One of the most incredible things that happened to me in 2019, was being awarded the Writers SA residency at Varuna the Writer's House.
I went to Varuna (in the Blue Mountains) for a week and I have never been so productive in my entire life!
I worked on a new project and wrote 50,000 words. I am so excited about the (still very rough) manuscript, and so grateful for my time at Varuna. I never get time like that. Days of uninterrupted writing time. I made the most of it.
Well because I love YA (young adult fiction). Obviously. But to dig a little deeper than that, ...... .Sometimes I think about whyI love YA literature so much. I think about why I love it apart from the obvious (so many genres within YA, you can read an endless array of extraordinarily diverse stories, from gritty contemporary to romance to far out fantasy or science fiction). I think about this often. Why do I love YA?
Being an author means doing a lot of interesting and exciting things you have never done before. A big one for me in 2019 was being asked to do the opening 20 minute speech for the 2019 Salisbury Writers Festival.
It felt like a particularly big deal, considering how many times I have attended the festival as part of the audience. It is a place where I have learnt so much about being a writer, and to be asked to speak was pretty incredible! :)
I decided to provide a transcription of my speech here, which is about my long and difficult road to publication and the books I loved growing up. I hope you enjoy reading it! :)