Monday, August 20, 2012

An Interview with Charmaine Clancy

 
I recently had the opportunity to interview Charmaine Clancy, the author of My Zombie Dog.  

Hi, Charmaine.  Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in Brisbane, Australia, and love it here. I’m a learner, and aim to never stop learning. I’ll sign up for classes on just about anything. For the past few years I’ve focused on writing and editing and still have so much to learn on the subject.


Would you describe your desk or workspace?

My workspace is my Macbook. I previously worked from one desk, but now I find I’m more productive moving around. In the mornings I’ll work from my living room, or go out onto the deck if it’s warm, in the afternoons I spend time at a cafe waiting for the kids to come out of school. Sometimes I head into Brisbane’s cultural centre and work in the State Library. I LOVE libraries (even though I never borrow books).


Do you have a favorite quote?

Lately it’s ‘There’s a book in that’. I have no idea where it originated, but my dad and I use it every time something interesting happens.


What was your favorite book as a child and why?

Grover’s Monster at the end of this Book. It was my first experience with a book I could actually interact with. Postmodernism at it’s best.


What is the best advice you've ever received? 

‘Just do it’.
Except for somethings, then ‘Don’t do it’.


If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?

The Incredible Hulk. I think he’d look funny with froth on his upper lip (plus, David Banner... yum).


Do you have any pets, what are they and what are their names?

Zoe and Schroeder - our dogs
Pinkachu - our cat
#37 - My favorite sea-monkey


Where did you get the idea for My Zombie Dog?

We had a little scraggy dog named Fossil. She would attack EVERYTHING. She’d get in lots of fights and then play dead. She lives at my Mum’s now, they seem to understand each other.

I thought, what if you always wanted a dog, and you got Fossil?


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a kid I wrote ‘novels’, but honestly, I wanted to be lots of things. I’ve also loved teaching high school and grooming dogs. About four years ago, a friend at uni(Amy)was working on her novel, she was so motivated. She typed away every spare moment she had. I was impressed. I’d tried to write novels over the years lots of times and always only got to that cursed chapter three. Amy put me onto an online course on novel writing, and with that course I completed my first full draft of a novel. 


Do you outline before you write?  If not, what's your initial process?

I brainstorm an idea first. I need to work out what I’m trying to say, sometimes it’s a theme and sometimes it’s a character I want to push. Then I get an idea of the story and I dot point 30-40 things that ‘could’ happen. I don’t use them all, but I start arranging them in an order.
I do outline and plot. I must know my ending before I start (even though it usually changes). I need direction. 

I tried pantsing a NaNo novel once and ended up with a big mess of a draft. It’ll be a lot of work rewriting that one.


Could you share about any current writing projects?

I’m working on a few projects. One is a sequel to My Zombie Dog, called Undead Kev. In this one, Zane and Kev take on a secret government facility performing unspeakable experiments and their invisible stealth-monkeys.

I’m also writing a YA novel about an ancient Egyptian princess resurrected today in New York City. Lots of secret prophecies, magical amulets and angry gods.


What would be the best way for readers to contact you?

I’m on my blog a lot (maybe too much!). 


and of course theres Twitter: @charmaineclancy


Do you have any final thoughts to share?

Just enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy (unless you’re a psychopath, then the ‘don’t do it’ advice comes in). Be proud of your accomplishments and only measure them against your own potential. You’ll make mistakes, and that’s great, it’s the best way to learn.


A great final thought.  Thank you for being here today.  I enjoyed interviewing you.  
I also look forward to having you back in October when I'll be featuring several of my favorite zombie books.

Thanks for having me Susanne, you’re very generous with your time and always have encouraging comments for bloggers and writers, it doesn’t go unnoticed and really is appreciated!


Thank you!

11 comments:

mmshaunakelley said...

"Enjoy what you do." Great advice for a writer, and a great interview. Thanks for sharing!

Sherry Ellis said...

Zombie Dogs is such a great title for a book! And having coffee with the Hulk - now that would be an experience!

elysabeth said...

Thanks for bringing Charmaine to your blog, Susanne. I recently read My Zombie Dog and it is a cute book.

Charmaine, Looking forward to more from you - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA mystery (written like a Nancy Drew mystery)
http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
http://eeldering.weebly.com

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What an enjoyable interview. Zombie Dog must be very intertaining.

mooderino said...

Great interview!

Linda Jackson said...

Great interview, Ladies. I read Zombie Dog and simply fell in love with the characters. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by to check out the interview with Charmaine. Hope everyone has a great week!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview ladies! Zombie Dog is a really fun story! :)

I wish I could plot that well - but I'm working on it!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The Incredible Hulk? You're weird, Charmaine. I like that.

Hi Susanne!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Thanks again Susanne, it was most fun appearing on your blog - I appreciate all the supportive comments, online communities rock!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'll have to tell my daughter about this one. She's currently reading a book called Zombie Dog from Scholastic Books.

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