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The adaptable, multi-skilled writer, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, takes us through her process of creativity when it comes to writing in different genres. From picture books, to short stories, middle grade and young adult, Teena is finely attuned to shifting focus to suit her target audience. Thanks, Teena!
Beginner writers are often told to focus on one genre so publishers will know where they fit on their lists, booksellers will know where to shelve their titles and readers will know what to expect in a new release. From a marketing perspective this makes sense but by the time I heard the advice I’d been producing a party mix of titles for decades.
I’ve always written in different styles and genres, whether poetry and short stories for adults and children, picture books, chapter books, MG novels or the diverse range of non-fiction I worked on during my years in journalism. It was a bit late to change focus.
Besides, by that stage I had some insight into how my creative process works — and it isn’t to order. I’m also a firm believer that if something’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it so I’ve now added romance and women’s fiction to the publication mix.
I’m sometimes asked how I manage the shifts in writing for different audiences. It’s not a conscious effort so perhaps I do it instinctively.
It’s always the idea that determines the format, the genre and the readership. Then it’s a case of slipping into my lead character’s headspace and that can be anyone from preschooler to geriatric. It’s a bit like taking a role in a play, only I don’t have a script to work to at first. I let the story lead me where it wants to go.
It might sound a bit airy fairy. Be assured writing craft does come into it. I’m a picky self-editor when it comes to fine-tuning my manuscripts and I am conscious of who will be reading my story.
Monelli & Me is my first foray into YA fiction. It won’t be my last — another two are in the planning stages. There’s also a fantasy that’s been waiting too long to be written, I’ve started a couple of chick lit novels and I’m keen to try a cosy mystery series and a psychological thriller.
I’m sure this butterfly approach to writing makes it difficult to earmark where I ‘fit’ as a writer. Creatively, it’s where I’m happiest, and this to me is what matters.
Take Away Tip: There’s no ‘one size fits all’ for writers. If it suits your creative process to focus on writing to one market and building a strong author platform with a following of loyal readers, do that. Otherwise, write what you love, follow those eclectic ideas that tap you on the shoulder and see where they lead.
Monelli & Me
Who do you trust when those you love most let you down?
Kate has been living a happy family fantasy. Her mum has been keeping secrets. Now the father Kate didn’t know about is coming to Perth. He wants to take Kate to Brisbane to meet her terminally ill grandmother. Kate is on an emotional roller coast. She has to find out who she is and where she belongs. Only then can she find out if her friendship with newcomer Joshua Perrin can be something more.
Ebook – https://books2read.com/u/m2VZer
Teena writes quirky, whimsical books for children and her publications include picture books, junior fiction and MG novels. Her short stories and poetry for children and adults have appeared in magazines and anthologies and she has also worked as a journalist and editor on a diverse range of publications. Monelli & Me is Teena’s first novel for YA readers.
Follow Teena at these links:
Facebook: Teena Raffa-Mulligan Author
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