Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you my interview with Aussie author (from Perth!), Danielle Weiler. Her debut YA novel Friendship on Fire came out in March last year, and I was given the wonderful opportunity to ask her some questions!
I hope you like.
Remember to come back next week for a giveaway (Aussie AND worldwide) of Friendship on Fire, courtesy of Danielle!
How did the idea for Friendship on Fire come about?
I was very bored when I lived in Melbourne. We didn’t have a lot of money so I couldn’t shop at fun places like Chadstone. I woke up one Sunday morning with Daisy in my head and I knew I just had to write it down. It came in such a hurry I had to plot point straight away and I could have sworn I’d be able to write the story in a week.
Were you like Daisy when you were in highschool, or was her character inspired by your students?
My students have never really inspired my writing which is strange because you’d think they would to a certain extent. I was very much like Daisy – perpetual nice girl, I did hit a letterbox when I was on my L plates, had a huge heart but a weakness for boys who charmingly said the right thing. I never understood the whole bitchy-girl thing (Skye) and it baffled me to think girls could threaten other girls just by being. I have a very supportive family and five older brothers. So even though Daisy isn’t me, there are similarities that I could bring to the table.
I don't think Nate was really that bad, he just made some big mistakes and comes with some not-so-light baggage. He wasn't meant for Daisy, whilst Roman definitely was. Who would have been your pick (for highschool-Danielle, that is): Nate or Roman?
I’m really interested that you’ve taken that perspective on Nate. So many girls HATE on him and I can totally understand why, but he’s my character and I understand him and sometimes people are a victim of their upbringing and it doesn’t mean you can agree with them or let them off the hook but you can at least understand them and why they act the way they do. Nate probably would have been my pick in high school – he was derived from every charming boy I ever met and I can’t say I would have had a lot of time or would have been savvy enough to notice Roman. But then again, I didn’t really have a best friend like Roman when I was 18 so we’ll never know.
Have you always wanted to be a writer and a teacher?
A teacher, yes. A writer, well, let’s just say I didn’t think I’d ever have the self-discipline to be able to finish a novel and do it properly. I’ve always written, though.
Do you get writer's block? If so, do you have a method of overcoming it?
Generally when I write I have something to say, and if I don’t, I’m not writing at all. But when I’m in the throes of a story and I get stuck with some middle parts – getting characters where I want them or to behave themselves, I will go to a part I know how I want to be and write that. I’ve written the endings several times before I’ve written the body. It’s like tricking myself to ‘just start’, knowing I’ll get somewhere when I do.
Where is your favourite place to write?
On the couch. It’s not heaps comfortable but it’s easier than at a desk or on my lap in the bedroom. I can look around the house for inspiration or tricky words when I get stuck. It’s open spaced and central.
Do you listen to music while you're writing? If yes, what is/who is your favourite genre/artist?
I do listen to heaps of music. I don’t have a real favourite but I like bands with boys in it – I don’t mean the traditional boy-bands, I mean bands like Sixteen Cities, Anthem Lights, Tenth Avenue North, Switchfoot etc. And of course, Brooke Fraser :)
What is your best piece of advice for budding young writers?
Read read read. In the genre you want to become apart of. Learn. Ask questions, especially stupid ones. Give your manuscript to people and ask for critical feedback. Have it assessed formally. Practice.
What are you working on at the moment? (if it's ok to share)
I’m working on having my latest 2 YA manuscripts looked at. Other than that I’m attempting to finish a personal diary I’ve had for about 7 years while I’m on holidays. Way too long. It needs to be updated with life and finished and sent off to the afterlife (the bookshelf, with all the others).
Thanks again to Danielle for taking the time to answer my questions!