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Paul Collins

answers the Usual Questions

Australian author Paul Collins teaching

Paul Collins teaching

Paul Collins is a prolific Melbourne-based editor and writer and publisher. Lots of people ask "how to write" questions. If they were to ask "how to do a writer's work (work professionally), Paul would be the one to ask.

Your correspondent first met Paul when he ran a cosy second-hand book store and he introduced her to her first science fiction 'fan' and sent her to her first science fiction convention (he has much to answer for).

Paul also runs a speakers' agency called Creative Net. He represents well over 100 children's authors and illustrators including such greats as Isobelle Carmody, Sean McMullen, Leigh Hobbs, Hazel Edwards and George Ivanoff. The agency doesn't charge a booking fee:

Paul's website has answers to more questions, tips for writers and links to other authors. His current publishing house is
Ford Street Publishing

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not in any way -- in fact I don't go to conventions.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I'm reminded of a time when I spent many hours editing/correcting a writer's MS. I knew she was a reviewer so must confess to trying to help, hoping for a reciprocal "deal" next time she reviewed books that I was publishing. She wrote back a shocker of a letter, telling me her English professor would correct her spelling, too, when he was confused. She wound up saying she looked forward to the next book I published crossing the desk of ABR. I suspect it's one of the reasons publishers use standard rejection letters. I learnt that day that messengers truly do get shot. Fortunately the reviewer was never heard from again. A lucky escape and cheap lesson.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I love the Artemis Fowl and Mortal Engines series. I'd happily re-read the lot.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Undoubtedly an engineer who has a better idea than me as to how to get out of there.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I have no intention of starting a slanging match. You know who you are! But if we're having fun, I'd say a person of a compulsive-obsessive nature would be unbearable. Unless there was a lot of clutter for them to clean up, of course.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

A crate of Jack Daniel's would be mighty fine. Provided the Coke lasted. I'm assuming there's a fridge for ice, hey?

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Success for the books that I'm now publishing -- for their authors and illustrators to get the rewards they deserve for the work they've put in. As for my own writing, like most other authors, I wouldn't mind seeing at least one mega seller in my lifetime.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I've been a full time writer for ten years, so it's obviously financially rewarding. I'm a work-a-holic, so it suits me to work seven days a week (always have, always will). I don't get swags of "fan" letters, but those I do are rewarding. I'm currently corresponding with four readers.

submitted by Paul Collins

Paul was generous enough to revisit these questions 3-Jan-2009

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Autograph, author and editor Paul Collins; 240x90

See also: Featured interview with Paul Collins

Just the facts:
Resides: Melbourne, Australia
Bibliography/Awards: see his Web sites

Web site:
Ford Street Publishing


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