In celebration of National Novel Writing Week I’ve been asked to participate in an interview on how I write by

What were your goals when you started writing?
When I started, all I wanted was to finish a book. I don’t think I took it seriously at first – I used to refer to it jokingly as “writing my trashy novel” – then I decided that if I was going to invest the time it would take, I’d better make sure it was worth it – and that meant I had to stop joking and focus on making it the best I  possibly could.

What are your goals now?
Right now I want to finish my third novel. I have about 30,000 words of the first draft done – so I’m between 25-33% of the way there.
No author, no matter how successful can afford only to write these days – you also have to market yourself and your books. I’m therefore working hard to promote my first two published novels, A Greater World (set in Australia in the 1920s) and Kurinji Flowers (India in the 1930s and 40s).
My other goal is to ensure that I produce books of very high quality that people want to read. That means approaching writing and publishing as professionally as my consulting work – paying for professional cover design, editing services etc and investing in my own development as a writer.

What pays the bills now?
I still do some work as a management consultant. I am earning money from my books – but at the moment it’s all reinvested in marketing.

Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?
It’s what I want to do – a better question would be what motivates me to keep consulting!

What advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?
Don’t give up the day job! As someone once said – there are easier ways to be poor! But seriously – apart from keeping the wolf from the door, your day job keeps you involved and engaged with other people – writing can otherwise be a very solitary profession.

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