Being an adult is full of responsibility and housework. I wanted to relive the fun days of being a young adult, so I created these characters that I would have liked to hang out with when I was younger. Then I spent the next 18 months with them each day, writing about their misadventures, which was great. Very invigorating. It inspired me to go out and misbehave in real life.
2. Were there any challenges in writing for a younger audience than previously?
The challenges of writing for a younger audience are much the same as writing for an older audience – namely the challenge of sitting still at the computer writing, instead of checking emails, reading the newspaper, doing the sudoku, looking up obscure sites on the internet, drinking coffee and hanging out with friends. Over the years I’ve discovered it’s very difficult to write a novel if you’re not actually sitting down writing it. Rule number one: sit down and write the damn thing.
3. There are lots of issues which arise in the book – fidelity, stalking, drug use, health issues, superstition, family loyalty... Did you set out to write an issues based book and which of the issues do you see as being most important?
When you put it like that there ARE a lot of issues in the book. I didn’t really set out to write something issues-based, and I certainly would never want to get all preachy about things, but I suppose I explored concepts and ideas that I personally find interesting. And also things that have happened to me or friends of mine.
4. Why John Lennon? What inspired you to use a famous person’s name for your main character – and why John Lennon specifically? 5. Now, about you. What lead you into writing as a career?
Hm. I’ve been asked that a lot and I’m not really sure. His name just kind of came to me. I guess I liked the idea of a character who’s named after a famous person. It seemed to say a lot about his mum, that she would name him John Lennon. It also opened up opportunities for a bit of comedy.
5. Now, about you. What lead you into writing as a career?
I worked in advertising for a long time. But after I had kids and started working part-time, the juicy jobs I’d been getting in advertising started going to other people who were still working full-time. And I found myself writing Myer catalogues and retail television spots and I found it incredibly unsatisfying. So then I applied to RMIT to do the Creative Writing Course where I had this fantastic teacher, Olga Lorenzo, and as I went on, I found that I really wanted to write novels.
6. Do you write full time? What else makes Gabrielle Williams tick?
I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time, which is brilliant (in between sudoku, emails, trawling through the internet, etc). As for what makes me tick; I’ve got a hubby and three children who keep me quite busy, and then I’ve got my buddies who I catch up with a lot, and I do karate, and I sometimes manage to squeeze housework in there somewhere (but let’s be honest, I don’t manage to squeeze in the housework a whole lot. Busy. Doing other stuff).
7. What advice would you give to others who want to write for young adults?
Do it. Do it now. Just don’t write about vampires (seriously, how many vampire novels can the market sustain because it collapses in a toothy, bloody heap?).
8. Lastly, what are you working on now? Is there another novel brewing?
Yes, I’ve got another novel in the pipeline, but I can’t tell you much about it because if I tell you I’ll have to kill you.