When a book appears in print, its author can bask momentarily in the satisfying afterglow. BringIng a full-length writing project to fruition will usually have taken years of hard labour, so one feels entitled to savour the pleasures of publication. But not for long. The OCD component of a writer’s temperament doesn’t permit much lounging around. A prospective next book may already be starting to make urgent demands, and in any case other ideas will probably have begun to bubble into words.
So what does the writing life look like between books? It’s a busy mixture of activities, I’ve always found. Post-publication events continue for some while in response to invitations from various groups. And the habit of writing doesn’t subside.
In the nine months since the release of my fifth novel, The Madwoman’s Coat, I’ve given nearly 30 talks that are directly or indirectly linked to it. Most of the venues are libraries, clubs or community centres. Another of these presentations, illustrated with an assortment of screen images, is coming up soon and is open to the public: details here. More sessions are already being scheduled for next year.
Some of my poems have recently come out in Australia (in Burrow, Cordite, Creatrix), others overseas (in Shot Glass and Catalyst).
One of my short stories is shortlisted for the Southern Cross Prize, another is due out very soon in Backstory, and a short-short has just been published in the NZ magazine Flash Frontier.
Several more poems are currently under consideration by various magazines. What would we do without all those labour-of-love literary periodicals to provide platforms for our work?
Carefully edited by Julia Kaylock and Denise O’Hagan and published by Litoria Press, this brings together poems by scores of Australian and NZ writers united by a concern for our physical environment.
You can purchase a copy here.
So the writing life goes on steadily between books. Perhaps my own next book-length publication will be a collection of short fiction or poetry.