You’ve gotta do some weird stuff when you’re starting out. Like building a website. And writing blog posts about interviewing yourself. So, what’s Lyn got to say that she needs a whole website, you ask?
Those that know me, know that I write for a living anyway. Technical stuff mainly — manuals, training material and eLearning.
Not so many know I write for kids in my ‘spare’ time, or that I’ve spent a decent part of my life exploring our amazing planet (and still try to whenever practical). Put these two passions together, and it makes sense for me to share my love of travel and adventure with my enthusiasm for telling stories for kids. It’s a fun project to share your journey with others — you even get to learn some new skills along the way (like wrestling WordPress).
What do you write?
My passion project right now is a middle-grade adventure-mystery series with an environmental twist, for ages 8+. Just Wild follows the adventures of a savvy 10-year-old with a knack for finding crooks who endanger our world’s amazing wildlife. Book number three is currently being cooked up.
Tell us about your journey so far
I’m one of those people that thought I had the creative writing thing nailed. You know, without any training. You either can or you can’t, right? Wrong! I’ve trained in technical writing, so I’m not sure why I thought creative writing was any different. Luckily I came to my senses and did some writing courses through the Australian Writers’ Centre. I also read numerous books and follow blogs on writing. Talk about epiphany-central! I cannot stress enough to anyone who is interested in writing — get some training/advice from professionals!
Have you had any success with your writing since then?
Yes – yay! I’ve submitted a few pieces of work so far, and three of them have been shortlisted or won awards, so I’m chuffed (read: leaps about in a circle when no one’s watching) with how things are progressing.
My biggest win was a 12-month mentorship in the 2016-17 Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Mentorship Program with the Australian Society of Authors for my middle-grade adventure Clueless (part of the Just Wild series).
I was also a finalist in the 2015 Cowley Literary Award for my adult’s short story Hide and Seek, and my children’s poem Denture Misadventure received a ‘commended’ in the 2017 International Caterpillar Poetry Prize.
Hide and Seek is a short story for adults where I experimented with a unique point of view, so I was thrilled to be shortlisted! You can read the story here.
What’s with the travel thing?
Passion number two — or is that one? Travel has been a huge part of my life, since setting off on my ‘Big OE’ (as kiwis like to call it) at the age of 24 with my BFF (husband).
Fifty something countries and six years later, I returned to ‘settle down’ in New Zealand and have babies. The babies bit was successful (with two delightful daughters) but I never quite mastered the settling down bit. Most of my future plans involve travel. And writing. Preferably both.
But a few years of living back in New Zealand and we felt compelled to move country again. The UK tempted us with her cheap fares and doorstep-access to a gazillion travel destinations, but the weather didn’t, so we headed to Australia instead and sunny Brisbane is now home. Of course having two daughters at school and working full time has changed the travel landscape significantly — no more swanning off for month after glorious month! These days, we seize any opportunities we can and we have managed some fantastic adventures with our kids. It’s a whole new experience seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
There’s so many amazing places — mind-blowing places — that I feel compelled to keep exploring and share what I can. It’s never as hard or expensive as you think (tip #1: stay away from glossy brochures!). I love incorporating real life settings and adventures into my stories — I’ll share these places with you in my blog.
I’ve been working with my wonderful mentor from the Australian Society of Authors and am following her advice to rework my two manuscripts. One is polished; one still has a few rust spots!
Next up is the CYA conference in Brisbane in July — a first for me, so I’ll write a post on this from a newbie’s perspective. If you’re going this year, I hope to see you there!
I’ll share news, ideas, and what inspires me as my journey progresses. You can also connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.
Thanks for joining me!