Charlotte Lobb

My writing journey

Have you always loved books?
I fell in love with books as a young child. Favourites such as Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles were a regular bedtime request. The idea that a story could transport you to another time or place was magical. It’s no surprise that my love for reading grew into a love for writing. 

What do you like about writing?
Besides allowing me to be a ninja fairy one day and a superhero turtle the next, writing gives me a way to process the world around me. When life gets bumpy, putting pen to paper has really helped. Even though getting a book published has always been on my secret bucket list, I write because it gives me a sense of calm. If I’m in the mood, I write. If I’m not, then I try not to beat myself up about it.

How would you describe your writing style?
I’ve always followed a very organic style, which frustrated some of my schoolteachers. Instead of planning out what my characters will do and where the story will lead, I let each sentence guide the next. I’m also very good at spending hours on a particular paragraph only to delete it all the very next day.

How did Hannah & Huia evolve?
Hannah & Huia began as three words that came to me in the middle of the night — you'll have to read the book to work out which ones. I had no clear idea of how the story would progress, or even the full reason behind some of Huia’s characterisations or words, until the very last full stop. It wasn’t a fast process. In fact, it took six years to get to that final, tiny dot. It’s a long time to fit writing around the kids while having each of the characters live within my head. 

What’s one writing tip you’d like to share with others?
That writing should never be a chore. If it starts to feel that way, then it’s time to stop, grab a row (or three) of chocolate, walk around the block, and then try again. If the words still aren’t coming…? Then that’s a good excuse to finish the rest of the chocolate.

(See my blog post ‘My journey to becoming a published author’ for further insights.)

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