31 May 2015
Spotlight On: Eliza Henry-Jones
In the first of our Spotlight On series, we find out a few things about debut novelist Eliza Henry-Jones, whose first novel In The Quiet is out in July though Fourth Estate.
Eliza’s fiction has appeared in publications across Australia. Her background is in the Drug and Alcohol sector, using horses in therapy sessions with families and children. She’s currently completing creative writing honours exploring representations of bushfire trauma.
How old are you?
What state or territory do you live in?
What kind of writing do you do?
Novels and short fiction, mostly, which are generally set in rural Australia with a focus on relationships and loss, and often featuring horses!
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr – which is an amazing, unique book by an equally amazing and unique author.
How did you begin writing?
I started “writing” stories as soon as I worked out how to make words on paper (like a majority of writers out there, I think). Most of my stories were a weird hybrid of The Saddle Club meets The Magic Faraway Tree meets Deltora Quest.
How do you remain motivated?
Reading, mostly, but also by keeping busy. It sounds weird, but I find the more time I have, the more I procrastinate and mess around and the less I get done.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Music, often. But also stories, snippets of conversations, articles, artworks. Anything and everything.
Do you think where you live in Australia has influenced your writing?
I live in the hills outside of Melbourne. If you haven’t been there, it’s all mist and mountain ash and tree ferns and winding, narrow roads. There are kookaburras and frogs and lyrebirds. Living in such a rich, vital area is such a joy – it definitely helps me engage with my stories.
What is the best and worst piece of advice you’ve been given as a writer?
The worst advice I ever received was to plot everything before you write it. I know this works brilliantly for many people, but I am not a plotter. I find plotting difficult and immobilising.
The best advice I’ve ever received was – as a young person – to immerse myself in things outside of writing.
What piece of published writing are you most proud of? Why?
Probably my debut novel In the Quiet; I’ve never worked so hard on anything before!
Where can we find out more about you?
Image by: @katieruthie via Instagram