Write Away With Wendy Orr

27 Sep


On Oct 3rd, Wendy Orr and George Ivanoff will be talking books and writing at our final program for The Writer’s Masterclass in 2013. Both George and Wendy create intricate settings for their stories and like you all, I’m looking forward to hearing how they go about this process.

Today Wendy Orr joins us on the blog to answer our ten quick questions. Thanks for dropping by Wendy – your time starts now!

Where is your favourite place to write?
Outside under a tree is a lovely place for dreaming ideas, but my best place for actual writing is at the desk in my office. However sometimes I love being in a café when I’m editing or making notes on my manuscript.

Who is your favourite author?
For adults: Probably AS Byatt, because of the depth of her stories and the beauty of her writing.
For children: Susan Cooper.

Tell us about one of your most vivid childhood memories?
Hearing a cougar scream when my friends and I were playing in a ravine on the Canadian prairies. It was bloodcurdling yowl, and we got out of there fast!

Name one essential item you always keep on your desk.
My CBC gold medal, to cheer me up when a story is going slowly.

Whatʼs one thing you couldnʼt live without?
My family.

What was the best present you ever received?
A soft toy dog that I completely fell in love with in a department store when I was 5. Her name is Dorothy and she’s still on the shelf in my office.

Characters in stories sometimes have special talents or powers. If you could choose an amazing talent or power for yourself, what would it be?
Teleporting myself instantly to wherever in the world I wanted to be.

How do you collect and organise your story ideas? Any hints you can pass on to us?
I just jot random ideas down in a notebook, or sometimes on the Notes on my phone; they’re not organised in any way. When I start working on a new story idea I have a special notebook just for it, and I write down thoughts that have just occurred to me about the story: what should happen, or what something or someone looks like, or even scraps of dialogue. I also might spend some time working out details of characters in a fairly organised way – their name, how old they are, anything I need to know about them.

In all the books you have written, do you have a favourite character?
Nim. I love Raven too, but I’d rather be Nim.

What has been the best thing about becoming a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is living in the stories as I write. The best thing about becoming an author has been some of the amazing places I’ve been and people I’ve met because of my books.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer?
Not knowing if anyone will like my book when I’m finished, which also means not knowing if I’ll earn any money for that year’s work!

If you werenʼt a writer, what job do you think you would be doing?
I used to be an occupational therapist, so I would probably be doing that. But if I could choose another talent it would be music.

Your favourite all time meal is placed on the table in front of you. What is it?
Waldorf salad – lots of apples and walnuts.

Thanks Wendy! The team at Write Away With Me look forward to welcoming you to this program. And to all of our Masterclassers out there – don’t forget to bring your questions along with you on Thursday for The Authors Q and A Panel.This is your chance to hear more about Wendy, her books and her writing life.
If you would like more information about this program, please sign up for our newsletter on the home page.

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