Writing a Book Likened to Mountain Climbing

Author James Moloney’s persistence has spearheaded him towards the launch of his 50th book ‘The Love That I Have’. He compared ‘writing a book’ to ‘climbing up a mountain’. ‘You can’t run up a mountain… you take it step-by-step.’ Also to the gasps and delight of audiences, he discussed the process behind the process — from seed to inception to publication. Mostly recently a YA writer, James Moloney has moved seamlessly into the adult fiction world. Already at second print run at pre-release, this historical narrative will have readers holding their breath and grateful for the chance to view an emotive snippet in time.

When James was younger, he tried ‘flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ (pantser) but found it difficult. Each time he started a book he couldn’t move past the first couple of chapters. It was after continued attempts, he finally tried planning (plotting). In about a page and a half he could write what his book was about, which became his blueprint for his first draft.

It was easier for him to plan (plot) a book with an actual ending. It gave him direction and resource to work towards. While the ending may change he knew where his story was heading. However, even when he planned, if a plot collapsed he would put the manuscript aside and do something completely different eg., write an Aussie Nibble, a Chomp.

As a storyteller it gave him an innate sense of pacing which worked well with his planning process. After the first draft he’d continue to flesh out his story in subsequent redrafts. He said being prepared to rewrite work, re-rest it, re-edit with honesty and critique led to stronger manuscript drafts. Patience was essential in writing a book because of the nature of the craft and its process.

Good characters were crucial but James found his stories were more plot driven. ‘You need a good strong story to tell… yes readers are interested in character, but it’s what the characters do,’ that keep readers. ‘The plot drives along when the characters do things, fail, do more things, fail.’ Your characters needed to be challenged to keep readers hooked.

Those who attended Jame Moloney’s official launch of ‘The Love That I Have’ were chaffed to find out about ‘the seed to inception’.

Seed to Inception  ‘The Love That I Love’

James Moloney discussed the process of his latest book, an adult fiction, of how a scene in a movie stayed with him some 40 years. It was a short section of a scene, in this little known movie ‘The 25th Hour’, which was the catalyst for his latest book. That single seed of an idea lead to research, photos of settings, characters, costumes, character names appropriate to the time and problems faced during that period, which officially led to the production and celebration of his 50th book.

The 25th Hour‘ is a 1967 anti-war drama film, starring Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi. It was produced by Italian producer Carlo Ponti and directed by French director Henri Verneuil.

Photographs of Margot Frank with her well-known sister Anne Frank infused his protagonist’s character traits, behaviours, experiences and difficulties faced.

Photos of the buildings at the Camps. And transposing some similarities and characteristics from Margot Frank to his book’s character Margot in ‘The Love That I Have.’

The letters full of longing and love which were saved and a crucial artefact set in his story.

The launch of James Moloney‘s latest novel ‘The Love That I Have’ from Harper Collins was at Brisbane Square Library, Friday, 25 May, 2018, 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

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