Find out more about Gunfire Lullabies, writing and me in these podcasts, interviews and features!

The Empty Page podcast

Find out about my writing and publishing process for Gunfire Lullabies? Click here to hear my interview with Gavin Miller and The Empty Page podcast. Lots of fun.

Talking Aussie Book podcast

Learn more about the origin of Gunfire Lullabies on this podcast interview I did with Claudine Tinellis on Taking Aussie Books. Great in depth questions.

Ten Terrifying Questions with Booktopia

Booktopia asked me Ten Terrifying Questions revealing more about the person behind the novel. Check it out here.

AJC Publishing Author Interview

Read a different angle on Gunfire Lullabies and my writing process here.

The Australian Financial Review Weekend story

I wrote a piece for the Fin Review charting my journey from diplomat to novelist. Read it here.

For more interviews, check out my media page!

Just click here 🙂

Writing – Should you pick up where you left off or start over?

My second novel is 40,000 words in. I began writing it in 2010, and since then have added sections in spurts, mainly in 2017.

In 2022, 11 years on and 5 years since I last added anything significant, I’m determined to finish a solid first draft.

But should I start again?

An old friend of mine wrote an award-winning novel in two parts, and they read very differently. I liked the second half much more than the first, and didn’t feel it worked to have two markedly varied styles in the same book (yet clearly others didn’t mind).

Some things I’m considering:

  • My writing has evolved, significantly improving since 2010 and 2017 (you’d hope so!)
  • While the story line is the same, the theme has deepened to consider current events
  • I was never happy with the voice of the main child character. For me, voice takes several drafts to get right, so this may not require me to start over. Hmm…
  • Yet I also feel I know the main character better, who is inspired by my parents and some of their experiences during WW2
  • I’m wondering if I should change the point of view to more authorial, from one person to two or more. But this has always been a dilemma I’ve needed to act on
  • It’s a bit of a mess because I’ve written it in fits and starts

I think the answer is clear for me. I need to ditch the other work out and begin again. I also did this with my published novel, Gunfire Lullabies, which I wrote in three very different drafts. This came to me after having heard about process writing The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which I still thought was quite fractured.

My main reason?

  • The theme – The other aspects I can correct with some rewriting / editing, but having an altered theme changes everything – syntax, style, plot, point of view and character even, as I now want them to represent something additional

What’s your experience of picking up a story you’ve partly finished?