I am delighted to welcome an author from across the pond to Bookaholic Confessions, today. Rowena Wiseman whose new novel, The Replacement Wife, was released on the 1st September 2015 with AUS Impulse joins me to chat about her brilliant novel (and it is brilliant..trust me, I’ve read it – review to follow!) Rowena tells all about her novel, as well as writing for children and introduces us to her fantastic blog Out of Print Writing..
Hi Rowena, welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! I’m thrilled to have you on the site, thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
I write contemporary fiction, young adult and children’s stories. I live on the Mornington Peninsula, an hour out of Melbourne, with my husband and two children and I work in the visual arts sector.
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, The Replacement Wife, released 1st September with AUS Impulse?
The Replacement Wife is about a lady named Luisa who falls in love with another man, so she tries to find a wife for her husband. She has an 8-year-old son and she doesn’t want him to end up with a wicked stepmother part of the time! Luisa discovers it’s not easy seducing women for her husband …
The Replacement Wife sounds absolutely brilliant and like JUST my kind of read! What gave you the idea for the storyline?
It probably struck me while washing the dishes, as all good ideas often do. It felt like such an obvious idea for a storyline, my only worry was it had already been done!
Are the characters in the novel entirely fictional or are they based on anyone in real life?
I think many of my characters are mosaics of people I’ve come across. I take bits and pieces from everywhere – things I see can sometimes be important in the development of my characters too – like a gold-tinsel sculpture I once saw in a sculpture exhibition and the Pop Up Patch veggie garden at Federation Square feature heavily in The Replacement Wife.
How long did The Replacement Wife take you to write?
Four or five months to write the first draft and then another few months to rewrite and edit.
As well as writing contemporary fiction you have also written children’s stories. Do you have a preference for writing for adults or children?
I love writing children’s dialogue because they can say the most outrageous things! I also really enjoyed working with illustrator Narelda Joy on Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses because she’s a fabulous artist and I got to see my ideas come alive on the page.
But I also like writing for adults, because I can be creative and humorous with my style of writing. Lately I’ve also been writing two novels for young adults. I like the idea that someone could read one of my children’s stories as a child, and then grow into my YA novels and then enjoy The Replacement Wife one day!
I absolutely love your blog, Out of Print Writing, (http://outofprintwriting.blogspot.com.au/) Can you tell us a little more about it?
I started Out of Print Writing about four years ago when I was starting to take my writing more seriously. I cringe when I read back over my first posts, but I basically started talking about what I was writing, the publishers I was submitting to and the hurt and rejection I was feeling! It’s evolved over the years to include tips for writers on writing and publishing in the digital revolution. I knew I was doing something right when the National Library of Australia asked me whether they could archive my blog in their PANDORA program a few years back.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?
Put yourself out there! Find out if there’s an audience for your work … Join an online writing community like HarperCollins’s Authonomy or Wattpad – the world’s largest reading and writing website. Be open to feedback and criticism and learn how to be self-critical of your own work.
Who are your favourite authors and which type of books do you enjoy reading?
My favourite authors are Tatyana Tolstaya for her impressionistic writing style, Raymond Carver and Anton Chekhov, and lately I can’t get enough of French writer Émile Zola for his insight into the human psyche (check out The Masterpiece or The Drinking Den). I like books that are character driven, rather than plot driven, especially if they have a likeable unlikable character like Ignatius Reilly in The Confederacy of Dunces.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
I’m finishing a YA novel Repeat After Me about two street artists who meet painting on the same wall. I’ve been posting chapters of my YA stories on Wattpad for 18 months now and the support I’ve been getting from Wattpad readers has been phenomenal.
A huge thank you to Rowena for answering my questions.
Click here to get hold of your copy of The Replacement Wife.
Rowena Wiseman writes contemporary fiction and children’s stories. Her fiction includes The Replacement Wife (HarperCollins, 2015), Bequest (Tenebris Books, 2014) and Searching for Von Honningsbergs (Leafless, 2014). Children’s stories include the Aunty Arty and Astro Circus Kids series (Jet Black Publishing, 2014/2015). She was recently named as one of the 30 most influential writers on Wattpad. Rowena’s blog Out of Print Writing, about writing and publishing in the digital revolution, has been selected for the National Library of Australia’s archive program PANDORAhttp://www.outofprintwriting.blogspot…. She works in the visual arts sector and lives on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.