Here’s a chance to find out more about some of the writers we’ve come across at The Word Hut. If you’d like to be included just email us and we’ll get right back to you.
Meet The Writer – Chris O’Neil
Tell us something about Chris O’Neil .
I was born in Warwickshire,England, lived in Newfoundland for a short while & finally emigrated to Australia in 1974. I am married to an Aussie and have six children.
When and why did you start writing stories?
Having read, ‘A Night to Remember,’ by Walter Lord when I was sixteen, I became obsessed with boats, especially The Titanic & subsequently began writing adventure stories. Many based on the sea.
How would you describe your writing style?
An easy to read, casual style.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?
Literally everywhere. Tales my kids come home with and sometimes, the 6pm news. Some of my greatest inspiration comes from the patients I see at work. I work as a nurse & do aged care assessments and the stories I get told are wonderful!
What is your favourite time for writing?
Definitely the morning when the sun is shining and my energy is highest.
Where is your favourite location for writing and why?
I am lucky enough to have a beautiful writing shed in the garden.
What other writing do you do – non-fiction, poetry, etc?
I have been published in both fiction & non-fiction but cannot write poetry to save my life!
What is your earliest memory of writing a story?
Aged six when I wrote a lengthy tale about why the boy next door should marry me…it was later produced at my twenty-first!
Are you someone who plans their writing in detail or do you just launch into an idea and see where it goes?
I get an idea, character or first line come to me and away I go.
People say you should only write about what you know. What is your view on this?
With the access we have to the internet these days, researching something we don’t know is easy. However, I do believe any writing should be done with a genuine passion for the chosen topic.
Writing can be a lonely occupation or hobby. What is your advice for coping with this?
I am never lonely when writing. The characters that take up residence in my brain keep me entertained and outside of this, I am blessed that I have a very busy life with no time for loneliness.
It’s said that in the future everyone will be published but no one will be read. What is your view on this statement?
I cannot imagine that day will ever come.
How do you cope when your writing is ignored or rejected?
I allow myself a few minutes of feeling down and then grab a cup of coffee, read the winning story (if it was a competition) and reflect on where my work fell down.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you overcome this?
I am fortunate in that I have never experienced writer’s block.
Do you have a blog or website? For what reasons do you run these?
No blog or website yet but I am enrolled in an on-line course next week on how to create a website.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
They are very supportive and my husband is a great proof-reader.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their writing?
Douglas Kennedy. His novels are fast paced and full of mystery. He has a unique ability to convey great depth of emotion without falling back on clichés.
What has been your proudest moment so far with your writing?
The publication of non –fiction piece called, ‘On Reflection’ in an anthology titled, The Sound of Silence.’ A book written to assist women who have experienced miscarriage.
What do you hope to achieve in the future with your writing?
Publication of my novel, an almost finished story set in Western Australia in 1850.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
If you love writing, never ever give up!
Read one of Chris’ stories here: The Favour