"A politician is a statesman
who approaches every question with an open mouth."
Today we are blessed to hear from a talented Australian author - Deborah Abela. Deborah is well known for her work and has been admirably awarded and mentioned in dispatches. Welcome, Deborah.
Deborah Abela - Guest Author
* 2012 National Year of Reading Ambassador at Australian Federal Government
* Premier's Reading Challenge Ambassador at NSW Government
* Creative writing teacher/School Library Assistant at Stanmore Public School
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
Like so many writers I’ve had a fascination with books and writing since I was a kid. I
wrote stories as presents and wrote plays and acted them out with my brothers
and sister to ‘entertain’ my mother (sorry mum). After finishing a
Communications degree at UTS, I begged my way into a job at the TV Production
House, Southern Star, fell into a job writing and producing a National Kids’ TV
show at Network Ten, before leaving to write novels for kids. That was 11 years
ago and this year my 19th novel will be released.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
Professionally, my first job as a script assistant at Southern Star was about 18 years ago and
I began writing novels 11 years ago.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Hearing and seeing the reactions of kids to my work. It’s, of course, amazing to have a
publisher who believes in your work and to receive short-listings and awards,
but to have kids love what I do, is the most enjoyable part of all.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Doubt. It can stick me, make me want to throw work away and think about other careers.
A novel I almost threw away has just won a USBBY Outstanding International book
award in the States (The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen or The Ghosts
of Gribblesea Pier in the US) and Grimsdon, another almost binned novel, has
been one of my most loved novels to date. Even after all these years, it’s hard
to quieten the doubt.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME
National TV producer and writer, bartender, house cleaner, Luna Park rides operator,
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I’ve been nominated over 10 times for children’s choice awards. It’s always a
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I am working on the 3rd book in a new series called Ghost Club, inspired
by a real club that was formed by ghost enthusiasts, including Charles Dickens,
150 years ago. The two main ghost catchers are kids, Angeline and Edgar Usher.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Characters that get inside and wont let you go, people and the way they relate, stories
that have to be told, the complete and wonderfully sinking way story can take
hold of you and carry you away. Literally.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Mostly kids’ action and comedy with touches of a speculative nature.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Join a writers’ group, take courses, check out your local writers’ centre and what
they have to offer, don’t submit until your work is word perfect, investigate who is publishing what before you submit, go to writers’ festivals or anywhere writers are speaking and listen hard, practice, practice, practice.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Write early before the phone rings and I don’t go to my mail program before noon.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
From a blank screen come characters who make me laugh and cry.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
So many….mmm…but I love the kids’ authors Seuss, Snicket, Stroud….so many…
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
I want to be just like you.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I guess it’s not so bad, but sometimes readers choose one novel over another and it’s
as if they have slighted your other child…
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
If not in fact then absolutely in emotion.
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Trekking and walking for days in remote areas having to carry everything with us, our
last trek was into the dessert of the Northern Territory in Australia. Bike
riding, sharing laughter and tears with friends. Reading, sorry, I know that’s
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
No, but I rewrote the living daylights out of my first submission.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
It would have friends, sun, hiking boots, good food and a waterhole of some sort.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Keep getting lost in story and the possibilities it holds.
USBBY Outstanding International Book Awards 2012 for The Ghosts of Gribblesea Pier (FSG, USA) Grimsdon (Random House 2010) Aurealis Awards, REAL Awards (NT, VIC, NSW and ACT children’s choice), Speech Pathology Awards and Fav kids Book Kids' Book Review 2011
The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen Shortlisted Best Children's Book Aurealis Awards and Children's Book Council Notable Book 2010
Max Remy Superspy series
KOALA awards (NSW children’s choice) 2005, 2007, 2010
YABBA (Vic children’s choice) 2007, 2010
CROC (NT children’s choice) Awards 2007
Gold Oppenheim Awards New York
Shortlisted Children's Book Council Awards USA
Angus & Robertson’s Top 50 kids Books 2008
Annual Ellie Awards USA 2007
WAYRBA (Western Australia children’s choice) 2007/2011
Shortlisted for Aurealis Awards 2003
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Deborah, for sharing your life as a writer. Looking at your awards, I think I might slink away to a dark place and sharpen my pencils. Well done on your achievements - richly deserved. Love ya work! - CT
Don't be shy ... send me an email or leave a comment: email@example.com
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker.