Beverley Paine

South Australian Children's Author

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Questions and Answers About Beverley's Writing

Where do I get my ideas from?
I simply think of something - anything, and then try to expand it into a science fiction story. I think it is possible to take any word or phrase or idea and do this. I read New Scientist to keep up with some of the science happening in the world, and listen to current affairs each morning on the radio, and I read the work of others, mostly in Aurealis, Australia's Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, AntipodeanSF and ezines and websites dedicated to science fiction.

How do I write?
I use the laptop. It is quiet, it doesn't give me eyestrain like PCs do and it has a nice keyboard. I rarely write - my handwriting is atrocious and my hand aches after about an hour and my writing becomes illegible. I have a writing regime I try to keep to; an hour or two of editing whatever book is up for publication next, write one short story or creative piece a day, read something creative each day, do my email and other correspondance, follow up stuff on my desk, work on an article if time allows. I generally put a couple of hours into working on a novel - I've three in progress at the moment. I try and do this four times a week.

What are you going to write next?
I seem to be working on a hundred different writing projects at once!
I have several novels at various stages of their first draft incarnation, from one, set in the far future with only 10 pages of text down, to another with over 100 pages written. I work for a while on a project then pick up something else when the interest or inspiration wanes.
I have a mix of children's and young adult novels on the go and like to focus on science fiction, although my more recent writings are set in the present and are about ordinary folk like you and me. It's a nice change after Katya, Coel and Edan!
I'm studying a TAFE writing course at the moment and that takes up about two days each week. I like the course because I can use my current writing projects as the focus for most of the assigments. After one year I can see the improvement!
I don't do any research before I write. I tend to let the story grow and then seek out information to help build credibility into the plot and setting.
I aim to write at least two short stories a week, which then need polishing and editing, but one day I hope to publish an anthology. Most weeks I don't realise this goal.

Who do I most like reading? (Who is my favourite author?)
I rarely read so I can't really say. I like any good author. I am a very critical reader - if the story doesn't entrance me I usually end up pulling it to bits and using it as a tool to improve my writing.
At the moment I'm catching up on all the great books published by South Australian and Australian young adult and children's authors over the last decade or so. It's fantastic reading - top quality, and I can really relate to the stories as they remind me of my own childhood. I'm also reading short stories by Australian science fiction writers, in magazines like Aurelias, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Orb and others.

Which authors most influenced me as a writer?
My favourite authors when I was young included Alan Garner, Ray Bradbury and John Wyndham. I've read a good selection of Australian children's authors as an adult, and I am sure this will widen as I write and read more now that I've made time in my life. I like descriptive and atmospheric writing best.

What are my hobbies?
Homeschooling, gardening, watching videos and more lately watching car racing, live and on the television.

How does someone become a writer?
Just write. I've only just come to realise the absolute importance of this. Becoming an author is different - that requires getting published. That's scary. I've always been a writer - now I want to be an author, and a good one.


cover: Perry Mallet


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Beverley Paine

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