Aleesah Darlison is appearing at this week’s All Saints Literature Fest on the Gold Coast. Aleesah writes the Unicorn Riders series as well as reviewing books for The Sun Herald. This year she has joined forces with Taronga Zoo to deliver a series of talks and workshops on Aussie animals, protection of species and the environment. Here, she invites us into her own habitat, sharing her writing space and process.
Where did you write your latest book? How important to you is the space in which you write?
I write all of my books in my study. It’s not a HUGE space, but it’s all mine. Everything I need is within easy reach and if I need peace and quiet to write I can shut the door.
Do you transform your space in any way for each book? Do you ‘get into character’ at all?
I always put up posters, photos, maps and props related to the writing. With Unicorn Riders, I have unicorn images and figurines everywhere as well as character illustrations and avatars. These things help keep me focused and on track and also provide inspiration. The Unicorn Riders series has 4 main characters, so I tend to let their conversations flow through my mind then my fingers and onto the page.
Do you keep regular writing hours? What are they? If not, when do you write?
I write whenever I can, which is usually when the kids are at school or asleep. I can be working all hours of the day or night (I have the black circles under my eyes to prove it!), but I love writing, so it’s never a chore. It’s a joy.
Do you have a morning ritual? Roald Dahl was said to sharpen pencils. What settles your mind for writing?
After the rush of getting three small children off to preschool and school, the things that settle me down to writing are a hot cup of ginger tea and a quite house. That’s all I need…
I'm going to put posters up in my study. Thanks Aleesah and Tristan.