I am part of a local writing group in Tasmania. We are a diverse bunch of people of all different ages and backgrounds. Many have not been previously published, but now they can say they have! Our 2021 anthology, Ideas Are Like Rabbits is now available online through bookdepository.
click here to see it and order! Ideas Are Like Rabbits
So, you may ask, why the strange title? It's a quote from Australian writer John Steinbeck, who described the process of writing as collecting rabbits which pop up, sometime at random moments: "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
What's in the anthology?
Lots of short stories and poems! Including some of mine. As an author of children's and young adult books, I have some stories in this collection that have never been published before!
Short stories/picture book texts -
1. Mr Twigg - about a street where lots of interesting characters live. It's a true story of a real street in England in the 1940s.
2. As a Bird Sees It - a very short story about how it feels to jump out of a plane with a parachute!
3. Crystal - a story about a very unusual girl with Autism.
4. The Secret Box - a little sister falls inside four of the most dangerous fairytales in the world. Her elder sister has to find a way to follow her inside each one and rescue her against giants, witches, wolves and naughty gnomes.
Writing Groups are Fun!
You know what's so great about writing groups? We chat about writing and share information on how to write, how to get published, how to design book covers yourself or through a book designer, how to format your work correctly, how to send to a publisher. We also talk about our own work, helping each other when we get stuck or aren't sure what to do next.
We also write stories together! They are called 'Neverending' stories, in which some of us write a chapter then send it on to the next person, round and round. Eventually we have to decide how to end it. But who knows how long that will take?
I planned this novel for six months, covering the wall of my studio with scene ideas on index cards, a whiteboard with plot stages, numerous A4 sized notebooks on culture, languages, characters and events. I thought I had enough to get me over the line, keep me on track.
But alas! The closer I got to the end the more anxious I became. Because I just couldn't figure out how it ended. That sounds absurd, doesn't it? After all, I'd spent all that time planning the book...
This is nothing new to me. I always reach a moment in the writing of a book where I seriously begin to wonder why I started it! Doubts creep in. But, you know, there are ways around that, so that I can finish the book and be proud of it. Here's my top tips:
1. Sometimes you just need space from your work. Put it aside for a few weeks. Don't think about it, if you can! Sure, if you get a brainwave write it down, but don't agonise over it. Give your brain a chance to think outside the box you have created.
2. Ask for help. I have test readers, marvellous people who read my work and make suggestions, provide feedback and critique. I love it. They see things I can't see. Often, they come up with an idea that just fits perfectly and away I go again!
3. Think of several different endings, no matter how wild. Something will spring from the chaos!
4. Read books of a completely different genre.
5. Watch a TV show that takes you away from your book. Something entirely different.
6. Go for walks and use your phone to dictate thoughts and frustrations. Just by identifying what is not working can sometimes help you realise what needs to change. Walk along the beach, or with the dog at the park etc. Walking helps you think.
So, there are a few of my suggestions! Don't give up! I will go back to Runaway in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I have a new book coming out soon with my publisher, Shooting Star Press, https://www.shootingstar.pub/ called Elkwood.
What's it about?
Imagine you find out you are a clone of yourself, that you actually died when you were eight years old! And your clone body is starting to change... You can do things no one else can, but there's a price to pay for using this new power...
As a voracious reader I don't really mind paperback or hardcover but I find ebooks rather tedious. So it's a last resort for me, if I can't get hold of the 'real thing.' But you may feel differently! I love the smell of a book, the feel of the pages, the weight of it in my hands. And I am always borrowing books form my local library to take with me when I have to sit in a waiting room. Each night I read in bed. It's wonderful to dive into other worlds just before you sleep.
Lots of people take an e-reader away with them on holiday, as they can carry many books on a small device. There are benefits there, definitely!
In the lead-up to Christmas I sold lots of my books at local events. It was great to get out and meet readers, as well as parents and grandparents who buy books for their families. As I currently have a broad range of genres - children's, teen and adult, fiction and non-fiction, it's wonderful to be able to offer people what they are looking for and sometimes I get to hear their thoughts on a particular book of mine they have read and enjoyed. click here for info about my books
Remote School Visits
During covid in 2020 I managed to get involved with a couple of schools for workshop and appearances. Through the magic of the internet I was able to speak to students at Brisbane Grammar and a lovely public school in NSW for the Books in Homes program. It's not the same as being there, of course. And I can't sign their copies of my books, but it's great to hear what they're interested in, the books they read and see their drawings.
New Books for 2021
I have signed contracts for two more novels and I am hoping they come out this year!
Elkwood is Urban Science Fiction for teens, (kinda Buffy/Legally Blonde/Big Bang theory) about a girl, Charlotte, who goes from fashion queen to dying superhero with a strange ability to manipulate spacetime, just a fraction! She used to worry incessantly about her clothes, makeup, what her so-called friends thought of her, now she finds herself worried about whether she will live long enough and have the strength to save her father from the mysterious and dangerous organisation called Elkwood. Her friends are now a bunch of geeks, who are the only true friends she has and try to help her understand what is happening to her body. Charlotte finds herself falling in love with a boy who has secrets of his own.
Secrets of the Water Meadow is for younger readers, age 7+ and is about two sisters who live on an island in Norway. The younger sister, Freya, befriends a creature of the deep fjord, a mermaid of sorts, called a 'havfrue', whom legend says drags small children down into the fjord to live with them. Freya's elder sister Lisbet has a terrible secret she won't tell anyone. Freya confides in her new friend, whom she calls Lorelei, who seems to listen and understand, even though she can't actually speak. When Lisbet runs away and her uncle almost drowns trying to find her, will Lorelei help the humans, because of her friendship with Freya?
Well, that's it for now. At the moment I am working on book two of the FLIGHT trilogy. It's called Runaway. The first book is about Reeve, but this book is about Sye, a girl of dark secrets who must travel to the frozen north to find the Ice Dragons to help save a friend of hers. She is an apprentice blacksmith, so I am having lots of fun researching that!
Have an excellent 2021! I hope you got LOTS of books for Christmas!
I am SO EXCITED to share with you my latest book, for young adults, REBEL!
What Reeve failed to realise was that not only would he be caught and punished, but his close friend Sye would also be imprisoned. And tortured. There is something very special about Sye that nobody knows. Not even herself.
Lucian, the (evil dude), has been described as 'delightfully odious' by reviewer Craig Cormick. Anyway, Lucian hates Sye and everything she represents. She is a symbol of hope for her people and he can't have that interfere with his rise to power.
So he makes an example of Reeve by having him publicly flogged.
Unknown to both Sye and Reeve there are Dragonkind living in secret in the forest called Valley of the Giants. These forest cousins, called The Red Branch, have been waiting for a hero to set them free, a war to end the Meer overlords. Recent events have forced their hand. So now they merge from their hiding place. And go to war. Reeve has a huge role to play in uniting both city and forest Dragonkind. Will he accept it? And how can he lead when his wing is broken?
But Reeve is a rebel, after all. And rebels don't give up.
paperback - REBEL by Dawn Meredith paperback
ebook - kindle version of REBEL
ebook - smashwords version REBEL
|Harry and Flossie pear picking|
|some produce from my kitchen garden|
|Harry on a day trip to our bottom 50 acres to pick rosehips|
|Kelly the palomino|
|Christina Booth and me|
|Fern the orphaned wombat|
|Lottie the koala|
|young Tassie Devil hand raised|
|very friendly goat|
|Chloe the gorgeous wombat|