, really. And I had said they live, their lifespan is like 3,000 years. So I realized at some stage that I could continue to write about the same dragon but I could sort of leap forward in history.

Allison

Yes, right. With a different story.

Carole

Yes. And a fresh set of human characters.

Allison

Fantastic. So now you are at number six and this is definitely it?

Carole

I think so, yes. I think that I have got… You know, I’m getting on in years and I’ve got other things I want to write. And… Yes, so that is what I am doing at the moment.

Allison

So, with the series being sold internationally, as it has been, have you had to make changes for different markets? Or have the books just gone in as written to each market they’ve gone to?

Carole

Well, who knows what they have said in the Japanese edition?

Allison

Yes, so true, isn’t it?

Carole

Yes.

Allison

So true.

Carole

But as far as I know, there have been no major story changes.

Allison

Right.

Carole

That the, nobody… The American edition, all they wanted to do was make Dragonkeeper two words instead of one word.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

That was the only change they asked for. French edition changed Ping’s name and changed the, and of course the emperor is a real person, you know, in history. And I was very angry about that. And they shouldn’t have done that.

Allison

No.

Carole

But they didn’t ask.

Allison

What did they do that?

Carole

Well, who knows? I think it was just a whim of the translator to be honest. They couldn’t give me any reason and… Anyway.

Allison

Anyway.

Carole

So as far as I know, no, it is… I think this is the beauty of writing historical novels, is people don’t want to tamper with it. They… You know, you don’t have to go through the mum/mom and all that sort of stuff that is all… Everybody is happy to take it the way it is in the past. We are all unfamiliar with the past, so we don’t have to worry about whether we call them taps or faucets and all of that sort of stuff.

Allison

Yes. Yes. That makes sense.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

So, as far as your writing process for fiction, is it similar for all books in that sense that you start with some kind of research and then go forward?

Carole

Yes.

Allison

I mean, are you a plotter? Are you, you know, on any level? Or do you just sort of write the story and wait to see what happens?

Carole

I am, what did they call them? There is the pantser?

Allison

The pantser, yes.

Carole

And what is the other one called? The plotter, I guess.

Allison

Plotter. Plotter versus plan.

Carole

I’m kind of in-between.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

I do like to have a vague sort of structure.

Allison

Right.

Carole

So I know roughly who my protagonist is. I have an idea of the journey that he or she is going to make. And I pretty much always know what is going to happen at the end. And I am usually working towards a far distant but strong scene at the end. But, there is not a lot of detail there. And so, as I write, which is what I have been doing today, is sort of feeling the way from one plot point to another. In the dark sort of thing.

And a lot of the best, for me, a lot of my best ideas are those sort of little, you know, not the full story ideas but the little ideas that make it a bit different, a bit special, that come during the writing process. I have tried, I have tried doing the full plot on cards, but it just changes as I’m writing so it’s a waste of time.

Allison

I understand. I feel the same way.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

Exactly the same way. So what about your writing process for non-fiction then? So how many non-fiction books have you written now?

Carole

Oh, I don’t know.

Allison

Heaps.

Carole

Well, half a dozen. Six, seven.

Allison

Okay. Do you approach those in a different, in a very different way to the way that you would go about writing a novel?

Carole

No, not really. I am still looking for the story. There still has to be a strong story to be told rather than just a string of facts. And so, yes, that is… With the non-fiction for kids, it is not like for adults where you have to tell every version, every opinion, everybody’s you know, different views on everything. You can just kind of pick, you know, the best version of history in a way. You know, the strongest, the most accepted and the most interesting, to be honest. So, yes.

So I am still looking for the story and it… Obviously, you have got to stick to the facts. But a lot of the non-fiction I have done is in The Drum series for Black Dog, where at the beginning of each chapter there is a bit of fiction. You kind of put your reader in the time and the place so that they… I just think it is really hard for kids to imagine the past. I don’t know. I can remember… I have always been interested in history, as a child, but it was a jumble. You know, a jumble of mismatched things. Historically incorrect things. And confusion about when… I remember watching lots of those cowboy shows on TV, of which there were a million when I was a child. I thought it was the distant past and it wasn’t until I saw like a model T Ford or something in one that I realized it wasn’t that distant at all. And so, yes, you have got… Your young readers have got to be sort of led by the hand to try and remove opportunities for confusion as much as possible. But I am still telling a story.

Allison

So, let’s talk about Atmospheric then, which was obviously, won the Wilderness Society’s Book Award last year and also was a notable book for the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year. So, obviously, as far as non-fiction goes, doing very nicely for itself. Were you surprised by the success of that book?

Carole

Well, I think that it was topical. But this is one book that I didn’t write with, ‘What can I write that people will want to read?’ This was more like, ‘What can I write that people must read?’

Allison

Right. Okay.

Carole

I belong to a climate action group and I felt like this was something that I could do. I wanted it to be a book where whoever read it, of any age, would come out at the end and say, ‘Okay. Now I understand it. Now I have no doubts.’

Allison

Okay.

Carole

So that was really my motivation. And so, yes. I am glad that people are reading it. And it is not the kind of book that kids ask for their birthday or anything.

Allison

No. What age group is it actually written for?

Carole

Well, it is kind of up a bit. It is more like for lower high school, I guess. Low to middle high school. Anybody can read it. I have had a lot of adults read it saying, ‘Right, now, I’ve got it now.’

Allison

Yes.

Carole

And my idea was that not only would it be for students to read, but for… It might be challenging for kids in primary school, but if the teacher read it, then he or she would have all the information that, and then be able to sort of present it in a way that they thought was understandable and effective for their own students.

Allison

So, when you are writing a story like that, because it is a story that has a lot of emotion attached to it as well as the potential for real anxiety in kids, in that sense of you know, there is a lot of doom and gloom and horror around it, climate change. So how do you approach a story like that? Is it just a, just the facts ma’am sort of approach. Or how do you, how did you approach it?

Carole

I thought it was going to be quite a small book that would just sort of list the facts, and this is the situation we are at right now, and this is what you can do about it. But the more I got into it, with all the confusion and the unknowns that people had about it I realized, I kept going back and back and back. And so it ended up being a story that spanned millions of years, because I had to talk about how coal is formed and you know, how it is not going to be formed again any time soon.

So, yes, I don’t know. It just got bigger and bigger as I was going. And I just went with it.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

I’ve forgotten what your question was now.

Allison

Just, in a sense that it has that potential for anxiety and things like that.

Carole

Yes, yes.

Allison

Do you have that in the back of your mind? Or were you just sort of…

Carole

Yes, yes. I did. I most definitely did. And I wanted to present all of those facts. So, it is quite clear that it was not their fault, you know.

Allison

Yes. Yes.

Carole

There is everybody behind them, everybody that has come before them has a role to play in the blame for it, but they don’t. They don’t. However, they have to be the ones that act. And I, at the end, I certainly do all the things you could do around your house, but I also encourage them to act politically, you know. That they have a voice. 13, 14-year olds are going to be able to vote in a few years. Not many years, you know. You have the power and that… So yes, I sort of also went down that track.

Allison

Terrific. All right. So you’ve now written more than 30 books, as well as short stories, a telemovie, some other scripts. You have been very busy since you started. Since you embarked on your writing career. So you are clearly not short on ideas. How do you manage them? Because I know that with a lot of writers who are starting out, every new idea looks shinier than the one you are currently working on. What do you do to kind of keep all those ideas in order and decide what you are going to do next and all of that sort of stuff?

Carole

I kind of put them in the bank, you know. I have got a file of ideas, things that I might have started to work on and put aside. And they are all there to go back to. And so far, I still haven’t run out of ideas, but you never know. The book I am writing at the moment is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. A very long time. So in some ways, yes, they are shiny and new, but they also all need a lot of work.

Allison

Right.

Carole

To work up into a story.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

So you know, if you are already in the process of one, to me that is the shiny one. Because you…

Allison

Yes. You are doing it.

Carole

Yes. Right. You have made some progress. You know, like, I have got, I have written 20,000 words of the book that I am writing now and… Many of those words are going to change, but I feel like, okay, it is coming together.

Allison

All right. So, are you much involved in the marketing of your work? Do you do a lot of sort of social media or any of that sort of stuff?

Carole

I would not say a lot. I mean, I do post on… Instagram is my favourite.

Allison

Okay, cool.

Carole

It is nice to be, have a picture to…

Allison

Are you just Carole Wilkinson on Instagram?

Carole

Yes. It is, what is it? Can’t remember exactly what it is.

Allison

Okay.

Carole

I would have to look it up. But it is pretty easy to find. It is Carole Wilkinson something.

Allison

Yes, something.

Carole

Yes. Might be my… No, on Instagram I am caroleannwilkinson. That’s right.

Allison

There you go. All right. Just in case anyone wants to look you up.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

caroleannwilkinson on Instagram.

Carole

Carole with an e and without an e.

Allison

Yes, there’s a trap for you.

Carole

Yes. So I post things. I try to sort of keep a balance with personal things that I am interested in that I think other people might be interested in. Pictures of my grandson. I don’t like to be one of those people that just only ever posts about, you know, here is my new book, here is where I’ll be. You know.

Allison

Yes. I think that is a great approach.

Carole

I want people to, who take the trouble to follow me, to get to know me a bit as a person as well as an author.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

So yes, I post on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook reluctantly. I really don’t like Facebook.

Allison

Right. Okay. So Instagram is clearly where you at your most comfortable and probably the best place for us to look for you.

Carole

Yes.

Allison

All right. You also have a very, a really good, clear author website, which is very easy to navigate and gives you all the information you could possibly require. Is that something that has developed over time? Or is that a relatively new thing? Or how did, how long have you sort of been there?

Carole

I have had a website for a long time. I can’t remember when it started. But a long time. And this current website was designed by Chris Miles, who is also an author.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

And he has just recently, after being my webmaster for many years, said, ‘Really, Carole, I don’t want to do this anymore.’

Allison

Oh.

Carole

And I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ So he has given me some lessons and I have now taken it over myself. And it is quite empowering actually.

Allison

It is empowering to be able to do it yourself. Update whenever you want.

Carole

Yes. And you can… One of the things I always say is I do try to keep it absolutely up to date.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

And there are links for teachers there, the teachers notes, and if you can find them, you know, there’s a lot of stuff. I now have, I managed to get audio rights for Dragonkeeper and Black Snake, the book on Ned Kelly, which are the two, my two bestselling books, and so they are up online and they can be downloaded. For a price, I might add.

I find that I am getting, increasingly getting requests from schools for audiobooks, because they are finding that this helps kids with reading problems, with learning difficulties.

Allison

Fantastic.

Carole

So it was a hard job, let me tell you, to get the rights and to… You know, they have already been recorded by a company that was no longer using them. So to get the…

Allison

So you had to get them back basically?

Carole

Yes, yes. So that took me about two years.

Allison

Wow. Okay. Well, that is worth doing, obviously.

Carole

Yes. Yes.

Allison

All right. So if you want to look at any of those things, you could visit carolewilkinson.com.au. So go and check out Carole’s website and her audiobooks and all of the other goodies that she has there. So just to finish up today Carole, let’s have a little discussion about your three top tips for writers.

Carole

Okay.

Allison

What have you got for us?

Carole

I have only written two down so far. Number one is, use Scrivener. It is not an expensive writing application to use and it is very good. You can have all your research and your links and your timelines and everything at your fingertips on the one screen. And I was forever sort of searching back through, going through Word documents, looking for the timeline, looking for whatever, finding the webpage where I got that piece of information. It is, it has some very useful features. Not the least is the lovely targets, little thing that you can…

Allison

Yes.

Carole

So you can set your targets, what you want to do for the whole book, what you want to achieve each day and you see this little line sort of squeaking along quietly until it hits you and you know, I’ve got it at a thousand words. Haven’t quite made a thousand words today, I think it is sort of like, something like 785. So once I get to that stage, I am fine. I love that feature.

I also use the comments feature on it. So you can just sort of write a comment and they come up in a sidebar. I use that as a reminder for everything that I think as I am going. Oh, must go back and fix that. You know? You must look up this, would it be better if she did this, that or the other. For Atmospheric, when every, I felt like every sentence that I wrote had to be referenced, I put all the references in there. Otherwise I would have gone insane trying to remember where everything came from.

So, I love Scrivener. And I think it is, it does order my thoughts, which are a bit scattered at times.

Allison

Fair enough.

Carole

My second would be… Look, I am sure most, most people who have written even a little bit know this already, is, learn to love editing.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

You just got to. You have got to know that these are never going, that what you have just written down is never going to make it into the book as is. That it needs work, it needs honing, it needs possibly deleting, you know.

Allison

Yes.

Carole

Got to love that process, because you know, it gets better. You know, what’s not to love? It is, yes, it will make it better.

Allison

And your third one is, don’t say no, I believe.

Carole

Yes, yes, that is right. You have reminded me. I have tried many different things and I would never have come to writing children’s fiction if I had not said yes, I will do fiction as an elective. Yes, I will write a teen novel, even though it has never occurred to me in my whole life. And I also said yes to a lot of other things. I wrote for a couple of TV series, kid’s TV series, which did not work out for me, which was a disaster, but it was good to know about that.

Allison

Yes, good to know it was a disaster.

Carole

So, rather than sort of sitting, waiting for something to happen, you have got to make stuff happen. And anything you write, even my brochures and educational handbooks that I wrote, everything taught me something about writing or publishing. And you meet people. This is how I met my publisher, through doing other things.

So… I mean, you don’t want to be distracted from… You know, if you are writing a novel and you have got, it has been commissioned or you think you have got somebody that is interested in it, you don’t want to be distracted. But on the other hand, you really need to leave yourself open, because you just don’t always know, you know, what it is you should be writing.

Allison

All right. Well, thank you very much for that great advice. Thank you very much for saying yes to talking to us today. We wish you all the best with the sixth book in the Dragonkeeper series.

Carole

Thank you.

Allison

And if you want to read more about Carole’s work visit carolewilkinson.com.au. Thank you.

Carole

Thank you.

Share on Pinterest
Comments