Lynette Duffy - Interview (August 2017)
Why do you want to be a published author?
My books so far have been self-published.
My Friend Inchy was written while I was studying a Pre-school Teacher’s Aide course. It is about a young boy, Timothy, who desires the companionship of a pet. Timothy finds a unique pet, forms an unbreakable bond and learns some valuable lessons along the way.
Monster was written after my son went to school. In primary school, he was a victim of bullies, just as I and my husband had been. I believed there had to be a starting point in young children’s lives, where the progression of bullying could be slowed, if not stopped, so I wrote a book that would create the opportunity to enable discussion in a calm environment of what bullying is, why it happens, fear of non-acceptance, emotions and coping techniques.
To be published by a traditional publisher would be the zenith of my writing career. It would mean I have grown as an author, with the assistance of all the wonderful people who make up CKT, to become a more skilful author.
How long have you been writing?
All my life I have treasured being able to read and write. In my younger years, it was a form of escape from the many undesirable things that happened in my everyday life. By the time I was in high school, my English teachers began to take interest, always wanting to read the next short story or play I was writing.
In Year 10, my English teacher encouraged me to enter an Australia wide short story competition. I was speechless when I won third prize, yet I had the feeling my parents did not value my achievement. I did not let this discourage me. I kept writing but never showed it to anyone after leaving school, until I was encouraged once again, when I was studying the Pre-school Teacher’s Aide course. For a second time the flood gates for my creative abilities were opened and encouraged. I realised that illustrated children’s books were the genre for me.
Recently, with the encouragement of fellow CKT critique group members, I have started to branch out into poetry as well, with my first piece submitted for the upcoming CKT anthology to be published later in 2017.
Strength, inspiration and happiness are my key abilities in life, so I want to bring strength and happiness to other lives with my writing and for readers to be inspired by my books. Just like the classic books by Beatrix Potter, Mem Fox, Kym Lardner & Lewis Carroll, to name just a few, I want my books to be something I can leave behind after I am gone; a little bit of me that I will feel proud that I have achieved some good in my life and maybe helped others along the way.
How did you celebrate your first publication?
When my books were finally delivered from the publisher, my husband, son & I opened a bottle of champagne to toast the occasion. I followed that with a book signing and meet the author session at a local bookstore who is still stocking and selling my books today.
I am constantly being told of how my books are being read & enjoyed around Australia and the world by young children every day when, in my daily travels on public transport and working in my retail job, I read emails and hear favourable comments back from all the amazing people who have been inspired by my books.
I feel it has been a personal achievement, that some local schools are benefitting from using my books as fundraisers to air-condition their libraries.
How would you describe your writing style?
My style of writing is Narrative.
I write from the heart about personal experiences in life that I witness happening around myself and others. Sometimes they are written for adults to read to children so that it gives the adults and children a safe avenue for open and frank discussions, like bullying in Monster.
In my stories, I endeavour to leave a message in them that will challenge the reader to a journey of discovery, not only of their own feelings, but of others as well.