Corinne Sanders is based in Nillumbik and loves writing young adult and children novels in the fantasy and mystery genres. So far, she has self-published three books under her pen name Billie Arndt. She also enjoys posting photos of books and dolls to Instagram. Recently, she started a YouTube channel featuring dolls talking about books. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s studying Ecosystem Science at university.
Corinne is one of our profiled local writers as part of the 11th Annual Booklovers Festival.
How do you describe your creative practice?
I’m a “pantser,” which means I write spontaneously without plotting the story. Usually, I start with an idea for the main characters, then I follow them on their journey. Often, I'm surprised where they take me. I have a busy schedule with university and work, so I fit in writing and reading whenever I can.
When did you start writing? What inspired you?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, and I wrote most of my first novel when I was eleven. I was inspired by the characters that I thought about and felt a responsibility to write their story and see what happens. It’s super fun exploring new ideas that are not bound to the restrictions of the real world.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently editing a book about a teenage couple who go on the run from the authorities when one of them is falsely accused of murder and arson. At the same time, I’ve almost finished the first draft of the third installment in the Arabelle Autumn series, which is about a teenage witch with dark magic.
Do you have a studio or work space? What is it like?
Not really, I’ve learnt to write anywhere, including on the train and at the dining table while people watch television. I think it’s important to be able to adapt to different environments to make the most of every opportunity to write.
Does anyone or anything influence your practice?
So many things inspire me! Most of all, it’s meeting new people and engaging in new experiences that help me generate ideas. I’ve written scenes that have been inspired by university field trips to forests and farms, and day trips to amusement parks.
How do you define success? How do you celebrate your successes?
I think it can be easy to quantify success in terms of money made or the number of readers of followers on social media. But it’s all relative, and if you do that, then you’ll compare yourself to other people and feel disappointed. So I think success is more about being happy in yourself and feeling that you’ve done your best. When I finish writing a new book, I feel really proud and more confident that I can write more books in the future and improve my writing.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
I’d say take it one chapter at a time. It can be overwhelming at the start when you think about how many words and pages you’ll need to write. But little by little, it all adds up and you’ll be finished before you know it. Also, I’d recommend you write the book that you want to read. Don’t feel you should write similar stories to other books that are already published and popular.
Do you have favourite author or book?
That’s a hard question! I’d say Maureen Johnson because I love her books Truly Devious and the Vanishing Stair. The characters are so vivid, and the mysteries are very engaging.
For more on Corinne visit:
Corinne’s Publications (as Billie Arndt):
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