Frequently Asked Questions

Is it weird that I feel super cool to need one of these pages?? Like people actually want to know things about me…That’s awesome. I love you people! These are all real questions that I have been asked by multiple people. Hence the “frequently” in the title. See! See! The Girl With Words knows what words mean. She’s TOTALLY got this whole ‘writing’ thing down.



Where do you get your ideas?

I’ve been lucky in that so far, I haven’t struggled for ideas. At any given time there are seven or eight stories in my head just waiting to be told. My problem is in narrowing them down to THE idea that I am going to run with, and then turning that whimsical idea into something tangible. Into words on the page. That’s where the work comes in. As someone awesome* once said, the conception is easy. The birthing is hard. So I guess I’d say I get my ideas from everywhere and anywhere. A lyric, a TV show, a book, a word, a name, a dream, nature, something that happened at work, a fleeting comment, people, a picture, a melody. Ideas are easy. Using them effectively is hard.



Do you have a day job?

I sure do. I teach tiny humans how to read and write and do other cool stuff like shoot lasers out of their palms. But mainly the reading and writing thing. And also math.



Who is your favourite author?

This is such a tough question, you guys. Trying to answer it hurts me.

I honestly don’t have *a* favourite author but I really love Jodi Picoult, JK Rowling, John Marsden, Suzanne Collins and Laurie Halse Anderson.



What is your favourite book?

STOP WITH THE IMPOSSIBLE QUESTIONS. I CANNOT PICK JUST ONE AND TRYING TO DO IT IS MAKING ME CRY. STOP MAKING ME CRY.

Here’s a not-so-short and very incomplete list:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare



Killing Aurora by Helen Barnes



Harry Potter (1-7, but particularly 6 and 7) by JK Rowling


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Basically everything Jodi Picoult has ever written, but in particular, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact, My Sisters’ Keeper, Salem Falls and Keeping Faith.

Unbearable Lightness by Portia DeRossi

Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff

The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Winter by John Marsden

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Girl, Interrupted by Suzannah Kaysen

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

The Princess Bride by William Goldman…



…I could do this all day. I love big books and I cannot lie.



Where can I read your work?

Everything I have written and have made available for the public can be found in the Literary SuperStar tab on this blog. That is the only place that my work can be read in full for the time being.



Are you on Wattpad/Facebook/
Tumblr/Goodreads?

No, no, no YES and YES! I am on Goodreads. I am currently trying to make myself actually USE Goodreads, but I have a profile there! Follow me and harass me to actually update :p 


Updated April 3: I am now also on Tumblr.  I am everywhere. You can't escape me.



Can I share a link to your blog on my Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr?

OF COURSE and I LOVE YOU.



Do you have any writing tips?

I’m not sure why you’d want tips from me, buuuuut I wrote some anyway. Thanks for making me feel special! I may do a follow up post in the future, if people want it. We’ll see.



Will you beta read for me?

I get asked this a lot, which is super cool! I feel so honoured that you guys trust me and value my opinion. I am happy to beta read, but I will always ask you some questions first to make sure we are a good fit. In particular, I will ask about your book/story (no point in me beta reading if it’s a genre I know nothing about!) and I will ask about your needs and expectations. As in, do you want me to read through for the plot, do you want a line by line and/or do you have any particular concerns that you want me to comment on? I ask these questions to work out if I can give your work the attention and commitment it deserves. If I can’t, it wouldn’t be fair for me to say yes and end up disappointing you. Hopefully I can help, but it’s not always practical. I hope you all understand that Xo



Can I beta read for you?

This is another question I get asked a lot and it makes me smile so big. Thank you for wanting to help out and for being so keen to read my work! I appreciate it so much. However I already have some fantastic beta readers who may throw cupcakes at you if you try to take their place. I know some writers have tons of beta readers, but I feel the most comfortable with a small group of people who I know really well and who know me really well. Once you start adding in too many people it becomes difficult to know which path to go down when opinions vary. I may need more in future, but for right now, I am all beta-ed up. Thank you for the offer Xo



Have you been published?

No, but hopefully one day!



What about self-publishing? Why don’t you self-publish the stories you are posting on your blog?

I love the people who ask me this because they are essentially saying they will pay for something that I am currently giving them for free. That is awesome. Foolish on their part, but awesome. Thank you.

I have done a lot of research into traditional publishing vs self-publishing, and based on that I have decided that self-publishing is not the right path for me at this time. I have a huge amount of respect for all the indie authors out there and I love my Kindle with the fire of a thousand suns, but right now I am not in a position to self-publish. I may do a blog post on my reasons for this in future since it’s one I get asked a lot.

Furthermore, the stories I am posting on my blog are not at a publishable standard. For the most part they have had no time in the drawer** and are written purely for funzies. Obviously everything I write is for funzies because I love writing, but these were written with the knowledge that I would never try to have them published. This means that I did not dedicate as much time on them as I would if I were trying to publish them. Obviously I still tried to make them interesting and well-written, but I felt it would not be an effective use of my time to give them the full Cubbins treatment. They were only Cubbinized a little. Truth be told Silent Scream started life as a story exclusively for me and my betas. No one else was ever meant to read that. Luckily my lovely betas convinced me to share. They are pretty freaking awesome.



Well can you traditionally publish the stories on your blog?

Haaaa I love this follow up question. If only it were that easy. The short answer is no, I could not (not the same as would not) because I know they are not strong enough to be picked up by an agent and a traditional publisher. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest is these are not my genre. You have to read deeply in your genre in order to write it well, and I don’t read this genre deep enough to do these kinds of stories justice (referring to Silent Scream and Orange Sky). So I am posting them on my blog to hopefully gain an army of fans so that when I do query agents down the line I can be all, “LOOK! PEOPLE TOTALLY LIKE ME!” You guys do like me, right?? RIGHT?!



Where can I find out about the publishing process?

There’s a ton of great information out there, but some of my favourite blogs and websites about publishing and writing are:




Query Shark (Also by Janet Reid, who is the Jared Leto of the literary world***)








Reasoning With Dana (Same author as RWV. Genius.)





Just to name a few!



WHY ARE YOU SO EVIL?

Maybe she’s born with it.

Maybe it’s Maybelline.



IF YOU LOVE YOUR CHARACTERS AS YOU CLAIM TO THEN WHY DO YOU HURT THEM SO MUCH??

I am a terrible person.



Why do you love Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds To Mars so much?

Are you new here?

I kid, I kid…Here’s Thirty Reasons Why.

Annnnnd here’s a ton of other blog posts about why! Enjoy!



Where can I read about your adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars?

There are two tabs about my Adventures on Mars. One is about Mars in Australia and one is about Mars in America. Within each tab is a post about every show, every Artifact screening and every Meet and Greet that I attended. I know. I know. I’m obsessive.




(That Time Thirty Seconds To Mars Came To Australia And Jared Leto Put My Design On Official Mars Merch)



(That Time I Went To America To See Thirty Seconds To Mars And Shannon Leto Called Me Namey And Jared Leto Told Me The Shirt That I Designed And He Made Was Fucking Amazing)



How do you work with those cute faces staring at you?


The struggle is so real, ya’ll.




Have more questions? Tweet me any time at @GirlWithWords.

Thanks for visiting!



*Jared Leto, obviously.

** The metaphorical drawer where stories go to marinate.

*** As in I respect and value her opinion above all others when it comes to advice on writing, querying and publishing