Just do it: Gwen Molnar on Writing

Just do it: Gwen Molnar on Writing

Posted on March 18 by Kyle in Interview, Kids
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Tell us about your book.

In Old Bones, Casey Templeton, the teenaged son of a high-ranking Mountie, is on an end-of-school field trip to the world-famous Tyrrell Museum, in Drumheller, Alberta, with his school chums. In his hotel room, unable to sleep, he hears guests in a nearby room plotting to rob the museum. Casey persuades the museum's director to believe him, and the museum employs him to keep a lookout for the people he has overheard. 

The plan doesn't work out quite as smoothly, and Casey soon finds himself in very deep water indeed.


What was the creative process like for you?

The process is very rewarding, and the routines are, by now, very comforting. My morning begins with a swim in our indoor lap pool, a time when I'm sure ideas relating to my story are percolating and thoughts are surfacing and working themselves out.  

A cosy table near the pool serves as a breakfast nook. Breakfast is cereal with nuts and fruit, toast and coldcuts, English muffins and jam -- that sort of thing. Although I use the analogy of ideas percolating, the coffee I drink, alas, is instant. What can I say?

Then around ten o'clock, when I'm at my freshest and most alert, I go upstairs to my study, sit down at my Apple desktop, turn it on, wait for the cursor to start blinking, and I begin typing. I continue until about noon, the ideas, plots, resolutions, conversations, dialogue, all appearing on the screen as fast as I can type. 


Describe your ideal writing environment.

The question presupposes that I have an ideal writing environment. Full disclosure: I don't! My study, where I write, is piled high with papers and notes and manuscripts and reference books. I'm not organized, I don't make an outline, keep a card file, make lists — I simply go to my desk, sit down, and just do it.


What inspired you to write your first book?

From age 6 I've been creating light verse and what is perhaps unkindly called nonsense verse — there's nothing trivial about the difficulty of writing good nonsense! For decades and decades I wrote only for myself, never for publication. I'm also a visual artist and have drawn and painted for years and years. Among my papers are drawings, say, of a tree, and verses about the tree and forests flowing out from the branches.  Verses just came to me and I would write them down.

Then something extraordinary happened. At age 58, while standing on a street corner in my Belgravia neighbourhood, in Edmonton, a flood of verse just came into head, and I began writing.

This stream of poetry just came to me, and I decided to try to reach a larger audience.