A funeral is an unusual setting for a children’s book, but Sally Gould has turned it into a riot that kids will find hilarious in her new novel, Dead Certain published by Walker Books Australia as part of their Lightning Strikes series.
Sally is visiting Kids’ Book Capers today to talk about her writing and her new book. Before she became a writer, Sally was a corporate lawyer. She says,
Strangely, I see a similarity between taking complex areas of law and making them understandable and accessible to, for example, company directors and taking complex ideas and making them accessible to readers though a story.
After she decided to focus on her writing, Sally enrolled in a Professional Writing & Editing Class and took Rachel Flynn’s writing for Children subjects. Sally was the first of Rachel’s students in eleven years to have a picture book published (Charlotte and Me – Windy Hollow Books).
Sally says that her favourite part of writing is starting a new story.
I love when the seed of a story idea drops down from the heavens and into my head. Especially when I’m not looking for an idea and it’s a wonderful unexpected surprise.
But she finds the first draft hard.
While I love nurturing the initial story idea into a fully formed plan, I find writing the first draft hard. I know I shouldn’t self edit as I’m writing, but I often do and so I don’t enjoy the process of the first draft. The last set of drafts make up for it though.
At the moment she is working on a paranormal series for 9-13 year olds and it’s the first time she has attempted this genre.
SALLY’S TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS
I think one of the most important things to do is to form a writing group where you read and critique each other’s work. The feedback needs to be honest and constructive and I think a group works best if the members are at about the same level.
CONSISTENT THEMES IN SALLY’S WORK
Jumping to conclusions is a favourite theme of mine, probably because I have a tendency to do just that. Two educational books I’ve written contain that theme. And I have written a number of stories in locations where we’ve been on family holidays. Chase through Venice is a picture book I have coming out in April with Windy Hollow Books. While we were in Venice, I wanted to buy a picture book that showed off the sights, but I couldn’t find one so I wrote that story.
Join us back here on Wednesday when Sally will be talking about how she wrote Dead Certain and we’ll be reviewing this hilarious new book.