21 October 2011

COOL Awards shortlisted author Robyn Bavati

The COOL Awards are the Children's Choice Book Awards in the ACT.

Robyn's book Dancing in the Dark has made it onto this year’s shortlist in the Years
7-9 category. Read on to find out more about Robyn, what inspired her to be a writer and more.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I had vague ideas of being a ballerina or writing fantasy books like Enid Blyton, but although I hoped one day to become a writer, I didn’t know I really could. The people I knew became doctors, lawyers, accountants and teachers. I didn’t know a single writer, and the chances of my becoming one seemed about as real as my chances of becoming a tightrope walker or a movie star. My future wasn't something I thought much about, though in my teens I realized I loved dance and English, and wanted to do something that related to one or other of those fields.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Creative writing was my forte at school, though there wasn’t much of it on the curriculum. When I was in my mid-twenties, I started writing more seriously, attending writing workshops and sending my stories out to publishers. I guess that was when I realized I really did want to become a published writer.

Are you inspired by any particular books or authors? What’s on your bookshelf?
Every time I read a wonderful book, I am inspired by it. My bookshelf is an eclectic mix of writing for various ages, and reflects a range of different genres and styles.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
I actually prefer working alone. I see writing as a very personal, internal process.

What’s your writing process like? Do you make an outline or just start writing?
I don’t start writing until I know what I want to write about, and have a general idea of the direction I want my work to take. Though I don’t make a detailed outline, I like to have some idea of the plot and characters before I begin. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get lost along the way.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write in the mornings, when my energy level is at its peak.

The dreaded writer’s block; Ever have it? How do you beat it?
I don’t think of myself as having writer’s block. Sometimes I get stuck because I’ve reached an impasse in the story and haven’t quite worked out what should come next. If that happens, I give myself time to figure it out. I often solve plot problems while walking or taking a shower.
I also acknowledge that every writer has good days, when the writing flows easily, and bad days, when it doesn’t. Then I give myself permission to enjoy a break.

Anything new being worked on at the moment?
Yes, I’m not too far off finishing a second novel. I hope to complete the first draft by the end of this year.

How can fans get updates for your upcoming books?
Via my website, which will hopefully have a brand new look complete with updates very soon.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like walking, watching movies, catching up with friends for lunch or coffee, and of course, reading.

For more information on the COOL Awards click here

To see what other books are on the shortlist click here