Today, we feature an interview with popular Queensland author-illustrator, Peter Carnavas, 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 email@example.com.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Peter.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself and the style of books you write?
I write and illustrate picture books and have just finished my first novel, The Elephant. I generally try to make books that have layers of depth and make people think, and I usually write about things that I care about or fascinate me. My stories cover themes such as friendship, loss, love and the meaning of life, and my goal is to always say a lot with very little.
Which of your characters do you most identify with and why?
I’ve always recognised myself in the silent tortoise in Sarah’s Heavy Heart (and my wife is the little yellow bird). I actually see myself in most of my characters; they’re often quiet people who don’t bother anybody and solve problems by themselves. I also see myself in Grandad from The Elephant. Many of his possessions and interests - record player, typewriter, birdwatching - are my own, and I would like to be like him when I’m older.
What is your favourite inspirational writing quote?
There is line from Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner, which says, ‘Hard writing makes easy reading’. If my writing comes easily, I don’t always trust it. I feel like I should have to work for it.
What is your favourite place to be when you’re writing?
I do everything in my little studio, which is also home to the kids’ bikes, broken furniture and a spare door I’ve been trying to get rid of for a while. I can’t work in cafes, or libraries, or at the beach. Those places are built for other things, not writing.
What experience do you think most shaped your journey as a writer?
I worked as a primary school teacher for a few years which exposed me to so many beautiful books and taught me how to read to children. It was during this time that I discovered the breadth and depth of children’s books, and it made me wonder if I could do it myself. Whenever I meet one of my heroes, it gives me a huge boost as a writer, too, especially if they’re lovely and they invariably are.