Writerly Lifestyle

Developing Unique Character Voices & Finding the Right Agent with Bianca Marais

September 20, 2022 David Season 2 Episode 25
Writerly Lifestyle
Developing Unique Character Voices & Finding the Right Agent with Bianca Marais
Show Notes Transcript

5 Minute Writer
Bianca Marais Website
Connect with Bianca on Twitter!
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Podcast
Connect with David on Twitter


  1. Use a variety of ways to develop character voice
  2. The importance of a great agent-author relationship
  3. Where The Shit Noone Tells You About Writing podcast is headed

In this week's author interview, I'll be talking to Bianca Marais. She is the author of Hum If You Don't Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh and most recently The Witches of Moonshyne Manor. She teaches at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021. 

She is the co-host of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published. 

Tweet me @DavidRGwyn

WLIS 2225 BM

Bianca Marais: [00:00:00] There were times in a scene where I lost track of who the hell's head I was supposed to be in, or perhaps I wrote the scene from the wrong person's perspective. And I had to go back to the drawing board and say, okay, who's.

Got the highest stakes in the scene. 

David Gwyn: Have you ever struggled to really nail down a character's voice? Do you wish all your characters talk to you like other writers claim theirs do last week, I shared an interview with literary agent, Kimberly Brower, founder of Brower, literary management. She said that the number one thing that draws her to a project is voice.

How do you do that? Well, the link for that interview is in the description, but today's guest might be able to help us with that. I'm David Gwyn, a writer with a recently finished manuscript, wondering how to get traditionally published during this season of the podcast. I'm asking agents, book, coaches, editors, and authors, how they suggest writers go from the end on a first draft to signing a publishing deal.

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved home. If you don't know the words, if you want to make God laugh and her newest book, the witches of moonshine manner, she's [00:01:00] the co-host of the popular podcast. The shit, no one tells you about writing, which aimed at helping emerging writers become published in this episode, beyond the lookout for the ways in which Bianca develops unique voices for six important characters in her new novel, let's get to the interview.

 Bianca, welcome back to the interview series. I'm excited to talk with you again. Thanks so much for being here. 

Bianca Marais: David, always a enjoyed to chat to you. Thanks for inviting me. 

David Gwyn: So I, I wanna talk about your new book and the future of this shit. No one tells you about writing podcasts, but first I wanna start by saying congratulations on the new release of the Witches of Moonshyne Manor out August 23rd.

It's gotta be exciting. 

Bianca Marais: Thank you very much. Yes, it is. It. This book was super fast tracked. So for listeners, most books that you see coming out on a certain date were kind of sold to the publisher. Sort of 18 to 24 months before cuz there's a long lead up time to these kinds of things.

But this book, you know, I only finished it in sort of the [00:02:00] July of 2021, which is a year ago. And then we sold it in the October and then they told us that they were, you know, fast tracking it for publication, which is wonderful, but also a little bit terrifying. Cause you normally have a bit of time to prepare yourself.

David Gwyn: I was wondering about that, cuz I think last time we spoke, you said. That you had some news that you couldn't tell me yet. And so I was, I was wondering if this was what that was, cause it, it did feel maybe not, not fast necessarily. It was a whole year, but like, it definitely surprised me that this is coming up so quickly.

Is there anything that you had to do? I mean, were you fast tracking, edits along the way too, or did all that feel kind of natural? 

Bianca Marais: Yeah. It felt like it happened even faster because although we sold the book in the October, I think we were only able to announce the deal in sort of February. I think if I'm not mistaken, cuz there was some contract issues backwards and forwards and then of course we announced it and then it was like, and the book's coming out in August so yeah, we did.

We, we went through editing very quickly, but there were [00:03:00] very few edits. You know, my editor at Mira was very happy with the. There were a few things, nothing big, nothing structural and you know We've just been doing everything along the way, super, super fast in terms of the cover and in terms of copy editing and proofreading and getting the audio book out and that, so I've been really, really impressed with Mira, which is an imprint of Harlequin, which is an imprint of Harper Collins.

So they they've really done an amazing job of it. And you know, it's quite lovely to sell something and have it come out. So, so soon instead of, you know, most times while you're talking about a book, you've forgotten about it, cuz you're already two books later. So this is, this is different for me.

David Gwyn: Yeah.

That's awesome. And so, so before we get too far, just give us a quick overview of the Witches of Moonshyne Manner. What it's about. 

Bianca Marais: Yeah. So it's about six octogenarian witches. I think the youngest one is 79. She's the baby of the group and the wild one. The hellrazor they all live together in moonshine manner and distillery.

They run a distillery. That's how they make their [00:04:00] money. And at the beginning of the book, the one character who's clairvoyant can see trouble heading their way. And so she sounds the alarm to galvanize all the witches and they discover that they are behind on their payments, which Queenie, who is the head witch has kind of let things slide and the townsmen are now coming for them.

And, you know, the book is about how. They fight back against the, the patriarchy and these men who've always been coming for them generation after generation. And there's a lovely young Tik-Toker called per Seny. She's 15 years old. She's there to fight the patriarchy. And she's just a lovely breath of fresh air.

Very politically correct with a bunch of, you know, senior woman who are not so politically correct. so a lot of madcap fun ensues. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, that that's fun. Yeah. It's a great read. I'm really enjoying it. So is, feels slightly different, maybe similar thematically to what you've written in the past, but maybe like a different genre.

What drew you to this project? 

Bianca Marais: Yeah, very much a different [00:05:00] project for me, you know, during COVID in 2020, I was. Chatting to a ton of book clubs, so many book clubs and what I was so touched by is the way in which women, even during a pandemic, when they were all separated from each other, were finding ways to build sisterhood and community.

And this. A lot of the book clubs I spoke to were women in their seventies and eighties who were having to learn technology for the first time they were using zoom for the first time, just so that they could still speak to each other and have some sense of, you know community during such a difficult time.

And that really got me thinking because. I chatted to a lot of men. I know, and no men I know were doing zooms just to, you know, keep up the bros or to be like, how are you doing dude? Whereas women were doing this a lot. They were doing it for knitting clubs and writing groups and for book clubs. And so, you know, that's something I really wanted to celebrate the way that women can uplift [00:06:00] each other in the way they can come together.

For each other in difficult times. And at the time there was a lot happening in the world that was making my blood boil, seeing transgender people, being made targets, seeing, you know, the patriarchy coming for women again, which we've seen now. The manifestation of that in terms of Roe versus Wade. And I wanted to write about these things, but I didn't want it to be a depressing, angry book.

I wanted it to be fun, and I really wanted to flex my creative muscles. I mean, all writing is creative. All writing requires your imagination, but there's something about fantasy that just forces you. Let go of all these other constraints that have always, you know, been an issue when it comes to writing, like, is this realistic?

Is this plausible, et cetera, et cetera. Mm. And so I just wanted to have fun while tackling all these things. And, and that's how this book came about. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, that that's it makes so much sense as I am kind of reflecting on, on the, the reading of it like that, that all, all those kind of big ideas [00:07:00] seem to be playing out in, in your, in your work.

So take us back a little bit. You seems like you have the spark for this idea. What was, what happened next? Like, I mean, did you do any outlining, did you just dive in and start 

Bianca Marais: writing? The first thing I did was world building, because I was very aware that not having written in the genre before I would.

World building to be a challenge. And I had to make the manor come alive first because the manor is probably the biggest character in the book, because pretty much everything takes place within the manor. And so I had a wonderful friend of mine, Brendan Fisher, do floor plans for me for the manor we put that all together.

I started coming up with the rules of the world, the rules of the magic, et cetera, something I had a huge fun with was coming up with a magical game in the book. There's this magical game called Billys. Not to be confused with Billards and it's kind of fireball with these women, slam B rockets of fire across the table at each other into basketball hoops and [00:08:00] into what appears to be a Billards table.

So all of that I had to do, but then. Very important for me was coming up with each, witch's very distinct personality because I knew this was gonna be an ensemble cast, which is so tough to write. It's so tough because you know, you wanna develop character fully, but you don't wanna spend so much time doing that, that the readers are bored.

So I, I really had to sit with each of the witches figure out. What's their star sign. What makes them tick? When were they born? How did they come to the manor? What's their backstory because their backstory is super interesting, but with six witches and a story, that's got a lot of forward momentum. You don't wanna spend too much time on backstory, but as the writer, I needed to understand, you know, What their misbelief was, where they came from, how they ended up orphaned at the manor, et cetera, et cetera.

So it was a lot of that, but I do not plot David. I am a terrible plotter. every time I plot it just it's [00:09:00] terrible. It's wooden. It's horrible. So I come up with a premise and I said, okay, what I really want in this novel is a ticking clock. I want. From the second, the book begins. We need to have the sense of urgency and tension and conflict.

And I was like, what would that be? How would that manifest? How would the time tick down? And I kind of had some ideas of where I wanted to go with it, but honestly, I gave these witches free reign. I was like, shit is happening. Let's see what you guys do to get yourself out of it. And, you know, they just, they ran with.

David Gwyn: Yeah. No. And it's funny that you go there cause that's exactly what I really wanna talk to you about. And something that struck me so much in this book is that character, voice and building character voice, and you had to do it, like you said, across six characters. I mean, those opening chapters alone, alone, you're bouncing back and forth.

 How do you even go about developing a unique character voice? I think like, you know, you talked about having like their signs and have that be a, a guide post for you. I feel like even the [00:10:00] names that you chose for characters, a lot of ways, helped readers probably click into that, but that's such a hard thing to do.

Do you have any suggestions for people who are even doing. Two points of view, because I know that that even has its own set of challenges. Was there anything that you learned along the way that you're like, if I was going to do a multicharacter story again, I would do this first or is there anything that come that comes to mind?

Bianca Marais: Yeah. You know, the first thing I do when I come up with a character, because I'm terrible at making people up completely, I need, each of my characters tends to be a composite of, you know, people I know in my. Versus, you know, characters from TV shows, whatever the case may be is. So for example, somebody like Queenie, she's the head witch, she's a Capricorn, she's a control freak.

She is. Very abrupt. She's not all touchy-feely a lot of her is based on me, but I looked at other characters like people like Dorothy and the golden girls you know, there's certain characters that are, [00:11:00] are just like that. She, she just wants to get down to business. She's like, what's the bottom line with things.

Her psychological kind of profile would be a driver. You know, you've got driver's expressives, amiables analyticals. She's very much a driver. Like what's a task at hand and. Once I knew her personality and what she looked. That informed me the way in which she would communicate. She would make declarative sentences.

She wouldn't make long rambling things. She would always be like, okay, what does that mean? Just summarize this for me. What's the bottom line. And she's gruff. And so that's how she communicates somebody like Ivy. Who's the botanist, she's very cerebral, very analytical, more old fashioned in the way she communicates and thinks.

And you know, so, so that informed the way she communicated. So for me, it's very important when you're approaching character to come up with a composite of them, not just how they look. You know, what is their personality? Like? What kind of text does that give them? You know? Because Queenie's [00:12:00] so impatient, she's always kind of shoving her wand in her hair and then she's scatterbrained as well.

And then she forgets where the hell her wand is. And she says, damn a lot because she's just everything irritated. Damn, this damn that. So, you know, that informed her speech patterns that informed the way she would communicate, it would inform the way she interacts with other characters. You know, there are characters in the book who are really, touchy-feely like Jezebel and Ursula.

They're huggers, they love holding each other's hands and hugging Queenie. You hug her. She's like, oh man, okay, I'm gonna stand still. I'm gonna endure this, but I don't wanna do it. So, you know, these are the things that we need to look at when we approach character. 

David Gwyn: Yeah. And, and did you, did you do a pass on the manuscript where you read it aloud to try to hear voices or did, does that not something that helped you?

Bianca Marais: I read aloud to try and find repetition and rhythm and things like that. And even having said that I've just finished listening to the audio book of the Witches of Moonshyne Manor. And there are places where I still [00:13:00] repeat things. I, in this book, I was obsessed with the word ridiculously. I, I don't know why, and I didn't pick.

During the reading a lot of that, but the voices. So this is where coming up with like an actor. A famous person really helps because for Queenie, I pictured Whoopi Goldberg. And so I had Whoopi's voice in my head the whole time that I was writing. Every time I wrote about Queenie, I could hear this kind of Husky, deep, you know, no nonsense kind of voice.

And it was, you know, different for each of them. So I didn't need to read aloud to hear their voices. Cause I, I was internalizing their voices so much. 

David Gwyn: That makes a lot of sense. And I, I feel like for writers, a lot of 'em talk about mood boards and they talk about picking an actor and, and kind of hearing that voice.

So I think that's really helpful for people who are thinking about this and you did a great job of.

They all felt like they were speaking. Like, it felt very natural and it felt like different people. So I'm, I'm really glad I got to ask you about that, because that was something that really stuck out to me in [00:14:00] this, in this novel. So at what point did you break the news to Cece that you were writing this type of novel and how did that, how would that conversation.

Bianca Marais: It was very early on because here's the thing Cece agreed to be my agent, even though I had nothing to offer her in terms of her representing me, my psychological thriller had gone out with another agent. It was rejected. We came close sort of twice to selling it, but something too similar had been done.

Had just come out. And that's something for authors to consider. It's so frustrating. You can spend two years working on something and someone beat you to it. And there's, you know, you don't have control over that. And then, you know, I changed agents and when I said to Cece, will you be my agent? I said, I have nothing written, but I am.

Planning to start working on something, will you still be my agent? And she said, absolutely. And I said, could we collaborate because this is what I really want. I wanna bounce ideas off of you as I'm writing, I wanna get your inputs and, and things like that. And she said, great, let's do it. So I started [00:15:00] writing, had the first chapter written of this.

And I came at it the complete wrong way, you know, on the podcast. I'm always saying. You need to circle the building of your story in the beginning to find the best way in. Sometimes it's a second floor window. Sometimes it's a backs door. Sometimes it's a fire escape. I think I did the fire escape and down the Chiney to start off with quite honestly and it was just the wrong, wrong place to start.

And I sent it to Cece and she was like, look, this story has a lot of potential, but you've started in the wrong place. I'm not interested in these people. Cause I kind of started with the men of the town plotting against the witches. And she said, no, no, no. We need to start with the witches. And I was like you a hundred percent, right.

Second, go round off to the races. And, and got it much better. And she looked at every chapter along the way, asked all the right questions, gave feedback, gave input, and it was just probably the most fun I've ever had writing a book. 

David Gwyn: Oh, that's awesome. It feels like such a, a great fit for you and CE like that kind of [00:16:00] author agent relationship, which I ask about a lot on here.

When I have both authors and agents, what, what type of person do you like to work with? And it's so funny to hear whether people want that kind of. Back and forth along the way, or they want that full manuscript in hand before they do anything. So when did you have, did you have other people read it aside from CC and, and when was that?

When did that happen? Were you trying to wait for a later draft? 

Bianca Marais: Yeah. So just back to the agent thing, you know, that is why. Author agent chemistry is so important. And what I loved about CE is up friend. She said, how do you want to work with me? She said, because I will adapt my style according to what you want.

And for authors out there who are. Add on submission who are looking for representation. That's so important that an agent is interested in what it is you want, and they're prepared to give you what you want and adapt their style accordingly because CE has a ton of clients who don't want that, who don't want the collaboration, who are like, I'll send it to you when I'm done.

And [00:17:00] she's like, okay, great. That's how I'll work around it. So, so that's important. I have writing groups, I have various writing groups and they saw the book all along the way. Probably most of them saw it up until halfway, but then I was writing too fast for them to, to keep up. So some of them didn't see all of it, but certainly they saw those opening chapters.

And that's what I love about writing groups and beta readers, because each person you send it to is gonna focus on something different. I have one who just checks full consistency and will say, you know, the last time they turned left, To head to the parlor, but this time they turned. Right. You know, so it's things like that.

That level of detail, I have someone else who looks at characterization and would say, this sounds more like O Ursula than Ivy. And I'd be like, oh yeah, yeah, it does. I have some who focus on dialogue, some who focus on, you know, the rhythm of the sentences, et cetera. And so each bit of feedback, I got focused on different things and helped me to Polish the novel in, in very different.[00:18:00]

David Gwyn: Wow. I that's an amazing group of people to have that like help you along in that process. I, I can't even imagine how valuable that is. Was there anything with this project? Thinking back on, on working through it. Was there anything that you struggled with? Was there any part of it that sticks out as like the thing that it, it took a while to, to come up with and to figure out and to sort through 

Bianca Marais: definitely in terms of the voice, you know, I've never written a novel in third person throughout the whole novel.

And this one I experimented with omniscient. Third person POV and then super close third person POV. And so that was a struggle. There were times in a scene where I lost track of who the hell's head I was supposed to be in, or perhaps I wrote the scene from the wrong person's perspective. And I had to go back to the drawing board and say, okay, who's.

Got the highest stakes in the scene. Who's most gonna be affected if X, Y, and Z doesn't happen, or if it does happen. So, so there was a lot of that because when you [00:19:00] have an ensemble cost, any scene can be written from six perspectives. So, you know, how do you decide which one is gonna be the, the most compelling and, and all of that.

And as well, I wanted to kind of have this Omniscient third person voice that was like a little bit old fashioned, a little bit objective, almost godlike, almost like the manner, but not, and that took a bit of time to, to develop, you know, that voice as well. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, it's so funny as you're saying this, it's like, I, I feel like I'm getting to peak behind the curtain a little bit and, and it it's so interesting to hear you talk about it because it is that it did feel like that kind of, it's hard to explain.

I think, I think you, you nailed it though. It's like, you're looking down, but you're also in multiple heads and you're hearing multiple voices. I, I can't even imagine how difficult it was to pull all this together. And you did so so beautifully, so that's, that's awesome. I wanna thank you, David.

Okay. So I wanna pause here for a second. It it's so interesting to me, the ways in [00:20:00] which she used astrological signs, the character names, and one or two unique phrases to develop a consistent character voice. I think it's also really important to have readers who are focused on that. Like Bianca did. It really did come through in her writing.

So if you haven't read the witches of moonshine Manor yet, I highly recommend you check it out this week. I'll be sharing a five minute character voice study from a novel. I read. If you enjoyed this conversation and want to learn more about creating character voice, consider signing up for my five minute writer series.

It's a free weekly newsletter providing five minute writing lessons that often summarize or focus on longer articles, podcasts, videos, books, and more. It's designed to give you the highlights without the fluff. So you can gain the knowledge without wasting time. That way you can get back to writing, be sure to sign up and join the more than 150 writers.

Who've trusted me with helping them achieve their writing. Plus you get a bonus edition right now. It's linked in the description in the next part of the interview. Bianca and I talk about this shit. No one tells you [00:21:00] about writing podcast. Where it's headed and what they're working on behind the scenes, you're going to love it.

So let's get back to the interview.

I want to talk quickly about the shit new one tells you about. Writing podcast, because I know you, you kind of took the summer off and a much needed break , I can't even stress that enough, 

but I feel like the last time we spoke, you have even taken a leap since then. I mean, are you just insanely busy with, with podcasts stuff? 

Bianca Marais: Yeah. You know what? I am someone who is very bad at setting boundaries for myself, I struggle to say no to people. And so I let things kind of get away from me and that every time a publicist reached out and was like, we have a debut author and we'd really like you to cover them.

I'd, I'd look at the schedule and I'd be like, there are. Slots left, but okay. We'll have a bonus episode. And suddenly a once a month bonus episode became every week. So it actually, wasn't a bonus episode. Our episodes were Monday and Thursday [00:22:00] and some of those had like three interviews in them. So my weeks would be five to six interviews a week reading all of those books, doing the research for the interview, putting the episodes together.

And I found myself lecturing a, a student one day in terms of you need to prioritize time in your life for writing. And I felt like such a hypocrite because here I'm yelling at someone else while I am not prioritizing my own writing. And so I realized, okay, I need to, I need to learn how to balance things and say, I love this podcast.

I love doing it, but it cannot become that four to five days a week. I am working full time on the podcast and I'm not doing anything else. So we took our break. We've come back now. We will just be having our Thursday episodes with honestly, one bonus a month. I'm telling this as much to myself as you David

I'll hold you to it. Yeah, please do. So, you know, that should really free up time for me in terms of prioritizing my own writing because you know, the, [00:23:00] the podcast is not just that we you'll know, people will reach out to you on social media. They email you with questions and. There's a part of me that just wants to say, I'm sorry, I don't have the time to reply to everybody.

I really don't. But then I wanna help people. I really do. And so, you know, I feel bad if I don't reply. So I take the time to do that and it just, it, it can be very time consuming. So my focus for the rest of this year is to find balance in terms of my writing and the podcast. We've got some exciting things coming up in that we launching merchandising.

Oh, which will be awesome. Yeah. Yeah, we, you know, we're trying to get to the point where the podcast is paying for itself and that we aren't hemorrhaging money for the podcast. So that will be nice. But yeah, you know, as long as we have listeners and as long as we are helping people, this is something, you know, we, we really wanna do.

So it's just finding the right way of doing it. 

David Gwyn: Yeah. And are you, are you all still recording episodes, even everything with you're doing with, with the Witches of Moonshyne Manor? I mean, are. [00:24:00] Doing stuff along the way 

Bianca Marais: now, even. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's I think we've, we recall, we record every Thursday, our books with hook segment that's coli, CCM myself, where we critique query letters and opening pages.

And then this week I have two. Podcast interviews where I'm interviewing authors after having read their work. So I'm staggering it in between all the launch stuff and the tour dates and things that I'm doing. Luckily I'm very organized. So I'm able to to get, I make big lists and I'm able to get things done beforehand.

And, you know, once, once October comes, I think things will calm down a bit. And then I can go back to, to writing. 

David Gwyn: think that's great.

I feel like for everyone, I talk to the first podcast that they say as writers, like they're like. The shit, no one tells you about writing is an absolute must podcast. So I'm glad that you're, you're finding those boundaries for yourself. Cause I think that is so important in terms of honestly, for the longevity of it.

And I, I think it's something that needs to be around for a while

Bianca Marais: so we taking books with hook [00:25:00] submissions. That we are taking from our listeners and, and that will carry on doing, but yeah, in terms of podcast guests, we are now scheduled until the end of the year. We, I can't take anymore.

And I hate saying no to publicist, but it's just like, I'm sorry, this the schedule's booked and, and that's kind of now where we are. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, that's good stuff. So yeah. And if, if you're listening to this podcast and you're, you're a fan of the shit, no one tells you about writing as well. And I know you, you talk about this on, on your podcast, but the, your coffee for coffee supporters, I'm a co supporter.

 I get so much value from that. So if you're listening to this and you're like should I, or shouldn't I like, is it worth it? It's absolutely worth it. And I, I know that you, you have all the information out there for, for people who wanna do that, but it's, it is so valuable to see the, the feedback that people get on their writing.

 So I thank you as, as a writer who who's trying to make it happen. We really appreciate it.

Bianca Marais: Yeah. Thank you, David. Yeah. And, and for listeners, you know, we, we have monthly supporters, but what you could also do to see if it's worth your while is just become a once off supporter. [00:26:00] So you can donate $10 for one month. And then. Four weeks of content, whereby you can see some of the query letters and the opening pages, the written feedback that Carly and, and CC give, which will hopefully help you in terms of polishing your own work.

David Gwyn: Yeah. Such good stuff. So as we kind of wrap up here, I have a couple more questions. The first, do you have any resources for writers? Anything that along the way, even for this book, or just kind of in general, that stick out to you as things that can be helpful for writers. 

Bianca Marais: Oh, my goodness, David there's there's so many of them, what we are actually thinking of doing now is we're putting up a page on the shit about writing.com.

That is just gonna be resource based. Nice. So look out for that probably in the next few weeks, that's something we're putting together. We wanna put together lists of freelance editors. Of beta reading groups of books and, and courses, et cetera, cetera, that, that we recommend. Because, you know, again, what helped me so much with this book was [00:27:00] having so many eyes on the page.

So many different perspectives, and I honestly believe all writers should be having their work read by beta readers. 

David Gwyn: Yeah. Great. If there's one thing you hope writers take away from this conversation one thing that you want readers to think about after kind of the end of this episode, what do you, what do you hope that thing is?

Bianca Marais: I feel like so many writers are losing the joy of writing through the whole queering process. The queering trenches are horrible. The rejection can be awful. It can be just so demotivating. And I'm hearing from so many writers that writing just isn't fun for them anymore. And it's becoming a stressor in their life.

And for me, this book was a reset. It was going back to just. Fun with my writing. And that's something that I can't stress enough. If you are feeling, you know, query fatigue, if you feeling despondent, withdraw your work, forget about sending it out there. Find the joy in writing again, because that's why we write.

That's why we came to this in the first place. That's [00:28:00] why we put our bum in the chair every day. Just go back to, to finding the joy before you go back to the industry again. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, no, it's such a valuable message for writers to hear. And so my last question really is, is just where I know you have some tour dates potentially coming up, where can people find those so that they can find out more about you and, and hopefully meet you along the way.

Bianca Marais: Yeah. So I've got events in Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston coming up. If they go to my website, have a look at the upcoming events page and everything is listed there. And I would love to, to see your listeners and to meet them at, at one of these in real life events. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, it's that's awesome.

So I'll, I'll, like I said, I'll link to all that stuff, so everyone's got easy access and, and hopefully they, they can make it. So Bianca, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I'm so happy that I got to help you share , the launch of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor.

Congratulations again, and people I really think are gonna love it. So congratulations and thanks [00:29:00] for taking the. 

Bianca Marais: My pleasure, David, and thank you so much for all you do for writers you part of the fighting, the good fights and, and we really, really appreciate it. And I always love chatting with you. 

David Gwyn: Okay. So there you have it. The shit, no one tells you about writing is accepting query letters. So dust yours off and send it their way. If you're still with me, I'd really appreciate. If you took a minute to rate and review the podcast, I know it might seem like a small thing, but it goes a long way in helping reach new listeners.

Plus it makes me feel good. If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the five minute writer series because I'll be sending out a newsletter later this week with a character voice study of Alisa jewel novel. You don't wanna miss it next time on the podcast, we'll be talking to award-winning author, Rob Hart.

He's the author of six novels, including the paradox hotel and the warehouse, which sold in more than 20 languages and was optioned for a film by Ron Howard. Rob was such a nice guy and we got to talk about how he finds the right mixture of withholding information from readers to create tension without confusing [00:30:00] them.

It's a really important interview for aspiring writers. So if you're hoping to get published, make sure you subscribe. So you don't miss when that drops. I'll see you next week.