Today, I am delighted to be bringing you an interview with author, and fellow Aussie, Raynette Mitchell. Her novel tilted 'And So It Goes', is next on my to be read list, and I very much look forward to reading it. Raynette describes her book as a story of love, friendship and betrayal. Raynette has become a friend, who I engage with on a regular basis.
Let's find out more about Raynette and her work.
Tell me about yourself
I was born and raised in Sydney, worked in the corporate world for 20 years then owned my own business for 20 years, before I retired to the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Oh why didn’t I do this sooner?
I’ve been a painter for about 20 years with my own art studio on acreage in the hinterland of Noosa, but a couple of years ago my husband and I downsized, and I found I no longer had the room to paint. But the creative bent hadn’t died so I began to write – you don’t need much room to write.
How long have you been writing?
I started my first book in May of 2019 although I’ve always loved the English language and composition and have written many articles and ad. copy over the years. I finished the book by February, 2020 and began the self-publishing journey which included professional editing, cover design, and interior formatting. The book was released in June, 2020. Woo Hoo!
Do you have a favourite book?
Many favourite books! One book I’d grab if the house was on fire is 'A Turn of the Blade' by Australian author Veronica Sweeney. It’s been out of print for years and I’ve got an old second hand copy. Nobody I talk to has ever heard of it, but I loved it. Not a great literary work but I couldn’t put it down when I first read it 25 years ago. Another favourite is 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett, a classic, enduring story, beautifully written. Also, 'Bodies Electric' by Colin Harrison – weird but fascinating, as is anything by him.
Who are your favourite authors, and how have they influenced your work?
I really enjoy some of the authors who have been around for a while like Ken Follett, and even a longer while – Daphne DuMaurier, Winston Graham, John O’Hara. It’s interesting to see how writing and books have changed over the years. I also enjoy anything by Marian Keyes and Catherine Allicott, and I love Graham Norton’s last couple of books. I don’t know that any of the authors I’ve read have actually influenced my writing. I really just write for me.
Your book titled ‘And So It Goes’, is next on my ‘to be read’ list. You describe it as a story of love, friendship, and betrayal. Can you tell me about the inspiration for the book?
It started out as a short story about internet dating – I’ve read many articles about the dangers of meeting someone on the internet, so I thought I’d write a positive story. But then I thought it might be sending the wrong message so I changed the story-line to include a few surprises. When it turned out to be a VERY short story, I decided to write some back stories on the characters, and that’s when it became interesting. I became quite involved with some of the characters. (I just love Tom, and Lola!)
Can you describe your writing process?
First, I think out and plan the outline of a story which I type up on my computer. At the same time, I do a timeline so I can keep track of when things happen, plus a cast of characters and details about each one. I refer to these 3 basics constantly.
Then whenever I get a spare hour or so at my computer I re-read the 3 basics and start filling in detail, descriptions, and dialogue to fill out the broad outline. It doesn’t always go to plan – as a matter of fact, sometimes it runs right off the rails - but the outline is a good foundation to start from. I also have Google open in a separate window on my computer to check spelling, meaning, alternate words, dates and times, etc.
This might all sound a bit mechanical but it works for me.
What does literary success look like to you?
Feeling good about what I’ve written. When the book is completely finished and I read it, out loud, from beginning to end and I think to myself – Wow, that’s a damn good read!
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes, I’m 10,000 words into a spin-off of my first book, and loving it. I think the outline is good, the timeline is not easy, but at least I’ve got it all set out as a reference, and the cast of characters is terrific. Now to get down to the nitty-gritty.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Think about writing.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Just do it! Just write. And don’t care too much about what others may think of your writing. The reality of this life is not about what others think, but what you think of yourself! At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Thank you to Raynette, for sharing her insights with us. If you would like to check out her work, click on the links below.