Back in October, Caroline Graham was chosen from 120 entrants to be QWC’s Year of the Novel Online Blogger, winning the chance to write a novel in a year with the wonderful Alison Goodman and the AWM Online Learning Centre.

Caroline’s been settling in and hard at work. Her posts will appear both here and on the QWC blog once the new site is up and running (launching soon).

Follow Caroline through the ups and downs of writing, share her experiences, and post your comments! Without any further ado… here’s Caroline!

How do you do?

Hi.  How do you do? 

Unfortunately, as this is a blog, I cannot engage many of the social niceties of human introductions.  I can’t shake your hand, or invite you in for a nice cup of tea. Or tell you how much I like that lovely sweater you’re wearing.

But allow me, at least, to introduce myself.

My name’s Caroline Graham but my friends and family call me Caro.  The good people at QWC have allowed me to enrol in Kim Wilkins’ Year of the Novel course and blog about my experiences.  I’m not sure what it was about my application that impressed them but I do boast the following nerd-cred:

•    More cardigans than the average nanna
•    A compulsive cross-wording habit
•    Prior experience vandalising in the name of good grammar
•    Enough books at home to make me worry one day I’ll be found under a pile of Robert Frost, my toes eaten off by my cat.

My background is actually in journalism and I’m currently teaching at Bond University but I’ve always loved creative writing.  I’ve just finished writing a collection of short stories and it seemed like the next step would be writing a novel – I was just a little scared to take it on my own.

But now, with a whole online community of other writers going through the same doubts, fears and triumphs, I’m going to give it a shot.  I can’t tell you too much about the project itself because the ideas are still a little new and tender, but it will be a magical realist work about a man who suffers from forgetlessness. A sort of inverse amnesia, at first his incredible memory had seemed like a blessing. However, he finds himself gradually crushed by the weight of every sad, lonely and terrible thing he has ever seen and heard until, unable to sleep, eat or drown out the memories that tumble around his head, he embarks on a journey he hopes will finally help him forget.

I’ll try to be as honest as possible about my writing process, even if it means revealing embarrassing errors and panic attacks and shameful word counts. And if that makes you feel better about your blunders, great.  And if you share your own experiences in the comments – even better. Hemingway said that “writing, at its best, is a lonely experience” but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, knowing someone else out there is as crazy as you are, is just about enough.

So yes. Nice to meet you.  I’m looking forward to being crazy together.

Oh, and I was serious about your sweater. It looks delightful on you.

The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is Australia and New Zealand’s only guide to the writing industry. While providing submission and contact details for the print media and publishing industry.

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