Lovely to have Julie back here with her newest book. So, me old mucker…
What do you think you’ve learned since you were first published?
I guess I already ‘knew’ this, but it’s really been brought home to me – and that is how writers and readers are two sides of the same coin. It takes both to make a book – and even with the same book and the same writer, when you add a different reader to the mix, a different book will result. That is part of the magic of creation. I love it!
What do you wish you’d known when you were first published?
My first thought in response to this question was that I wish I’d known how much hard work was involved to be ‘successful’ in even the smallest of ways … but then maybe I wouldn’t have been brave enough to begin! A bit of delusional hope can take one a long way.
What inspired the latest book?
That’s a long story that dates back some years … Basically an Australian film producer (no one you’d have heard of, unfortunately!) liked my writing, and wanted me to try my hand at a story set in Australia. I wrote him a screenplay, which has since become ‘Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life’. Alas, it wasn’t weird enough for him! He wanted more drop-bears. So it’s been sitting in my bottom drawer ever since, but finally I decided that it might make a novel instead.
Did you know where ‘Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life’ was going from the start or did it take an unexpected turn?
This one unfolded pretty much as I’d intended. I always know where a story is going, though often they take a detour along the way … In this case, there were no detours – and no bloodthirsty drop-bears! I did need to finesse the logistics of the plot as I went, however.
Have you ever been writing and discovered something totally unexpected about one of your characters?
I want to say yes, but for the life of me I can’t think of an example! I know a story is working when a character becomes alive to the extent of surprising me. I’m glad to say that happens to some extent with just about every project. But I guess the process is fairly organic, and it’s not really such a shock when it happens … Sometimes the more unexpected things relate to plots. I’ll have included something by instinct in the early parts of the story, and (lo and behold!) it turns out to be very useful foreshadowing for something that happens later. I don’t know if that’s how the story-telling mind works, or if it’s plain dumb luck, but it’s a very enjoyable thing to have happen!
Which book do you wish you’d written and why?
Some years ago I got about nine chapters into writing a Western novel about Johnny Ringo, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. I wish I’d finished that at the time! I hardly dare go back and look at it – I think I’m too different a writer now to pick it up again – but I wish it wasn’t stuck in that bottom drawer of mine.
Which book do you wish somebody else would write?
Mmm … anyone want to finish off a Western about Johnny Ringo? OK, seriously, then: I wish more people would write fiction about John Keats. I love him to bits – a lot of people do – but it seems that most fiction looks towards Shelley or Byron instead. I suspect there’s a whole bunch of magic casements there, waiting for novelists to peer through them.
Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life (click here for a sneak peek!)
Blurb: Investigative journalist Mitch Rebecki loves his job and loves New York. He doesn’t mind making enemies, either. When a crime boss threatens retaliation, Mitch’s editor sends him out of harm’s way to Sydney. In exile and resentfully working on lifestyle pieces, Mitch is miserable. But he makes a friend or two, meets a man … and discovers that Australians do organized crime, too, in a small way. Mitch soon finds himself in too deep on all counts, and trying to head home again seems the only solution…
Available from ARe and all the usual places, paperback coming soon!