Feb 12, 2010

Author Interview: Goldie Alexander (Aussie Month Post)

Goldie Alexander writes books, short stories and articles for adults and children of all ages. Her other historical fictions include the YA novel Mavis Road Medley set in Melbourne (1933). Her first four Young Adult books were 'Dolly Fiction' novels published under a pseudonym. Her first book under her own name, Mavis Road Medley is a time travel fiction exploring the world of Princess Hill and her parents' struggles to survive the Depression. Since then Goldie has written more than 60 books, and, scripts, short stories, articles and 'how to write' books.

Welcome Goldie to The Clock Monkey!

1. When and how did you start writing?

I began writing professionally some 20 years ago. Before that I had some seriously weird jobs until I finally found myself teaching English and History in a number of high schools. That’s why I still love visiting both primary and high schools when they invite me in to talk about my work, take workshops or teach Creative Writing.

2. Could you tell us a bit about your mystery novel for tweens, Hedgeburners?

"Hedgeburners, an A-Z Mystery" (Illustrated by Marjory Gardner) is loosely based on a series of actual crimes committed in the recent past. This suspense-filled detective book aimed at a ‘tween’ readership poses the question: Who is setting fire to the old cypress hedges in Anna’s suburb?

Anna Simpson insists that her best friend Zach Santisi help her find the culprits. But Zach has other things on his mind and he’s an unwilling participant. Just about everyone these 13 YO detectives come across has a motive, and as time goes on there are more and more fires and more and more serious confrontations…

You can find out more and even see a youtube presentation here.

3. What inspires your writing? Are there any authors who particularly influence your work?

I read very widely (both adult and kids books) so I can’t say any one writer is a greater influence than another. Of course some books appeal to me more than others. When it came to being influenced on the writing of ‘Hedgeburners’, I went back to when I was a kid and those wonderful Famous Five mysteries by Enid Blyton. I wanted to write something that would appeal to Aussie kids living today in settings they’d recognize.

4. What other books have you written that you can tell me a bit about?

I have written over 60 fiction and non fiction books for adults and kids of all ages. So there are too many to mention individually. Those still in print can be found on my website, I write science fiction, mystery, historical fiction, magic realism and contemporary stories.

I am probably best known for the first of the series My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney
, a story about our First Fleet. This is now coming out in its 10th edition next March with a brand new cover.

My latest books include a story picture book for readers 7 to 9’s: Lame Duck Protest; and 10 stories for older girls: My Horrible Cousins and Other Stories . Next year this anthology will have a follow up with 10 stories for boys called: Space Footy and other Stories. Also coming out next March is a novel for young readers about Anzac Cove called Gallipoli Medals.

I have lots of publishers so I can’t send you to any one in particular, just to my website which has lots of notes about all the stuff I write. Some of my non fiction is co-authored with Hazel Edwards and we enjoy writing plays where we act out the lines and having ideas rushing between us. I’m a bit of a magpie who enjoys collecting odd bits of information to use as material, and also have the attention span of a gnat so I like to change projects quite often and take on new challenges. I also write adult short stories (usually gloomy) articles, scripts, radio talks etc etc.

5. Complete this sentence: Outside of writing, my life is... just as busy. Sometimes I try to imagine myself doing nothing, but I think I could go mad with boredom and look for another activity that is equally creative and demanding. I think I would work at becoming an illustrator.

6. What are you working on now?

Two very different ideas.

1. An adult ‘memoir’ cum ‘how to write non-fiction’ I’m calling “Breathe Life Into Your Memoir” I hope it will answer some of the questions posed above in more detail.
2. A YA verse novel “Kai, Kip and Bilby-G” a fantasy love story. I have only just begun this and it’s becoming quite a challenge

7. What are your feelings about the book industry right now?

I have been a published writer for over 20 years( that makes me old, sorry about that). In that time I’ve watched the business go from a kind of cottage industry where editing was ultra important and writers could depend on their publishers for PR. Most writers had only one publisher for all their books.

Some of the most important changes that have occurred is the importance of the marketing department… that may account for the number of celebrities that write (have ghosted for them??) kids’ books. Also, most writers these days who have more than ‘one book in them’ may have several publishers, often small, so the writers have to handle their PR themselves. I suspect the next revolution is the ebook. I wrote one some years ago but it was before Kindle and hard to sell. Those who hate the thought of an ebook should think back to when the printing press was invented and try to imagine the monks - who created those wonderfully illustrated manuscripts horror - their at the thought!!! I think we’re at the tipping end. More to the point, how many of our creations will be hijacked so we get plagiarized and no monetary return? Nevertheless when I went on holiday in November carrying 6 books and then ran out of reading matter, I did think kindly of Kindle.

Goldie Alexander


Thanks Goldie for having been here today!
This Month is going by so fast,
there are a lot of great authors who should be here too,
but we haven't got the time!

Visit Goldie's Website for more information.

**This interview was originally posted at Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of The Year. This is a slightly different interview, Goldie revised it before she sent it to me, and is posted now here by her request.**

2 monkey thought (s):

Anonymous said...

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Ella Press said...

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