You wrote the 4th story in The Life and Times of Chester Lewis, split between Chester at 100 years old in 2032 and Chester at 33-34 years old in 1956. Without giving plot spoilers, what can readers look forward to in your story?
In this chapter you will gain a deeper insight into Chester’s life, in particular his relationship with his mother. Secrets about his mother’s past will also be unveiled. These secrets, whilst devastating, help Chester’s business plans forge forward successfully.
I really enjoyed this project. I only had chapters 1 to 3 given to me in advance. It was strangely exciting writing a narrative that needed to be linked with the previous chapters written by other authors. It was also difficult writing a chapter without knowledge of where the story was heading. I am interested to see what information the authors of the subsequent chapters moved forward with and as to whether they killed off any of my characters!
The Life and Times of Chester Lewis has a fan fiction competition, for stories 2000 – 4000 words, with a $2000 1st prize. What advice do you have for entrants?
To write from the heart and with a pace and rhythm that feels natural to you. Plot, structural editing, and word count can come later. A reader will enjoy your style of writing if they can fall easily into the rhythm of your words. Of course, having a good story arc etc is also very important but I believe that an initial draft must feel natural in it’s production. Writing doesn’t always happen like this and sometimes it is like pulling teeth, but I do feel my best writing occurs when I relax and don’t over think the whole process too much.
In addition to your writing, you run writing workshops for young people. What is one the most enjoyable parts of running these writing workshops?
I LOVE workshopping with early childhood kids. It doesn’t matter how many times I present a workshop or read a text, it is always new and exciting for me with a new audience. Kids are spontaneous and honest in their responses. I love the path they can lead me down. Often it is during these workshops that I will stumble across a new idea for a story.
You have three children’s picture books published so far, with your fourth due out with HarperCollins’ ABC Books next year. What can you share about your work-in-progress?
I am currently doing a lot of research for a project based around WW2 veterans. I am really enjoying sinking my teeth into some factual text. All of my work up until now has been imaginative based so this is something new and exciting for me.
In a previous interview, you mentioned that the giant from Roald Dahl’s The BFG is one of your favourite fictional characters. Who is another of your favourite fictional characters and why?
It would have to be Wendy from Peter Pan. She was so wholesome and pure. She was motherly, courageous, spontaneous, strong willed, caring, daring and fun. She made doing the wrong thing – like sneaking out of your room at night seem like the right and mature thing to do…. all the while having fantastic adventures. I longed to be just like Wendy when I was a kid. I still do!
What is one of your favourite novels you have read in the past year, and why?
I really enjoyed the first book of The Hunger Games, purely because of it’s original and fast paced story development. It was unique and interesting.
I also re read Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. This is one of my all time favourite books. It is so cleverly crafted and one that I regularly pick up every few years when I feel the need to escape reality. I really enjoy Robbins’s literary text within this book.
If you could bring one fiction author back from the dead for one day for the sole purpose of discussing writing fiction, who would you choose, and why?
It would have to be Roald Dahl of course! I love his work. He just got it… His humour, sense of fun, with an added dash of madness and his true understanding of how to tell a good story, was the perfect recipe everytime.
He knew his audience so well and the literary world is a sadder place without him.
Kerry Brown author site: www.kerrybrown.com.au
The Australian Literature Review