Today I'm handing you all over to the capable hand of Trudi Jaye.
But that’s not me.
With this in mind, one of the things that I believe is vitally important in a writer’s daily life is interaction with other people. Not just any people, mind, but a very special group of supportive friends and family who will help you on your writing journey.
I’ve been lucky enough to find some amazing writer buddies along the way who have all helped to mould and influence me in such a positive way that I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
The first writing group I was in had an honesty pact. We vowed that we would never lie to each other about our writing. It was amazingly refreshing to be able to tell someone in the group when I thought they had done something that didn’t work, or had been written in the wrong way. Because we did it with the best of intentions, with the idea that we were helping each other get better, it really worked. We trusted each other to tell the truth, and it was amazing. I value it hugely when anyone from that group tells me they like my story, because I know I can trust what they’re saying. I love them all, and thank my lucky stars that I met them, because they helped and encouraged me when I first started writing, ensuring that I got better, tried harder, and wrote more than if I had been on my own.
My second writing group was through my membership of Romance Writers of New Zealand (RWNZ). It’s an amazing organisation with supportive members and an amazing conference every year. I was invited to join a group through my contacts at RWNZ, and haven’t looked back since. In my time with these amazing ladies, I have finished my first book, and have gone on to finish two more, I have just published my first book, and I am planning to publish many more. They’ve given me just the right kind of inspiration, offered advice, kept me motivated, and were there for me on my publishing journey.
I know, I sound like I’m spouting all sorts of nice nothings for the sake of it. But I really believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the help and support of the people around me. And I’ve heard other writers telling the same story. The sum of the group is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Together we have created something that is so amazing, so invigorating, so wonderfully amazing, that we are all moving forward at a greater speed than we ever could have achieved alone.
Not to say that I work with anyone when I’m writing my books. I write the first draft on my own, using my own ideas. But then I get people to read it, to comment on it, to let me know what they think. Then I go back to it, and see if I agree. At the moment, for me, the place where I most value that help from my group has been in the way they’ve encouraged me to try different methods for writing (which have enabled me to write more) and the encouragement and knowledge they have given with regards to the business of publishing a book.
So my advice for almost any project, but particularly in writing, is to find some writing buddies who you can trust, so you can encourage each other when you’re down, and celebrate with together when things are on the up. Life’s better with friends.
I’ve always loved books, and the stories they bring to life in my head. I’ve always had an overactive imagination as well, and distinctly remember sitting at the base of the big oak tree at school when I was a kid, building houses for the fairies, telling their stories as I went.
Born and raised in New Zealand, I have also lived in the UK, US, and Denmark. I love to meet new people; it’s a fantastic way to gain exposure to new ideas and cultures and, of course, to get story ideas.
For the last ten years I’ve been a magazine writer, and currently I get to write about innovative and cutting-edge research for a tertiary institution in New Zealand. It’s an inspiring job, talking to people about their passion, and I try to tell their stories in the best possible way.
I live in a secluded haven amongst the trees in Auckland with my lovely husband and cheeky three-year-old daughter. I enjoy yoga, although I’m not very bendy, and karate, although I don’t like the idea of hitting anyone. It’s about pushing my boundaries, and both those activities are physical, in a way that my work as a writer isn’t.
I’ve worked as a camp counsellor, a waitress, a checkout girl, a citizenship officer and an editor. But none of those jobs compares to being able to call myself a writer.
The magical Jolly Carnival is the only life Rilla Jolly knows—and it’s all falling apart around her. Just as she’s thrust into the role of Ringmaster after her father’s unexpected death, an old family friend turns up to challenge her birthright.
Her rival's sexy son Jack isn’t helping either. Despite being a greenhorn and an outsider, he’s intent on charming everyone, convincing them that Rilla isn’t up to the task. It’s not going to be easy to persuade the Carnival folk she’s still the best choice to lead them all.
But Rilla must also contend with another threat—the ongoing sabotage that has been disturbing their delicate magical balance and threatening to destroy the Carnival. All signs point to an insider, making it impossible to know who to trust.
To save her beloved Carnival, Rilla must do everything in her power to find the saboteur before they attack again—but if she takes her eye off the battle for Ringmaster for even a second, she risks losing the one thing she’s trained for her entire life.