Let’s start from the beginning. Who were the writers who inspired you to become an author?
This is a very difficult question to answer! I have always loved reading, but it didn’t occur to me for a long time that there were reasonably ordinary people who were authors and that I might be one of those people. So, while my list of loved authors is long and ever growing, more than anything it was me finding my own confidence. Not to mention discipline and time.
What is the very first piece of fiction you ever wrote?
In my twenties I wrote a dreadful allegory for a friend who was going through a hard time. And then, years later, I wrote a short satire of suburban existence. And then, year and years after that, I began to write in earnest.
What is the hardest part of writing, in your experience?
The life of every writer involves a great many rejections. I can’t say I’ve learnt to deal with them well and sometimes they knock the wind out from underneath me. Beyond that, I have grown to love editing and now find it easier to mould something I’ve written rather than to push the words and the plot forward in a fresh piece.
Tell me about your book. What was the inspiration behind it?
Sydney might be Australia’s largest city, but really it is a conglomeration of sometimes very tribal villages. So, at the beginning of the story when Zo crosses the bridge, in many ways she feels she is travelling to an entirely different place. And once she is there, who knows what might happen?
Think back at your debut book. How did you approach the ‘getting published’ process? Any tips, resources that you can share with our readers?
Really, the only tip is perseverance. Cultivate resilience. Hold onto hope. Keep learning, keep going!
How did you find the publishing process, in general?
The Luna Press process has been very straightforward and easy. I’ve loved it. It isn’t always so.
What do you think is the status of publishing today? I’m referring to issues such as representation, diversity, etc.
Publishing seems to be taking small, slow steps towards representation and diversity. But it isn’t the most adventurous of industries and often it feels as if it is only interested in writing which falls into a fairly narrow band.
What is your take on social media, when it comes to being an author? Do you think that an author should have at least one channel of communication with the readers? A confession. I find social media overwhelming. I’m a naturally shy person and I’m no better on social media. But yes, I do think having a channel of communication between author and reader is a good idea.
What do you think about Awards in publishing?
This year, I’m a judge for the Aurealis awards – Australian awards for science fiction, fantasy and horror. I see if as a way to be part of the community. If awards are inclusive and celebratory then they can be worthwhile. But I don’t think they’re the best measure of success.
What are you working on at the moment?
Two things. One is something climate change speculative and dystopian and, maybe, a little bit hopeful. The other is pure fantasy about a city which has sprung up around a giant dragon’s pawprint and the search for a missing brother.
If you had to recommend an author and/or a book, who would it be?
Arkady Martine’s Teixcalaan duology and Claire North. I’m reading Notes from the Burning Age at the moment, and it is wonderful. But the list of favourites is long!
Dorothy-Jane Daniels is an Australian author who lives in Sydney. Her novel, Green Jay and Crow, was released by Rebellion Publishing in 2018.
Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways. She was also a judge for the 2018 Aurealis Awards.
Find her at djdaniels.net and, every now and then, on twitter: @DorothyJaneD.
When Zo’s campervan leaves her stranded in an unfamiliar part of Sydney, she impulsively decides to stay at a bed and breakfast while repairs are being made. As the days stretch into weeks, Zo begins to feel stuck. There are signs the house is not quite as it seems. The place shifts between decay and normality and at times she senses ghostly presences and echoes of other lives. Something, or someone, is keeping her there. Zo knows that she must find a way to leave before she too becomes only an echo. Watch the YouTube Book Launch here.