I'm a novelist, poet, critic and sometimes writer for and about the theatre. Each of these things keeps interrupting the others. My poetry and criticism have won prizes. I'm the author of the popular and critically acclaimed fantasy quartet The Books of Pellinor, the Gothic fantasy Black Spring and The River and the Book, a forthcoming speculative fiction novel. In English, my novels are published with Walker Books (UK and Australia), Candlewick (US) and Penguin Books Australia. I have self-published two novels as Kindle ebooks: the literary memoir Navigatio and Jimmy Wonderspoon, a story that I wrote for my 10-year-old daughter. Presently I'm writing The Bone Queen, a prequel to the Books of Pellinor. You can find out more at alisoncroggon.com. And you can follow me on twitter at @alisoncroggon.

Why "Reimkennar"? It's an old word for sorceress that stems from old Germanic: literally "rhyme knower". Seems like a good title for a fantasy novelist slash poet slash whatever.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How I wrote Black Spring

I have a guest post at the website for Readings, Melbourne's iconic independent bookshop, part of a regular and interesting series in which Readings asks writers about how their books were written. I really enjoyed writing this one, and it ended up rather longer than planned, with bonus photographs. The story of the story of Black Spring begins:

It’s hard to know when a book begins. Perhaps Black Spring began when I was six years old and running over the bone-strewn turf of the Cornish moors with my sisters. I remember the boundless feeling of freedom: I loved the wind rushing over the bare hills, the granite tors that thrust out of the ground. The moors were my favourite place in the world then. Or maybe it began when I first read Wuthering Heights in my early 20s, and thought idly: I’d like to write a book like that one day. Or maybe it was in my early teens, when I first read Emily Brontë’s poetry.

Maybe a novel begins when you write the first words. I am good at starting novels: I have around five unfinished works on my computer, some quite substantial. Some of them end up being written, some of them don’t. They always begin with an image, or a feeling, or a voice or a thought. I follow this along for as long as it seems to last, and then I usually run out of ideas. I put it aside and wait to see if it is actually alive.
Black Spring began like that. 

Read the rest at Readings. 

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