Australian Speculative Fiction (ASF) is all about showcasing Australian and New Zealander authors. One of the many projects currently underway is the Drowned Earth Novella series—a series of eight novellas written by different authors all set in the same scenario – a flooded Australia.
To get to know these amazing authors they have been kind enough to answer some questions.
What can you tell us about your Novella?
It is sixty years after the rising of the waters. It is a small society of academics and scientists in a floating city anchored to the high rise buildings at the centre of what once was Melbourne. A safe 30k from the new shoreline they are utilising all the natural energy sources and grow food in floating gardens to trade . The main character has no idea just how privileged she is until she is washed ashore on the mainland and rescued by Combers – one of many gangs of beach combing scavengers collecting tradeable goods washed ashore by the frequent storms. She finds out the hard way just how hard it is for mainlanders with scarce resources, and has to fight to get back to what she had.
What drew you to submitting your pitch in the first place?
I saw a call for the novellas on social media and felt like it was something I could really enjoy researching and writing and I vowed to myself that I would make a greater commitment to my writing this year so I pitched, was short listed and sent in my first 1000 words so now I have a novella to write.
Opportunities like this are fantastic to really flex your writing muscles and collaborate alongside other fantastic authors. Is the collaboration that is necessary for a project such as Drowned Earth something that you have ever participated in before?
I have collaborated in art projects but not writing so I am liking where this could go. It is always a challenge to work with others who will have a very different idea of what the big picture is but I am feeling this group with work well together.
Describe your writing style…
I research everything and let it gurgle around in my head, talk the story ideas through with my trusted brains because the story grows when it is bounced off others, then I create timelines and character sheets so my characters are consistent and when it all reaches critical mass I pour the words onto the page. Once first draft is out of my head then I need to pull it into shape., step away from it, come back to it, get others to read it and let me know where the plot holes are, edit again, polish and shape it and finally create a piece of work to send on to the next level. I like short and fast flash but I have a metaphorical mountain of novel ideas waiting for me. I dabble in different genres to challenge myself including visual story telling.
What kind of research do you do for your writing? How’s that google history looking…
Research is one of my favourite parts of writing. I love the internet, it gives me every library in the world, all the art galleries, the library of Alexandria rebirthed for a new millennium and all in an introverts favourite place -home. All I need to be careful of is falling down that rabbit hole and never coming back. There is so much to learn out there.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
Other writers and a whole lot of life.
Any advice you would give your past self or other writers just starting out?
Past self and others– write for goodness sake, every day, all your life. Don’t worry if you think you are copying your favourite authors style, just do it until you develop your own, you read them because you like what they do and all the best creatives do it. If you are going to take someones work and try to make it your own then read Terry Pratchett. This man does the twist an old thing extraordinarily well. Learn how to use apostrophes and send work out sooner. Don’t wait for too late.
Where can we learn more about you or follow you on social media?
See this is my failing point I am a social media Luddite under construction but I do have seven flash fictions with AntipodeanSF, and you can take a look at my Goodreads author profile since most of the rest of my work is in a variety of anthologies, as soon as I find an internet guru to take me under their wing I am sure people will find me all over the place. Watch the ether!
Check out our kickstarter for more details about the novellas. They are all standalone stories that can be read in any order.