• The Story Behind the Book

    Just Another Week in Suburbia: The Passive Casper

    The best stories feature characters who take journeys. And that doesn’t necessarily mean geographical journeys, but intellectual, emotional, and spiritual journeys. The simplest example is Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. While he does take a physical journey, it’s all about how his adventure shapes him, and who he becomes: he goes from a meek Hobbit to a bold, courageous leader – a Hobbit who would dare banter with a dragon and betray a friend to broker peace. I’d written other stories where characters took physical journeys, and their change is a byproduct of their experiences. But now I was interested primarily in focusing on the character’s growth. Part of this…

  • The Story Behind the Book

    Just Another Week in Suburbia: The Sex Scenes

    The first real sex scene I tackled was in my YA novel Pride (the first draft was written in 2002). Early drafts implied that the protagonist, Luke, and his girlfriend, Amanda, had sex. It was the typical consummation of intimacy that was kept off the page. Pride was selected for the 2009 Olvar Wood Fellowship. Queensland author, Inga Simpson, mentored me through a redraft, in which I added this vague sex scene. She highlighted its shapelessness – the scene acted as this general overview that embodied the relationship as a whole. In the redraft(s) that scene gained definition, showing a young couple’s first time. When Busybird Publishing were trying to place Pride…

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