Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I really love the boutique bookstores that have sprung up in Perth over the last few years, defying the worldwide trend. Similarly to our emerging classy small bar scene, Perth is doing well in this regard. Beaufort Street Books has kept its clientele happy with monthly talks by authors, married with a talk on wine to get the evening started. There is wine to taste too, an essential ingredient, and then the guest author is interviewed. The crowd is intimate and the bookstore is exclusively open for the event and confirmed attendees. Contact Beaufort Street Books to get on their mailing list so you don't miss out. One of the best parts of being in a small group is that when the author is interviewed it feels like it is a conversation with each of us. Sometimes attendees forget that this is not the case, and unwittingly hijack the interviewer's role with questions of their own, before the main talk is done. Everyone gets a turn to ask a question at the end if they wish, and last night Jon Doust proved to be a consistently amenable and interesting storyteller. I was interested in his approach to the writing process. He recommended fresh fruit, exercise, goal setting (such as 30,000 words in 3 weeks), and intensity. For his recent book he worked in three sets of two hour blocks a day, interspersed with physical activity. For his first book, Boy on a Wire, he wrote sitting on a fitball. It was also good to see other local authors in the room, supporting a fellow WA author. I asked Amanda Curtin for hints about her process, and she referred me to Woolf's book about the psychology of writing. I think there's something in it - I never seem to have as clean a house as I do when I have an impending deadline! However the time spent procrastinating (and dusting) can be well spent if it allows your conscious mind to catch up with what has been permeating underneath. And now, having said that, I have an end of August deadline to work towards.