Writing

My writing life is a strange beast. I often take extensive (mostly unplanned) breaks from it. Sometimes I’m obsessed with it. It is what it is. One thing I do know is that it’s a driving force in my life. It can feel like a high or a curse, but it’s there, all the time.

My writing background is as a playwright, but I’ve also, more recently, tried my hand at short story writing and have had several published. It’s a hard genre, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you get it right, which, for me, happens about 30% of the time. I’ve had short fiction published in several literary journals and magazines, including: Cottonmouth, Etchings (9 & 13), The Emerging Writer’s Festival Reader 2009, Beyond Words Anthology 2009, Ciao Magazine and Box Magazine. I also write for Australian Stage Online (as a theatre critic) and won the Ada Cambridge Prize for biographical short fiction in 2009, and was short-listed for the (UK) Fish Short Story Award in 2010. You can read a published flash fiction piece called The Beast here. And a feminist short story called Blood here.

My first novel Beat landed me a residency at Varuna in Sydney in 2008 and is due to hit bookshelves in early 2015. ย I’m working on my second now.

Below is an excerpt from Beat.

typewriter

Beat

Excerpt from Chapter Two

The force that split Claire Rossetti’s forehead open and obliterated her jaw was a man and he was lying crumpled and twisted half on her lap and half on the gear shaft, an arm flung casually across Adam as if they were old friends. The man was wearing a motorbike helmet painted orange and black. Adam’s head was resting on the window at a gentle angle as if he was deep in thought. Ahead was commotion. In the car with the new car smell of leather and polish a quiet calm was broken by an odd assortment of sounds that began to form a sort of curious harmony. Small, thick chunks of glass from the windscreen were falling everywhere, like spiked rain; over the mangled dash; from the body of the motorcyclist; from Adam’s mother’s head and shoulders; from the back seat and the roof, tinkling. There was a creaking sound, metallic and dull, as if the car itself was shaking out the glass and counting the broken bones – and there was a sonorous rasping sound that floated under all of this – an escaping of air through a hole that wasn’t there before and shouldn’t be there now. Soon the harmony faded away leaving one lone line of melody to carry on on its own; the rasping of air through a hole that shouldn’t be there; a body wrecked; requiem of a modern age.



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42 responses to “Writing

  1. Kellie

    Sounds fantastic Mon, I cant wait for it to come out so I can read some more !!! Goodluck

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  2. Thanks so much Kell! I was wondering if anyone had actually read the excerpts yet! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. John

    Very funny first excerpt, Simonne, and the second one is informative and interesting.

    If the rest of the book is as good, it’ll be a fun read.

    Like

  4. Thanks John. Itโ€™s great to start getting some feedback. Itโ€™s pretty hard spending so long on and being so close to something and finally getting to the stage where you have to get it out there and let people look at it! So your positivity is much appreciated!

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  5. an excellent read, I can’t wait to be able to get a copy of the book.
    Bill

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  6. You’re too kind sir!

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  7. Susan

    Very entertaining, thanks for letting me see your work mature. Keep sending me the emails so I remember to check in. I am hugely excited for you.

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  8. Thanks Susan! Will do, glad to have your support.
    When’s the travel writing starting??

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  9. I’d read it.
    Karrie

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  10. That’s what I need to hear! Thank you.

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  11. Susan

    When I travel some more! Haha. Am hoping for central Asia next with a quick duck into Iran but seems to be getting a tense. Need more money, my lotto plans do not seem to be panning out.

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  12. Damn lotto! Sounds exciting though!

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  13. Hope you will publish in germany aswell! am looking forward to it!

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  14. Your book sounds astonishing. Looking forward to hearing more about it as it grows, and reading it once it’s published.

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  15. Charlotte, that’s quite the compliment coming from you – I’ve just checked out your blog and it’s really wonderful! Thank you again.

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  16. loubird

    It’s worth it all just for this description…”had lips bigger than a camelโ€™s labia” LOL…

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  17. Welcome Loubird ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks, that’s one of my favourite lines…!

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  18. Simonne, you have to put me on any e-mail list you may have concerning updates on your books.

    “Does My Vagina Look Fat in this?” You’ll sell tons based on the title alone. And after reading that excerpt, I say you’ll sell tons more after people see the quality of writing inside.

    The “Beat” excerpt is incredible. After being involved in one (or a few) too many car accidents myself, I’ve always said that the sound of an accident really is something to be experienced. Can I sanely suggest that you’ve made it a beautiful song?

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  19. Music to my ears! Thank you for your great comments Chris. Yes, I do love that title. The book needs a serious re-draft, and is on hold while I work on Beat, so is some way off yet.
    I’m close to Beat right now, so your compliment lifted me up, a lot, thank you.

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  20. Oh Simonne, “Beat” sounds ever so good. I had seen the vagina excerpt but not this one. Is Beat the one you are working on now? I definitely want to read it. Puleeze!
    Annie

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  21. Annie, I like compliments from you!! I only added the Beat stuff in recently as it’s a fairly recent project. Yes, this is one I’m now working on. If you beg a little harder I might let you read the second draft when it’s done ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  22. You’re on! Maybe we’ll swap mss.?
    Annie

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  23. Oo! Yes please Annie!

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  24. Simonne, these books will fly off the shelves! When will they be out? (No pressure ;))

    PS: Great avatar ๐Ÿ˜€

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  25. Oh, that’s very lovely to hear, thanks Sunili! I need to finish them first! Sigh! I’m getting there! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  28. Ken Kiser

    The chapter 2 excerpt of BEAT grabbed me in a rare way. Though I’m between projects at the moment… I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to write. Not everyone’s prose does that to me.

    Nice Work!

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  29. Pingback: Drops of Blood « into the quiet

  30. Thanks Ken, I’m honoured indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

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  31. uppington

    So, I just read your excerpt from Beat, and I have to tell you I’m already thoroughly hooked. It gave me the rare and precious feeling that I’ve encountered a book that speaks straight to my soul. It’s the sort of excerpt that would make me go out to the car and scrounge under the seats to find enough change to buy the book. And then I would sit down somewhere and read it, ignoring all of my responsibilities until I was done. Can’t wait for this to be published.

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  33. Warren Herbu

    Hi there,

    The joy of internet surfing – i somehow washed into your website!

    Really enjoyed these excerpts and look forward to reading more of ‘Beat’!

    It took me a few ‘beats’ but then i realised why I knew your name – Many thanks for your support and review of “Quest” @ the Blue Room. : )

    Warren.

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  36. Alex Masterson

    Just finished reading ‘The Beast’! Absolutely fantastic; that perfect balance of darkness and black irony is exactly the kind of thing I aspire to, so no doubt I’ll be giving it a few more reads in the future ๐Ÿ˜€

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  37. Just read that excerpt…it was so good, I wish I wrote it.
    Anthony.

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  38. I just read the published flash fiction piece of your book and I loved it so much I wanna read the book now.. You really are a good writer.

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  39. following your blog, good stuff!

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