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CS Live: Nicole Trope

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August 15, 2013 04:18pmMessage by Culture Street

How did Nicole Trope make the move from high school teacher to author?

Nicole is a former high school teacher with a Masters Degree in Children's Literature. In 2005 she was one of the winners of the Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development. In 2009 her young adult novel titled I Ran Away First was shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize. In 2012, Nicole published The Boy Under the Table. Her most recent novel is Three Hours Late.

Our #CSLive chat with Nicole will be on Friday September 6 at 1pm. You can start posting questions now.

September 2, 2013 11:50amMessage by Alex

During the writing process how did you move out of your material and return to being a mother?

September 6, 2013 11:17amMessage by Rebecca

Hi Nicole! I love your work and have just finished the first draft of a novel. What are your tips for approaching publishers? Do you need to secure an agent first?

September 6, 2013 12:57pmMessage by stephenaturner

How did you get yourself from being a Text Prize finalist to actually getting yourself published? (I've done the first half of that, still working on the second half!)

September 6, 2013 12:59pmMessage by Michelle

Hey Nicole. I was wondering what research you did for Three Hours Late? I loved it!

September 6, 2013 01:00pmMessage by Jonny

how do you find the discipline to block out daily life to write... ?

September 6, 2013 01:03pmMessage by Culture Street

We are delighted to welcome Nicole Trope to our #CSLive chat. Nicole's latest book Three Hours Late has been selected for the Top 50 Books You Can't Put Down Get Reading! campaign.
Please join us in welcoming Nicole. You can start posting questions now.

September 6, 2013 01:08pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Culture Street wrote: "We are delighted to welcome Nicole Trope to our #CSLive chat. Nicole's latest book Three Hours Late has been selected for the Top 50 Books You Can't Put Down Get Reading! campaign.
Please join us in welcoming Nicole. You can start posting questions now."


Hi
Thanks so much for having me!

September 6, 2013 01:10pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Alex wrote: "During the writing process how did you move out of your material and return to being a mother?"

Hi Alex
The thing about children is that they are fairly self involved. They wouldn't really tolerate it if I wasn't present. My children are a little older now but pick up time is pick up time so I have to leave the world of my book. I try to take a little time to read the newspaper before I get to school so I have left my characters behind.

September 6, 2013 01:13pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Rebecca wrote: "Hi Nicole! I love your work and have just finished the first draft of a novel. What are your tips for approaching publishers? Do you need to secure an agent first?"

Hi Rebecca
Thank you so much. It can be a good idea to get yourself an agent and now you can pretty much submit your work to any agency around the world. They all have web pages that will let you know what they are looking for. At the moment there are also a lot of publishers that accept online submissions. My publisher-Allen&Unwin have The Friday Pitch which allows you to submit your work on a Friday.

September 6, 2013 01:15pmMessage by Alex

Hi Nicole,
How do you know when your book is ready to share with other people? Who should you ask to read your first draft?

September 6, 2013 01:18pmMessage by Nicole Trope

stephenaturner wrote: "How did you get yourself from being a Text Prize finalist to actually getting yourself published? (I've done the first half of that, still working on the second half!)"

Hi
It felt like a really long process but it usually does with publishing. I think it took me a total of about twelve years to get myself across the line. All the way through I had moments where I thought I had made it but something changed. The only thing I can advise is persistence and writing the best novel you possibly can. When I gave my parents my novel: The Boy Under The Table and they called up and asked when they could get more pages to read I knew I was onto something. After that it was just a matter of finding an agent which meant hundreds of submissions all over the world.

September 6, 2013 01:18pmMessage by Patrice

Do your characters become 'alive' to you whilst you are writing them?
When you finish the manuscript do they disappear never to be see again, or do they sometimes just re-appear when sitting at traffic lights?

September 6, 2013 01:21pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Michelle wrote: "Hey Nicole. I was wondering what research you did for Three Hours Late? I loved it!"

Hi Michelle
Thank you! I did quite a lot of research into domestic violence, reading hundreds of personal stories and studies online. I noticed after awhile that the same things kept coming up again and again and I was then able to write Liz's story. I also read up on all the tragic cases where men have harmed their children and the background psychology to that behaviour.

September 6, 2013 01:26pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Jonny wrote: "how do you find the discipline to block out daily life to write... ?"

Hi Jonny
Writing for me has always been a passion. The fact that I can now find my books on Amazon is still quite amazing to me. I try to organise my domestic life with a lot of routine so that I always have space in the day to work. I can get quite cranky when things change so I have to to be patient. When I am trying to finish a novel I will work at night as well. There are days when all goes smoothly with the work but there are also days when it feels like very hard work. It's like any other job really.

September 6, 2013 01:29pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Alex wrote: "Hi Nicole,
How do you know when your book is ready to share with other people? Who should you ask to read your first draft?"


Hi Alex
My work is usually ready only after I have edited again and again and again. I can go through a chapter once or twenty times. I know my work is ready when I forget to edit and get lost in the story. I usually show the novel to my mother who will suggest changes and then to my agent who will suggest more changes and then finally she will show it to the publisher.

September 6, 2013 01:30pmMessage by Michelle

Nicole Trope wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Hey Nicole. I was wondering what research you did for Three Hours Late? I loved it!"

Hi Michelle
Thank you! I did quite a lot of research into domestic violence, reading hundreds of personal stories and studies online. I noticed after awhile that the same things kept coming up again and again and I was then able to write Liz's story. I also read up on all the tragic cases where men have harmed their children and the background psychology to that behaviour."


Thanks! What sort of advice did you get early on in your writing career? Was some advice more valuable than others?

September 6, 2013 01:30pmMessage by Rebecca

Thanks for your reply Nicole! Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?

September 6, 2013 01:33pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Patrice wrote: "Do your characters become 'alive' to you whilst you are writing them?
When you finish the manuscript do they disappear never to be see again, or do they sometimes just re-appear when sitting at traffic lights?"


Hi Patrice
I suppose they do take on a life of their own. When the book is done I don't think of them as much but then it feels as though they are people I knew long ago but have lost touch with.I do sometimes think of them and wish them well.

September 6, 2013 01:34pmMessage by Jonny

also.. on the writing process... do you use plot charts or whiteboards to keep track of your story?

September 6, 2013 01:37pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Michelle wrote: "Nicole Trope wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Hey Nicole. I was wondering what research you did for Three Hours Late? I loved it!"

Hi Michelle
Thank you! I did quite a lot of research into domestic violence, reading hundreds of personal stories and studies online. I noticed after awhile that the same things kept coming up again and again and I was then able to write Liz's story. I also read up on all the tragic cases where men have harmed their children and the background psychology to that behaviour."


Thanks! What sort of advice did you get early on in your writing career? Was some advice more valuable than others?"


The only advice I really got was to edit again and again.What helped me was the encouragement I received from publishers and agents wanting to see more of my work. Even if they didn't take things any further I knew that I was getting better. Also reading the work of authors who had made it has always been my greatest pleasure.

September 6, 2013 01:38pmMessage by Alex

Do you have another book in the pipeline? How long does it take you to complete each novel?

September 6, 2013 01:39pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Rebecca wrote: "Thanks for your reply Nicole! Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?"

I have moments when I cannot get a scene to work and then I will go and do something domestic like the washing. While my hands are busy my mind wonders. Also for some reason the best way forward often appears when I am in the shower.

September 6, 2013 01:41pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Alex wrote: "Do you have another book in the pipeline? How long does it take you to complete each novel?"

Hi Alex
Allen&Unwin have actually bought my third novel and I have just finished the next book. It takes about six to eight months to get the novel to the point where it can be handed to the publisher.

September 6, 2013 01:43pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Jonny wrote: "also.. on the writing process... do you use plot charts or whiteboards to keep track of your story?"

I use scrap paper-lots of it. I am not very organised that way but I do write down little things about each character. I also have bits of paper all over the house with ideas and sentences I like. I have to make sure I collect them all so nothing gets left out.

September 6, 2013 01:49pmMessage by Alex

Nicole Trope wrote: "Alex wrote: "Do you have another book in the pipeline? How long does it take you to complete each novel?"

Hi Alex
Allen&Unwin have actually bought my third novel and I have just finished the next book. It takes about six to eight months to get the novel to the point where it can be handed to the publisher."


Thanks Nicole,
Do you have a daily writing routine? Six-eight months for a novel is efficient writing!

September 6, 2013 01:51pmMessage by Culture Street

Thanks for the terrific questions. We have 10 minutes to go before we say goodbye to Nicole. So final questions now.

September 6, 2013 01:56pmMessage by Rebecca

Fantastic! Thanks Nicole. Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?

September 6, 2013 02:01pmMessage by Culture Street

Thank you Nicole! We are out of time. Some fabulous answers to posted questions. Great discussion.
Stay tuned for our next #CSLive chat.

September 6, 2013 02:03pmMessage by Nicole Trope

Rebecca wrote: "Fantastic! Thanks Nicole. Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?"

People are fascinating to me. I always look at how they portray themselves and wonder what is really going on. I think that with FaceBook and all the other social media there are a lot of people with carefully constructed pictures of their lives. I want to know what is going on when the camera turns off. The news is also a source of inspiration. I will read an article and want to know what happened to the people concerned after the press stopped paying attention.

This discussion is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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