Answering questions

A while back I said I was updating the FAQ and please to ask me questions. And then I didn’t answer any of them. On account of book to write and blah blah blah.

But I’ve had a nudge from Certain Important Parties about the out of dateness of the FAQ and, erm, it’s been moved up the priority list. So here are at last are the answers:1

Gina asks, How do you write a novel? you said in another post that you have changed how you write them.

Tricky question! The short answer is: Scrivener. I promise that in the future I will answer in more detail. But it involves writing scenes out of order rather than from beginning to end. The book I just finished was written pointillist style.

Anon asks, Whats it like living in 2 countries?

(For those who don’t know, me and Scott spend half the year in Sydney, where I’m from, and half in NYC, where Scott has lived the majority of his life.)

Living in two places is most excellent. I have two sets of friends. Two sets of favourite restaurants. Two sets of everything really. When it’s six months at home and then six months in New York City I rarely get homesick and nor does Scott. Works out pefectly. Also lots of summer. I love me some summer.

Ariel Zeitlin Cooke asks, Will there be another book set in the MORM world? Will there be another book set in the HTDYF world? Have you ever written non-fantasy? (And then you can talk about the new one) What other books do you recommend?

At the moment I have no ideas for more books set in the Magic or Madness world or in the How To Ditch Your Fairy world. That doesn’t mean I won’t get some great idea later on. But right now the next few books I have planned have nothing to do with those worlds.

Why, yes, Ariel, I have written a non-fantasy book. I finished it just this week as it happens. It’s called, Why Do I Lie? and is set in New York City. It’s told from the point of view of a compulsive liar and involves a murder. I think it is the best book I have written. But then I think that of every book I’ve just finished the first draft of.

Everyone must read The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews. For very different reasons.

Diana Peterfreund asks, You seem to be drawn to very unusual names for your characters: Reason, Jay-Tee, and now Charlie and Fiorenze. I know you’ve talked about the story behind “Reason,” but what about the new books? Also, how did you come up with the idea for personal fairies? And why do you love Elvis so much?

Charlie’s not an unusual name! The names in How To Ditch Your Fairy come from two sources: 1. Famous sports people, 2. I borrowed them from teenagers I met doing appearances in libraries, schools and book shops in Australia and the USA.

I answered the question of how I came up with the idea for How To Ditch Your Fairy here. Is good story because I have good friends. If you are a writer it is best to have many friends for they are much goodness in the giving of ideas.

I think the question should be Why doesn’t everyone love Elvis? The story of the genesis of my Elvis love is here.

hillary! asks: And sports? Why do you love sports so much? And what’s your favorite color? and what type of car do you have, if you have one, if not, what kind would you like? Do you want a chimpanzee or a monkey or a teacup piglet?

Again the question is Why doesn’t everyone love sport? Explaining my love of sport is like explaining my love of breathing or eating. Without air and food and sport living is impossible.

All colours are good colours. Except vomit yellow.

I do not drive. I have never learned how. I dislike cars. I think they are the worst invention of all time and responsible for untold carnage. Not just to all the people killed in and by them but for making us so dependent on oil. I wish cars did not exist. Our world would be in much better shape. We need to switch to bicycles and horses. And airships. Transmat beams would also be most excellent.

I want no pets or teacups of any kind. I travel too much to have a pet. (Though if I could have one it would be a quokka.) Also I don’t drink tea.

Patrick asks, Have you ever played organized basketball?

Briefly in primary school. I have never excelled at team sports. I, um, don’t take direction well.

Liset says, I think in your FAQs you should write more about your marriage, I know it’s extremely personal but I find it so interesting! (way more than any celeb couple!)

The truth is Scott and me aren’t actually married. We don’t even live in the same flat or country even. We just thought it would be excellent publicity if we pretended we were two married writers in the same field. Sadly, it has generated almost no publicity. We should have pretended to be monkeys instead. Next time!

Benjamin Rosenbaum asks, What do you feel is the essence of inspired play in the loose in fifteen-man rugby? In the scrum? The line-out?

I have no opinions about rugby. Or league for that matter. I have nothing against them either. But I live in perpetual summer. They are not summer sports. Thus I never see them.

Lizabelle asks, What’s your favourite place in Sydney (apart from the cemetery in Newtown)?

There are so many! But right now—other than my parents’ house—it’s the Botanical Gardens.

Brittany asks, The devil books, must they be typed and submitted in a particular format? Or is standard Times New Roman 12pt Single spaced ok?

One of the nice things about being a published author is that I submit my books electronically. Thus the font I use is irrelevant. The publisher can change it. When you’re unpublished and having to submit paper it’s best to stick to the industry standard stuff: double spaced, readable font, single-sided, etc.

For those wondering why Brittany asks about “devil books” it is because of this post where I say that books are teh devil, which they are.

Feel free to ask more questions. Is there anything you’re burning to know? It doesn’t have to be about me. In fact questions that aren’t about me are more fun. Though, um, Certain Important Parties would prefer the quessies be about me and my books. But, honestly, how boring is that? Very!

  1. That’s right. You need to know nothing more. From this point on you have all knowledge necessary! []


  1. Diana Peterfreund on #

    I don’t know a single girl named Charlie. Not a one.

  2. Haddy-la on #

    i did Diana she was mean. do you think the cover of Across the Wall by Garth Nix looks like you just arrived in Hawaii and are being welcomed by a very angry man and a woman that stole Sabriel’s hair from Sabriel?

  3. Bethany on #

    I know a girl named Charlie! (Actually, my friend knows her, and as my friend (and Charlie) currently live in England, and I’m in America, I’ve never actually met her.) She’s very cool, though.

  4. Alex on #

    Charlie is short for the girl’s name ‘Charlotte’. That’s what I’ve always figured, atleast.

  5. Justine on #

    Indeed it is, Alex. Charlie’s name is “Charlotte” but everyone calls her “Charlie”. I have known several female Charlies.

  6. Liset on #

    Justine, I knew it! When I saw you two in San Francisco, I thought there was something fishy going on… you didn’t even seem to like each other!!!! ^-^

    Btw, I have a friend named Charlene Gilstrap, who I call Charlie Gee. Though, she spells it “Charley”. She thinks Charlie is a boys name.

  7. Patrick on #

    Do you play disorganized basketball?

  8. caitlin on #

    I agree with you about cars. So delighted to find other adults who think that they are a true menace to society, the environment, penguins and quokkas. I did attempt the driving test once, (many tears) but silly me why? I’m a city gal! I also hate plastic bags — bring your own people! Al Gore adores me.

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