Today, we feature an interview with popular Queensland author, Elaine Ouston, who is one of our masterclass presenters at the inaugural Sunshine Writers Retreat (Nov 9 - 12).
The Sunshine Writers Retreat will be three and a half days of glorious writing, learning and networking time. The retreat concept has a wholistic approach to story, or manuscript, development. It's suitable for those writing for adults and children. Our residential, on-site accommodation packages sold out incredibly quickly and we are now into overflow accommodation. Selected spots still remain.
We also offer Day Visit Packages for those who live locally or those who only want to come for specific days over the 3.5 day retreat. https://goo.gl/JqEujv
Friday Night Dinner Packages are available for those who wish to come along to connect with the retreat attendees and hear literary agent, Alex Adsett speak. https://goo.gl/JqEujv
Limited Publisher Manuscript Assessments are still available with Rochelle Manners, owner and publisher at Wombat Books. https://goo.gl/JqEujv
Professional Photography Sessions are also available on Friday 10 November. If you need a new author or illustrator photo taken, now is the time to get one! They're very reasonably priced. https://goo.gl/JqEujv
You can find out more about the Sunshine Writers Retreat at: http://www.greenleafpress.net/sunshine-writers-retreat.html. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Elaine.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself and the style of books you write?
I have a Master of Letters in Creative Writing. Through Gondor Writers' Centre I offer many services to authors interested in preparing for submission or self-publishing – including manuscript appraisals, edits and writing workshops.
I write fantasy books for kids and young adults. I wrote my first fantasy series, The Mystery of Nida Valley, to teach children about Australia's megafauna. But I have since written a non-fiction picture book on the animals and have started a series of picture books about how they lived and interacted.
I have the first book in another fantasy series for middle grade readers and the first book a YA fantasy series ready for publishing.
Which of your characters do you most identify with and why?
I guess when we write our first book, we put a little of our personality into our main character. After all, it is the personality we know best. So I would have to say Meg in The Mystery of Nida Valley series. She has many of my personality traits.
What is your favourite inspirational writing quote?
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull
I had this printed in large type and taped to the top of my screen for many years.
What is your favourite place to be when writing?
I have a 'creative room' above the workshop room at Gondor. That is my retreat but, unfortunately, I spend so much time helping other writers that I don't get to go there very often.
What experience do you think most shaped your journey as an author?
When I got my first rejection, I decided I didn't know enough about writing, so I started a journey of learning about the craft of writing a story – taking all the writing workshops I could and attending all the conferences that I could get to. I discovered that there is so much more to writing a book readers will love than knowing high school English. I got hooked on learning to write effectively and ended by going to university and doing a Master of Letters in Creative Writing.