This week I have had the opportunity to interview one of our first authors to be accepted into our Beginnings anthology, Carolyn Young. I hope you all enjoy learning about one of our fellow Australian Speculative Fiction writers as much as I have. Please, don’t forget if you would like the opportunity to have yourself spotlighted on our page on Sundays and on our website to send me a message.
Thank you, Carolyn.
Your story, The Beginning of the End, has a darker subject matter. Where did such an idea come from?
I came up with the idea for the story one day while speculating over what happens in the aftermath of death, and if it would differ depending on who we were, and how we died. Originally I planned to write a series of short stories with different outcomes, but “The Beginning of the End” was the one that I was most keen to explore.
Have you had the opportunity to have much of your work published, short stories or otherwise?
I have another piece “Daisy Chains” which will be published soon in Scout Media’s “A Flash of Words” anthology and several other pieces ready to submit over the next few months.
What is your current work in progress about?
My main WIP is called “Ostracised” which is a story about a straight teenage girl coming to terms with her sexuality in a world where most of the population is gay. To be straight in her world means being ostracised from the community and used as breeding stock. It explores the themes of self-acceptance, forgiveness and the rights of everyone to be free to love whoever they choose.
During the Australian same-sex marriage vote last year, I thought about how, as a straight woman, I’d never had to ask permission from society to get married. It got me thinking about how my life would have been different if my sexuality was in the minority and this lead to me writing about that world.
What kind of research do you do for your book? How’s that google history looking…
I’ve done a lot of research on the way the LGBT+ community has been treated over the years, including gay conversion therapy, same sex marriage laws in various countries and prosecution for consensual sexual acts. Apart from that, I’ve looked into how to make explosives from household chemicals, so I’m probably on several watch lists.
What was the best money you ever spent on your writing career?
That would probably be the money spent on editing my work. Not only has my editor helped polish the work that I’ve produced, but I’m also learning something each time so that my writing keeps improving.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but hadn’t really thought of making a career out of it until the end of last year. Once I started writing “Ostracised”, I realised that this is what I was meant to do with my life, and I’ve been writing as much as I can ever since.
If you could interview any writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask?
I’d love to interview Sara Douglass. I got to know Sara many years ago through an online forum we both belonged to, before I even considered writing anything myself, and she was an incredible woman, with a lot of life experience. Her “Silence of the Dying” blog post was one of the most moving pieces I’ve ever read. I wish I’d known before she died that I would become an author because I’d have asked her more about how she started out, and how, as an Australian woman, she became internationally successful.
Any advice you would give yourself or any writers just starting out?
Keep reading, writing and learning as much as you can. There are some amazing resources available online, search for them and learn from the experiences of other authors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of those who are more experienced, and surround yourself with other people with similar goals.
What is your goal/dream for your writing career?
My long-term goal is to be able to support myself with my writing when I retire from the workforce.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I read online recently that writing just 500 words every day will give you a total of 182,500 words in a year, so don’t ever feel that you’re not doing enough. Slow and steady will get you there.