My muse: a bunch of tattooed rockers

If you’ve checked out my facebook page, you’ve possibly noticed I’ve included a shot of the Foo Fighters in my photos, with an explanation the band is my muse.

And I don’t mean they swan about in Grecian robes, half-naked (although, after seeing the promo clip for their latest US tour, I wouldn’t rule it out) – there’s just something about their songs (loud and soft) that works for me creatively.

It’s not so much that I listen to the guys while I write (I’m OK with mindless TV in the background, but as soon as I put music on, I get caught up in that, instead of my story). It’s more that I’ve imagine a lot of my scenes and plot developments for The Rephaim series while driving around listening to the Foo.

I can be trying to kick start a stalled scene in my head, or trying to solve a plot issue, and – more often than not – time in the car listening to the guys is enough for me to figure it out. I play out a lot of scenes in my head before I write, so this process generally works well for me.

I listen to a lot of music from a lot of acts – from AC/DC to Adele – but there’s just something special about the Foo.

I should point out, I was listening to the guys long before I started writing Shadows 18 months ago, and even back then they were taking me somewhere else in my head.
There’s nothing quite so therapeutic as driving home after a stressful day at work, screaming out the lyrics to My Boor Brain, Wind Up or All My Life (although it was possibly frightening for other motorists).

And, yes, I may have played All My Life once or twice after getting a rejection from a publisher…

Looking forward to seeing the stadium show on the Gold Coast in December (after the awesome “small” show in Brisbane earlier this year).

Brisbane Writers Festival – Maggie Stiefvater

OK, so the highlight of this year’s Brisbane Writer’s Festival for me was today’s master class with Maggie Stiefvater (anyone who’s ready my Other Worlds blog knows how much I enjoy and appreciate her work).

Not just because it’s always exciting to meet a favourite writer (and find out she’s extremely likable in person), but because Maggie had some insightful and interesting things to say about writing and –  in particular – how to get to the end of the story.

I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with The Rephaim, but I’ll always jump at the chance to learn from experienced authors.  I was keen to hear what Maggie had to say about plotting and delivering a story – especially over multiple books.

The two-hour session was choc-ful of great tips and advice. There were a lot I could relate to, and a few things I needed to be reminded about (e.g the importance of every setting having meaning in the story). But what resonated most with me was Maggie’s comment on knowing the “whatness” of a story. What is the core of the story? What am I trying to achieve? (And does every scene get me closer to achieving that? It’s a no-brainer when you think about it, but it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes when bogged down in character and plot development.

For me, Maggie delivered the master class like a seasoned presenter – lots of energy, interesting, relevant content, plenty of humour, and some lovely insights into her own process and experiences as a writer. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favourite BWF session in the six years’ I’ve been going to the festival.

So, yes, I may have a book deal, but I’m still a geek fan at heart. 🙂