A LITTLE BIT ABOUT KARLANA
I live in Melbourne, Australia with my partner, four kids and a doggo.
I have always loved reading and writing but had other careers before I began to write with a view to actually finishing a story, ready for publication.
Now, I write, visit schools to speak to students about writing and sometimes edit work for other writers, both fiction and blogs. Life is not all about writing, though. I am involved with The Mount Players Theatre in Macedon, as a Producer, photographer and social media manager, as well as digitally archiving their history. I have also been volunteering at an op shop in Gisborne down the road from there for eight years. I enjoy scanning and digitally restoring old photos and slides in any spare time I have left.
I have a few tips for anyone of any age who says "I wish I could write a book!":
1) Start! Write at least four days of the week, even if only for an hour or two. It might take you five years to complete, but if you don't start it, you can never finish it. This advice comes from experience - it took several years to write my first book in between raising a family and general "stuff" that fills up every day.
2) Write what you want to write, not just what you think people will read. It will be more authentic if it comes from your own head and heart.
3) Set yourself a deadline for completion and then tell your family, friends and anyone else who will listen that you are writing a book. Accountability to yourself and others is a great motivator!
4) When you have finished writing, edit your draft and edit again (many times)! As you do, ask yourself if you really need the first two or three chapters (or paragraphs if a short story). Or can you condense them into one? Seriously. Often new writers will spend too long writing a "backstory" or get off to a slow start that will not enthral the reader. As they say in primary school, you need a "sizzling start". Check out some recent best sellers for examples of how a writer can grab your attention from the first page.
5) Get your work professionally edited, especially if you have never written anything for publication before, it is well worth the expense and an invaluable learning experience. You can also ask friends and family to read, edit and make suggestions, but it is important to ask people you know will be "brutally honest" with you, who will point out things they think are not quite right (and not just say it's all perfect)!
Enjoy your writing adventure!