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Jera’s Jamboree : Author Interview Bridie Hall

JJ is delighted to welcome Bridie Hall today

Bridie Hall sold her first story at fourteen. Since then, she has written dozens more, translated books, studied writing, and started writing novels. Her days revolve around stories and words, her sleepless nights involve plotting and inventing fascinating new characters. The only activity that takes up more of her time than writing, is reading.

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Hi Bridie,

Please summarise Letting Go in 20 words or less.

Letting Go is about one girl, two brothers, and a road trip that leaves them broken-hearted.

If you could choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? And why?

I would be Isabelle. Firstly, because she’s very artistic and sees the world through her artist’s eyes. Secondly, because even though she thinks she’s open minded and tolerant, Harper teaches her that people and situations are sometimes different than how we see them. I like that, I like people showing me known things from a new perspective, I like learning new things. I suppose, that’s why I wrote about Isabelle in the first place.

Do you have a most creative time of day?

My most creative time of day has always been, ironically, the night. I’m a night owl. But recently, because I have a two-year-old at home with me, I’ve been forced to write in the morning because by the time he goes to bed, I’m ruined and I don’t have a single creative thought in my brain left.

Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?

I find inspiration in very everyday things and situations, but to develop ideas, plots, characters it takes some time. The most useful activity for that is running. I let my mind go off in its strange directions, doing its magic, and more often than not, I will return home with a new development in the story or a new feature about a character. Similarly productive are the minutes before I fall asleep. But the unfortunate side effect is that that usually wakes me up, so sleepless nights are something I’m accustomed to.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

As probably most writers, I’m a bit of both. I’ll get an idea, sometimes it’s for a conflict, sometimes for a character – that’s how most of my stories start. I’ve never written anything from the beginning to the end. I write down the scenes in the order they appear in my head. That means that I write the juiciest, best parts first, then I force myself to write the bits that connect the pivotal scenes. Sometimes, I will even draft an actual plot, especially if the storyline is more complex or has multiple subplots. But mostly, I just have a general idea of where I want the characters to end up. Sometimes, they surprise me and the story ends up entirely different than initially planned. For example, my current novella started out as a sci-fi conspiracy story, and ended up being a short story in the thriller mode of Daphne du Maurier.

What is your WIP?

My WIP is a long short story that I mentioned above. It’s about a woman being haunted by her past and about how that ruins her chances of being happy in the present.

I’m also working on a companion book to Letting Go. In this one, Chloe, Isabelle’s best friend, is the protagonist. And there’s a sweet boy in there somewhere, too.

Do you think movie adaptations do books justice?  Do you have a favourite?

I think we, book lovers tend to be too critical of movie adaptations. Of course, some films feel flat compared to the original work. But we need to consider that films, despite the cutting-edge technology, are terribly limited compared to our imagination, because that’s what the films are essentially competing against; not the novel but our interpretation of it. Yes, I mostly prefer books because they offer me the chance to invest more of myself in their reading than a film does. But an example of a good, even great adaptation, for me, would be The Road.

Have you done any creative writing/writing courses that you would recommend to others?

I studied writing at Swinburne University in Melbourne. What I felt was truly great about it was that it included all types of writing, from prose, to poetry, to song writing, scripts, technical writing etc. It offered a very broad scope of knowledge, and I learned to appreciate and use techniques and ideas from different genres. I think it broadened my view of what writing is or can be.

Who is your target audience?   Have you written for other genres or plan to in the future?

My target audience for Letting Go are young adults. I’ve written for other genres, such as poetry and short stories. I consider this a sort of exercise for the writerly muscles. Writing in different genres, going out of your comfort zone can teach you unexpected things and that can only be good when it comes to creativity and inspiration.

What has been the best part of your writing journey so far?

Apart from the writing itself which is, obviously, the best part, the best thing about being published is the realization that people like my work. That they identify with my characters and enjoy the story, maybe even experience something new while reading it. This means a lot to me because that’s my main motivation to write – to share the stories, to have people respond to them.

Thank you Bridie.

Wishing you success with Letting Go and all your writing projects.

letting-go-teenIsabelle is left stranded at the airport, and her only chance of getting home is with her boyfriend’s older brother, Harper. When this good girl and bad boy set off towards home, it turns out that maybe she’s not such a good girl after all. And even bad boys have reasons for their bad behavior.

The road trip is full of shocking revelations and unexpected emotions, bringing the two of them closer than Isabelle ever thought possible. Maybe too close.