A Day in the Life of Leanne Hall.

Ever wondered what your favourite authors get up to when they think no one is looking?
OF COURSE YOU HAVE.

Is it possible to count an author as one of your favourites if you’ve only ever read one book of theirs? What are there rules in this situation?
Whatever they are, I’m ignoring them.
I’m breaking them, in fact.
BECAUSE I’M A RULE BREAKER.
After I finished This is Shyness by Leanne Hall (my review here, if you fancy a gander), I realised that there aren’t many authors who can write like Ms Hall. There aren’t many writers who can create a heroine as vibrant as Wildgirl. There aren’t many writers who can create a world like Shyness. And there definitely aren’t many authors who can create a hero as omgomgomgomg I want to kiss him all over …. um…lovely as Wolfboy. So I would be stupid not to ask her to tell us what a day in her life is like, wouldn’t I?
And I’m a lot of things but stupid is not one of them.

OK, I may be a little bit stupid.

Over to you, Leanne!

~*~*~

 

I should say upfront that I don’t think I have a typical daily routine as a writer. My days can swing wildly from high-blood-pressure-inducing hard work, to complete and utter torpor, depending on the time of year, and whether I’m working to a deadline. I also still work two days a week as a children’s and YA specialist in an indie bookstore – a job which I love. I also try to reserve Fridays as my `personal admin’ days where I answer emails, prepare school talks, harass accountants etc. But here’s what my average writing day is like at the moment.

5:15am
Wake up, throw on an outfit befitting a Fame cast member, and cycle to yoga class. Winter is fast approaching in Melbourne, and this cold pre-dawn journey has been made bearable by my new winter coat, which is basically a sleeping bag with arms. I haven’t included this info to prove how virtuous (insane) I am, it’s actually important. I spend a lot of time stationary at a computer, and also working in retail, and my back can get quite stiff and sore. Yoga is literally what makes me able to stay still at my desk and focussed on my writing.

10am
I’m usually back home and fed by this time (yoga class always morphs into a long tea-drinking lady party afterwards)…and then I crawl back into bed with my laptop, crank the electric blanket and try to bang out as many words as possible before I get distracted. The bed theory is this: I’m working, but AM I REALLY? Work feels less like work from the comfort of my bed.
At the moment I am definitely in the bang-out-the-words stage of my work in progress. I’ve done a lot of research and planning on my new novel, now I have to get that first draft down on the page. I’ve plotted the whole thing in Scrivener, and I am tackling it scene by scene, mostly (but not always) chronologically. In this stage I have to resist the urge to make things pretty and grammatical, and sometimes even any good. There’s lots of XXXX’s where I don’t have enough facts, or haven’t come up with a minor/surprise character’s name yet, and lots of incomprehensible notes to myself like [FIX UP LATER REWRITE USING BITS FROM DELETED SCENE].

1pm
By this stage I have lolled about as much as I can bear and I spring from bed, eager to procrastinate and get the hell out of the house. This usually takes the form of walking the dog (or as we say in my house, W-A-L-K the dog, so she doesn’t get preemptively excited).
Walking the dog looks a little bit like this:


After that my procrastination usually takes the form of housework. I have an impeccable house when I’m writing a book!

3pm
When it really can’t be avoided I sit down for an afternoon of writing. Who am I kidding? My best work was done in the morning and it’s all downhill from there. I prolong my productivity slightly by liberal application of SNACKS.
At the moment I am emotionally and motivationally dependent on double dark chocolate yerba mate tea, salt & vinegar chips (I believe you call them `crisps’ there, right?) and choc-orange date bars.

Crack for lady writers….

When I can write no more, and when I’ve cranked out anywhere between 1000-2000 words (although sometimes I write 500 genius! words, or 3000 crapola! words), I do other forms of work, such as:

“Research”


Oooh, secret work-in-progress clues!

“Storytelling research”

“What-it’s-like-being-a-famous-author research”


Nathan Fillion nnnggghhhhhllllmmmm

“Market research”


This is what I’m reading at the moment. It’s brilliant.

From then my behaviour rapidly devolves into watching YouTube animal videos, singing in the bath, and making costumes out of tin foil. In my defense I believe I suffer from a condition `writer’s brain’, and cannot be held responsible for my actions. And that’s it! It’s all glamour, glamour, glamour.

~*~*~

A huge thank you to effervescent Leanne Hall for writing such a fascinating post. I can safely say that I would use actually use my yoga pants for yoga if Leanne was in my class. What about you?
ALSO…. is anyone else foaming at the mouth and looking at that pile of books for clues like a YA LITERARY DETECTIVE?

……No? 

You can find Ms Hall lurking in various corners of the internet.

Stalky Stalk.
Her website.
Twitter.
Goodreads.  

Until next time…

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14 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Leanne Hall.

  1. Game of thrones! you have good taste xD and that is a adorable picture of you and your dog, by the way :) and I am envious of your job. Working around YA books as your day job must be a dream! also, I like your awesome teapot.

    What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So many things. I have NO CLUE how anyone can work in bed. I can barely even read a book in bed without falling asleep. I’d get nothing done at all if I did that, especially if I was warm in an electric blanket. I adore lady parties with chatting (though I’ve been doing them online rather than off the past week-SKINS!) And I’m excited about the art book inspiration. I also watch Game of Thrones and Castle, though Nathan Fillion is starting to get…hmmm…how to say this politely…well, he doesn’t look like Mal from Firefly anymore. I really want to read the FitzOsbornes books. Don’t know what’s taking me so long. Brilliant post, Jo and Leanne! It’s always cool to read guest posts and get a glimpse into author’s lives:)

    • Haha, Flann, I do most of my ‘work’ (ie looking up pictures of hot guys and pretending to be a book blogger) in bed!
      I’ve never watched Castle (or Firefly) but I adore him in Waitress. I love love that film.

      Thanks Flann! Really glad you enjoyed this one :)

  3. Leanne, you lead a wonderful life! I love those orange-choc date bars, the other flavours are pretty good too (hurray for gluten free snacks, am I right?) Also you conduct the best research!

    Mands xox

  4. This is a wonderful post! Leanne I completely approve of your snacks…you’re making me hungry here! And Jo, I am totally trying to figure out what book this research will lead too….

  5. Thanks guys, you are all too lovely! I consider that we’ve all had a virtual lady tea party now! It’s the first time I’ve been asked to share some of my private writing world – I was a bit worried someone would say, your teapot is ugly! Or your dog looks insane (she is a little bit). I feel like I have permission now to eat all the choc-orange bars I want, and watch back-to-back Game of Thrones eps!

    • Thank you so much Leanne! I love this post, absolutely brilliant. Who would say that teapot is ugly?! It’s gorgeous. And your dog is wonderful!

      You definitely have permission to eat all the choc-orange bars you want! (Like you need it ;) )

  6. I don’t even know how to begin my comment because I just want to yell “WE HAVE TO GO BACK [to Shyness]” to Leanne. Oh, I guess I did know how to passive aggressively start my comment. :P

    Leanne + Frida though?! This is very exciting. Almost as exciting as a W-A-L-K.

    I just watched tonight’s Game of Thrones so I need to fire off a 5000 word email to an unsuspecting friend. I’ll be back.

    • I really need to watch GoT! Just recently I’ve heard so much about it (mostly because of Gendry and muddy abs)

      It IS exciting. WRITE WRITE WRITE.
      :D
      Thanks for commenting, my dear.

  7. Leanne how excited am I looking at that upcoming project hint!! You + Surrealism = me giddy in anticipation. I cannot wait. Also I’m jealous enough about your normal job (bookstore), let alone the whole being an author thing and then you went and added electric blankets and cute puppies and snacks? Amazing.

    Great post! Jo I love this Day in the Life theme so much. —Noelle

    • Thanks Noelle!
      And I know what you mean, I need to get myself being a writer straight away. I hear it’s actually impossible to write an awesome book without having a cute puppy beside you.

      And delicious snacks. o.O

  8. Pingback: Guest-Post-O-Rama « The Long Blinks

  9. This is awesome! I am so impressed by the 5.15am rise. I feel tired just thinking about that. Who am I kidding? I feel tired anyway.
    I love the idea of writing from bed with an electric blanket.
    We have to do the “W-A-L-K” thing with our dogs too because otherwise they literall wet themselves with excitement.

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