Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"Never speak ill of yourself;
your friends will always say enough on that subject."
Jackie Hosking -
Guest Author, Poet
and E-zine Guru
Today I am pleased to introduce a lady known to many Australian children's writers and illustrators - Jackie Hosking. Jackie is a poet, writer, rhyming manuscript editor and also the editor of Pass It On, a very informative weekly E-zine. Welcome, Jackie. Tell us more ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
As a child I kept diaries and journals. I loved writing fictional short stories at school and even wrote them at Uni when I should have been writing research papers. I wrote rhyming poems about everything from self esteem to Christmas trees but I didn’t really think about writing seriously until my third child was born. I attended the local community house and did some creative writing courses, published an anthology and began to immerse myself in the writing life. Flash fiction took my fancy; it’s short like poetry and can be a little wicked. AntipodeanSF published many of my flash fiction stories which gave me the confidence to keep going
WERE YOU A GOOD READER AS A KID?
I’m not sure if I was a good reader but I definitely loved reading. Before I turned ten I remember reading Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series and the Nancy Drew Mysteries. A little later I read John Whyndam, Tolkien and Stephen King.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I think I was always a writer. If I had something important to say I would write a letter rather than pick up the phone. I like to think my thoughts through, writing allows you to do this. Nowadays I call my self a children’s poet. I wrote my first poem for children when I was held up in bed with a sore back. It was called “If I Were a Giant” and it was published by The School Magazine in 2005. Since then I have had about 50 poems published.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I love taking a thought or a moment and shaping it. I also love the idea that I can pass that thought or moment onto someone else, someone that I will probably never meet.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Being afraid to tell your truth. Being afraid of being judged. Feeling exposed and vulnerable.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I’ve worked in retail, in an office, in hospitality, as a mum and as a housecleaner (my own. I still do that, sometimes.)
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I think every achievement is great. Things that stand out are my first paid acceptance, a piece I sent to the editor of a website called The Bad Mothers’ Club, not because I wanted her to publish it but because I thought she might enjoy it. When she emailed to say she would like to publish it and she mentioned a figure, I thought that I had to pay her!!
Seeing all of my poetry and stories illustrated – love that moment.
Having two poems travelling around on the Melbourne trains.
Winning a Maurice Saxby mentorship and last but certainly not least, receiving a picture book contract from Walker Books Australia, it’s going to be hard to top that one.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Always writing poetry, tweaking picture book texts and thinking, thinking about tackling a verse novel.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
People. The human condition. We’re such funny animals. So serious, so confused. So diverse. Amazing really.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Mostly I write children’s poetry and stories in verse but as I mentioned before I quite enjoy writing little wicked pieces for adults too.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Be yourself. Find your own voice. Learn the rules then break them. Write your truth. Do what you love. Love what you do.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I suffer from self consciousness.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Not really. I like the house to be empty. I find it very difficult to write with other people wandering around. I even find their breathing distracting.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I write at my computer so my office is my favourite place, though I have been known to write with pen and paper in bed.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
The ability to create something beautiful or if not beautiful then something profound.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I don’t have a favourite. I love good writing no matter who has written it.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
A poem that I wrote about my very old dog has made two readers burst into tears so I know I’ve connected with them, that’s all I ask.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
“You know what the trouble with your writing is….?” (thanks mum!)
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
My poetry is definitely a result of my own experiences. Actually I think it is inevitable that we are influenced by everything that happens in our lives, the people we meet, the things we do. You can’t write in a vacuum.
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
My first picture book is contracted with Walker Books to hit the shelves some time in the near future. Stay tuned…
HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
When I was at University I won an O’Malley scholarship and recently I received a Maurice Saxby mentorship, I’ve also placed in a few writing competitions.
WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
The mentorship particularly gave me credence. I knew I was close and this confirmed that for me. I also felt very humbled that so many of my idols were willing to spend their time with me, helping along in my journey.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Well reading of course, spending time with friends, talking, talking, talking, walking and food and wine and coffee. Another of my joys is helping others with their rhyming ventures.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes my book will be professionally edited. As Stephen King said, “To write is human, to edit, divine.”
IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Don’t worry. Be happy.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
One with me in it!
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST ASSETS AS A WRITER?
I think that I don’t try to write like anyone else. I write in rhyme and meter, I love writing this way even though I’ve been advised against it so many times. I persevered and I’m where I want to be. I never gave up.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE? WHY?
My husband. He’s a surfer so he can do that while I read and write.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To keep having fun and not take myself too seriously. To follow my own advice and write my truth. Where that leads I have no idea.
Jackie's contact points:
Pass It On: www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com
Clancy's comment: Jackie, many thanks for joining us today and for 'passing it on' every week - CT.