Fiction writing is all about inhabiting other lives for a period of time, so for this month’s Writers Ask Writers we’ve put a twist on this concept to ask ourselves the question: If you could jump into the life of another author, past or present, for one day, who would it be and why? Joining our Writers Ask Writers group this month as our guest blogger is Kirsten Krauth, author of Just a Girl and writer of the popular blog Wild Colonial Girl. Thanks for getting involved, Kirsten!
I’ve had great fun considering my answer to this question – although the day to be experienced is perhaps as crucial as the choice of author – I’m not sure I’d want to be anyone else on a low-key pyjama day or end up spending the afternoon with their accountant. So, presuming I can pick a day, who should I be? Should I be Margaret Atwood, who seems to have great fun developing interesting projects and whose imagination and literary genius I greatly admire? Or could I be Kate Morton, who is always off on interesting research projects, or Alice Walker and discover more about possessing the secret of joy. Perhaps I could go back in time instead, and become Virginia Woolf on a day when the Bloomsbury set were coming to tea? Or find out if Jane Austen was lonely, and how she managed to write and edit full length manuscripts by hand? I could be a Bronte sister, lost in my imagination while wandering the desolate moors, or perhaps Wordsworth, walking in the Lake District, which would certainly inspire me with my current book research. I could even be Lady Anne Clifford, diarist and celebrated patron of authors in the 1600s, on a day when one of her more exciting visitors – Ben Jonson or John Donne – came to call. However, I think for sheer intrigue I will go back to a day in 1990 on a crowded train and become JK Rowling the moment she met Harry Potter in her imagination for the first time – apparently without a pen, so with hours to simply sit and think through what would become the defining book series of a generation. Rowling says she started writing The Philosopher’s Stone the same night, but that those first attempts bear no resemblance to the finished book. How I’d love to see what that very first draft looked like! If you could jump into an author’s life for a day, who would you be and why? Here’s what my fellow writers had to say: Our guest Kirsten Krauth beautifully channels a songwriting genius. Dawn Barker would travel back in time to the shores of Lake Geneva, while Amanda Curtin would have a taste of the life of a prolific WA writer. Both Natasha Lester and Annabel Duckworth-Smith would journey to the US in the mid twentieth century, while Emma Chapman would also love to peer into the mind of one of the giants of US literature.