A few years ago I read Anatomy of Story by John Truby. Truby is a screenwriting guru and I have no aspirations to write for screen but what he has to say about plotting resonated so much that it changed the way I think about story. I had already identified plotting as my weakest point. I am therefore looking for someone who has a good handle on plotting, be it from studying writing specifically or simply from reading lots and watching lots of TV over the course of a lifetime.
I'm less interested in discussions on where to put commas and the differences between Australian and American spellings. For embarrassment reasons I won't share anything that hasn't been proofread but I leave copyedits for later, as structural changes tend to introduce new errors anyway.
Started out writing short stories for adults (though in hindsight my more natural voice is YA), and then I wrote and illustrated three picture book apps via our indie app company Slap Happy Larry. Due to unwelcome changes in the App Store we've moved away from interactive apps, which is sad because I really loved making them! I would love to keep self publishing but recognise self-publishing and middle grade do not go well together at this stage. Now I'm going to give traditional publishing a crack. That should keep me off the streets for the next ten years.
This year I'm flexing both writing and illustrating muscles with an illustrated middle grade novel of the sort my nine-year-old daughter reads again and again. Influenced by Wimpy Kid, except I am not a particular fan of Wimpy Kid.
I'm also really interested in the way words and picture fit together to tell a story, so I'd be keen to swap critiques with another author illustrator.
Romance is not my bag.
I love soft speculative fiction but not the really technical hard stuff.
I have a special interest in picture books but I don't feel I have the skills to critique rhyme -- my special interest is the narrative arc rather than analysing anything at line level.
Middle grade is my favourite thing to read lately. Even within this category I have pretty specific tastes. I avoid mean-spirited character humour, a sarcastic narrative voice, or anything starring girls which pits different 'types' of girls against each other.
Smile by Raina Telgemeir
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret
The Hairy Maclary series
Jon Klassen's hat books
Z Is For Moose
Bridge To Terabithia
Matchless by Gregory Maguire
Where's My Teddy? by Jez Albrough
Rudie Nudie by Emma Quay
Eleanor and Park
Chatterbox by Margaret Wild
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You
Big fan of Richard Peck in general
Geraldine McCaughrean is a master
Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey
The Heart and the Bottle
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich, also Nickel and Dimed
Deer Hunting With Jesus by Joe Bageant
Guns, Germs and Steel
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
Janet Frame's autobiography
Most books by Jon Krakauer
Carol Shields' books
Grew up in New Zealand
Lived in Japan for a few years studying Japanese
Taught high school for a while
Lived in London for a bit
Moved back down under but this time to Australia -- have lived near Canberra for about 10 years
Special interests include dogs, neurodiversity, human nutrition and social equality.