So we’re back – with another interview for our Youth Week Writerly Types series! Today, we got to talk to Jack Heath, author of sci-fi/action books for teenagers including Money Run, Hit List and Ink, Inc. He was also named as the ACT Young Australian of the Year in 2009.
What is a typical work day like for you?
I get up early so I can write before the phone starts ringing. I try to get at least 616 words done. After breakfast I often find myself giving a speech at a school or a literary festival, trying to get kids engaged in reading and writing. Before dinner I take the dog for a walk, then I try to deal with the mountain of emails in my inbox, and after dinner I relax with my wife – often we read to each other. Then the whole thing starts again!
What advice do you have for people just starting out in your field?
Write a small amount every day, and when you get used to that, make it a large amount. Never turn down an opportunity for feedback, whether that means signing up for creative writing workshops, showing your work to friends, or publishing it on your blog or another website. When you’ve gotten really good, start submitting to agents.
Do you have any exciting things coming up?
In August, REPLICA will be published globally by Oxford University Press. It’s a sci-fi thriller set in Canberra about an android trying to hunt down her creator’s killer. I couldn’t be more excited!
We love recommendations – anything caught your eye lately? Maybe it’s a book you couldn’t put down, or a film that you wanted to immediately rewatch, or a website that made it to your bookmarks.
I recently went 30 hours without sleep so I could finish BZRK: Reloaded by Michael Grant. It’s a violent, devastatingly imaginative action thriller about nanotechnology. I’ve been recommending it (and the prequel, BZRK) to everyone I know.
This interview is part of a series for National Youth Week 2014 called Writerly Types. Click here for yesterday’s interview with Duncan Felton.