Robin Bower [robinred]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
It's hard to remember but probably Dick and Jane books. I wrote first in primary school - compositions and fantasy tales where I'd end up being saved but it would all be a dream. My mother was the first to read what I wrote and loved everything indiscriminately.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favourite genre is literary fiction which I aim to write but unfortunately I don't believe I've got there - yet! You can read some of my work on my blog: www.birdwater.blogspot.com or my website www.birdwater.com.au.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I swill things around in my head rather a lot and will have a lot of ideas going on at once. I'll probably then do a mindmap of sorts to get the ideas crystallised into some format of characters, subjects, themes. The writing then comes out rather quickly.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Annie Proulx really inspires me as a writer. Good screenplays also such as Memento and other non-linear type narratives.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Good characters, a great story, difficult dilemmas, ebbs and flows, great writing.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I love the first person narrative voice for its immediacy. However, it can't present more than one side of the story - which can have a clear purpose. Third person is best for myriad viewpoints.
What well known writers do you admire most?
William Styron, Annie Proulx, James Bradley, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Michael Faber, Sebastian Faulks
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
The reader must feel the highs and lows of the character. For a character to be believable, we must care about them, cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh. My characters kind of evolve. Some have elements of me in them but I generally try to put myself in their position and feel what it would be like to be them.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I can be but not as good.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I wouldn't call it therapy but my own past or present internal conflicts do form some of my creative impulse.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Yes and intend to participate in more. I have had one commendation for a short story.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes I have an intelligent reader I can trust.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I think this varies. I have found it and will continue to redefine it.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I'm not very disciplined. I have one day where I can devote myself to the creative impulse but have to be very strict with myself in order to be productive.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
My computer, my books both fiction and reference, and a nice view.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write in longhand on paper and then transcribe to the computer. I don't print anything out.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Facebook, blogs, writing sites, colleagues' and friends' sites.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I have many years' experience working in a publishing companies and in the industry so I know it well from that perspective. I have only submitted my book to one publisher so I have a few more rejections ahead of me!
What are you working on now?
Working on trying to get my book published. Have some ideas for other work not yet formalised.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Bring them out, reread, rewrite or edit if necessary, and look for places to submit which may be appropriate for the subject matter or genre.