I’ve been travelling again. This time all the way to Bribie Island to meet up with Talitha Kalago. In keeping with Talitha’s diverse writing talents I have travelled by Zombie; painfully slow and a bit difficult to steer. I’ll find some other form of transport for the return journey. Anyway back to Talitha. I thought it would be fun to spend some time with her in a very quiet and little known spot on the Island. I’m sure it’s known by all the local fishermen but not many tourists wander off in this direction. Talitha is a very hard working writer so this spot of naughtiness is my treat to her; hence the title of the blog.
I probably shouldn’t have ditched the Zombie – it could have carried the esky, the inflatable beds and parasols for me! I want to set up camp before Talitha arrives. I’ve asked her to meet me at Buckleys Hole conservation park, just off Tully Street. A little path leads through the conservation area to the beach. Because it is on the south-west corner of Bribie Island this beach is protected from the wind and is a little slice of heaven.
I was bound to forget something. We have to blow up the inflatables ourselves – the pump is at home! Exhausted by the effort we fall gratefully onto the beds, adjust the parasols and launch into the iced coffee and ice-cream.
It’s been about eighteen months since I last saw Talitha in person and she’s been a busy little bee. She says she’s working on way too many things then goes on to explain in more detail, “Under my pen name, Zaide Bishop, I am writing a series called Bones of Eden for Harlequin Publishing. I’ve almost finished book five in the series, so I have two more to go. I am also launching a YA series called Lifesphere INC this year under Talitha Kalago. When I have any spare time, I am editing first drafts of a space opera (Bonescum) and supernatural thriller (The Hungry People), both under Talitha Kalago.” Busy or what? I now feel decidedly inadequate.
Talitha goes on to tell me about her most recent success. “Last year I had my first novel published—a standalone historical romance under the pen name Zaide Bishop with Harlequin. I also won a competition by Crime Writer’s Australia. The prize was tickets to genrecon in Sydney and $500 for airfare and accommodation. It was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend genrecon to everyone writing genre fiction. It will be in Brisbane this year, and launches on the 11th of October.”
Excuse us for a moment the ice cream is melting.
Whilst we spoon semi-liquid ice cream Talitha manages to tell me about her best moment as a writer so far. “Signing an eight book contract with Harlequin Publishing and signing a contract with a big New York literary agency. I also love when I introduce myself to people and they’ve heard of me—that’s one of the nicest feelings in the world. Unfortunately one of my worst moments as a writer was losing that contract with the big New York literary agency. Having come so far then having to go back to where I started was devastating; like some sadistic game of snakes and ladders. Not that anyone was to blame, mind you. It’s just how writing careers are.”
Talitha’s career is humming along rather well despite the potholes so I asked her what words of wisdom she would give to an aspiring writer.
“Write every day, read every day, get yourself a quality office chair—something with all the ergonomic bells and whistles. Good brain function requires plenty of quality sleep and good food. Carbs, omega three and the vitamins and nutrients from a variety of vegetables will take you to a new level of creativity and productivity.”
Stuffed full of all the things guaranteed to stymie a writing career we walk toward the sea. As we stand at the waters’ edge in the late afternoon sun I ask the big question – why do you write? Talitha smiles and says, “I write for the same reason I eat and sleep, if I don’t after a while, it gets too uncomfortable to continue without it.”
To discover yet more of Talitha’s talents visit her website http://www.traditionalevolution.com