This evening on my way home I dropped in at Dymock’s Bookshop in Melbourne to pick up some gift vouchers for my departing foundatio book club members. Next week, Dylan, Thando, Paige,Kristen Selena and Ryan will be doing their exams, then one week back, then the week after they will be having a taster week at our Senior Campus. I may see them briefly the week after next, when they come back to discuss their exams, but this is really their last week of a normal timetable. And I am going to miss them terribly! 😦
So I went to the shop and bought my gift cards and a pack of UNICEF cards to put thm in(UNICEF was the charity they did in Year 8) and, glancing over to see if there were any bookmarks I could grab, I suddenly realised there was one of the bookshop’s writer events happening. The writer this time was Rachel Caine, author of the Morganville Vampires series.
There are a lot of vampire series around these days and I have only read one, the first, but quite enjoyed it. The premise is that there’s this town run by vampires. They make it a rule that humans have to give blood regularly at the hospital. You can escape, but you forget about it, so they haven’t ever been caught. And most people stay because it’s their home.
I didn’t have anything on me to sign, but since I was there I decided to sit down with the rest of the audience and listen to the talk.
Rachel was a cheerful lady who chatted away abut how she started writing – and selling. She admitted to having started life as a media fan writer (Space 1999). A ticket to a writers conference landed her her first sale, although the book didn’t do well. In fact, she has had several pen names and er books got nowhere till she began writing as Rachel Caine. She had the idea for this series when driving along a dark road with lights far apart and thinking that this was the ideal urban planning for vampires.
Questions began, generally good ones. My own question was when she had been able to give up her day job – and here was where I was impressed. With four books a year, she was still working full time on a stressful, exhausting day job till only three years ago. And even then she gave it up because it just wasn’t possible to get away for, say, a tour, with a guaranteed no contact from her employers.
She said that having a day job is good for a writer. It gives you discipline. Going out into the woods to write in a log cabin tends to result in no ideas and no writing.
It gave some definite food for thought!