So without any further ado, have your "g'days" on the tips of your tongues, pop a tinny, toss some prawns on the barbie, get your cameras ready, roll out the red carpet, and take a Captain Cook and get the fair dinkum on the delightful Gabi Plumm...
Her children’s book was fun to write and completed originally under a different title. It has now been rewritten and re-edited and is published as The Two Jays of Dribblepit, which have eight separate stories set out like TV episodes and then combined into one. Gabi also writes documentary scripts, screenplays, and novels in a variety of genres. She is presently working on a Trilogy about love and revenge in a retirement home aimed at the Baby Boomers of our world, of which she is one. Her two sons, now grown up and living in California, are professional tennis coaches, unmarried — having too much fun.
Gabi lives in North Queensland, Australia, where the temperatures are such that she writes on her verandah all the year round.
I just love it, and I have a mentor who keeps telling me I’m improving, so I keep doing it, and I love it. I find it a wonderful outlet for the ideas that flow from the fingers as I type. It is not “stream of consciousness” writing because I edit and proofread too much, but there is certainly a lot of inspired scribbling that dribbles out of the fingertips whilst I wonder… where did that come from?
Tell us about your current or most recent writing project, and what you wish to accomplish with it.
My most recent project is being written under the working title of Teapots. It is a Trilogy about love and revenge, misbehavior and naughtiness in a retirement home. Aimed at the Baby Boomer market, of which I am a part, it talks to the issues that elderly people have in our country and world today.
In your mind, what is your greatest accomplishment?
Oh dear, I’m sorry to be perhaps trite, but my children are my greatest accomplishment. They are well adjusted beautiful kids, now in their mid thirties and working as professional tennis coaches in California. When I consider my challenges as an adoptee I am proud of my children and my relationship with them.
In your mind, what is your biggest failure?
I am simply unable to hold down a job, or a career. I have done almost everything there is to do in this country. I won’t bore you with the list, but I never stick to anything for long. The one thing that I have stuck to is writing, because it is different every day, and challenges my mind 24/7.
If you could be one fictional character—it can be anyone, modern or classic, movie, book, TV show, legend, myth, or even comics—who would you be, and why?
I have a fancy for the great dramatic characters like Anna Karenina, Nellie Melba (I know she was an opera singer), even at times Kim Basinger, but for goodness sake, at 62 years old I can create my own character every day of my life, and I inhabit them all.
What is your ideal writing environment, and can/do you attain it, and if so, how?
My ideal environment is actually where I am. I live in Far North Queensland, Trinity Beach to be precise, 100 yards from the ocean and I write on my laptop set up on my outside dining table. I listen to the birds, I feel the breeze, and I watch the sun in its trajectory around me. And I think to myself I am lucky, how lucky am I and what gratitude I have for my life.
I was asked that same question recently and I think the thing that set me on a writing path, was discovering that I had been adopted. I found out at 34 and I began a search for my birth mother that uncovered secrets and answers to questions I had asked all my life. My first book was an autobiography, rather badly written.
You’re stranded on a deserted tropical island full of life-sustaining fish, game, and flora, and don’t know when or even if you’ll ever be rescued. You get to choose three people to be stranded with you, and it can be anyone, whether you know them or not. Who would those three people be, and why?
One would be the man I live with at the moment. No man is better equipped to handle life on a tropical island, we actually do it quite frequently anyway as we live on the shores of the Coral Sea. Who else? George Carlin, if he wasn’t dead, but some things can’t be helped. We would have laughed a lot. And I suppose another girl… Jennifer Saunders of French and Saunders fame; we need to have someone else to make us laugh.
Right here, writing books. Or maybe on a boat. My partner wants to do the Pacific so that could be on. I could of course be dead, but I don’t think so.
You can speak briefly with any one dead person, and ask them one question. Who would that person be, and what would you ask them?
My adoptive mother. Why didn’t you tell me?
Share one weird dream you had with us, and what you learned, if anything, from it.
Years ago I dreamed a crocodile climbed the grassy bank to my house and bit my little finger off. I woke with my finger in my mouth! I learned to stay well away from crocodiles but I now live with them on my doorstep. Well, not quite, but down the road, in the ocean and the local rivers. I know lots about crocodiles now and if you can love a crocodile, I do, they are extraordinary creatures.
If you like jungles, you are in the right profession, but frankly the one outside my door is easier to handle. Be brave and consistent and keep at it. Nothing was built in a day, not even an anthill.
In your mind, what is the most rewarding thing about writing?
Seeing a nice review from someone who has GOT your work.
In your mind, what is the most frustrating thing about writing?
Not seeing a nice review… seeing no reviews… not being able to sell a book.
How do you respond to negative criticism, including bad book reviews?
Haven’t had one yet, but usually my mentor and friend, author Colin Pearce, tells me what’s right and what’s not. I take his suggestion with honey, no salt at all. You can’t please everyone, but I do like to please him. Adapt and survive, like the deserted island!
Both members of a married couple are close and well-loved friends of yours, and you discover beyond doubt that one is cheating on the other. What, if anything, do you do? Does sex (gender) enter into your decision, and why?
Nothing, I do nothing, it’s none of my business. Sex or gender has nothing to do with it, unless he or she is cheating with me!
Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what are your favorite flavors to listen to?
No, I like silence. If my neighbor starts up with his music, I go inside or put headphones on. The most I will listen to is classical music, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, nothing lyrical otherwise I start singing and then I’ve shot myself in the foot. Can’t think, write and sing at the same time — even though I’m a woman.
See above. AND when my partner comes home from the bush, I tend to do things with and for him. When he’s away three weeks out of four every month, I get lots done.
Does time and the world around you ever “disappear” when your muse is upon you and you’re “in the writing zone”? If so, describe the feeling.
Yes, oh yes, thank God, or someone. Occasionally I write like I’m possessed, and time flies by with my fingers on the keyboard and suddenly my stomach rumbles and I look at my watch and it’s dinner time, or I wonder why I can’t see outside anymore and it’s dark. I come in then and scribble for a bit on my lap, but I never work late into the night unless I am woken at 3 a.m. with an idea that simply won’t wait.
How often do you edit, and when, and how many rounds of edits?
Ah, now there’s a thing. I work differently from my author mentor. I will write a couple of thousand words, maybe more, put it down, go to bed, or the shops or whatever, but I don’t start again until I have read the last couple of pages. Then I will edit those, proofread them, see where I’m at and then off I go again. Once it’s done, I’ll give it a quick once-through, then put it away for a few weeks. Do something else. Then I’ll come back to it and go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Then I send it to Colin.
How do you research prospective literary agents or publishers for representation and publication of your works—i.e., what tools and resources?
This is something I am about to embark upon. The Internet is obviously the first port of call. Then: organizations/ associations, etc.
If you’ve been traditionally published, describe the feeling you had when you received and accepted your first contract/ offer.
I have not yet been traditionally published, only one of those “we’ll publish your book if you give us lots of money” publishers. Waste of time. Would love to be able to answer this question better, but I have to say even the first one with the vanity publisher felt good… someone liked my work. In fact they just liked my money.
You have one paranormal or psychic superpower. What is it, and what will you do with it?
Are you superstitious about your writing habits? If so, what is/are that/those superstition(s)?
No. Haven’t been at it long enough to get superstitious and am probably too old to start.
You have to commit a major crime to save the life of someone you love. Will you do it, and if so, how far will you go?
No idea, I would decide on the spur of the moment. Can’t think about that one right now.
In your mind, what is the ultimate sin?
Politicians betraying their country for money.
In your mind, what is the ultimate blessing?
Who is your favorite literary character that you’ve ever written/ created, and why?
Dulcie Dooley from Teapots, she’s courageous and funny, cares for her friends and sticks by her ideas, and she farts when she thinks nobody is listening.
You discover your best friend is lying to you about something important to you, and hurting you, themselves, others, or all of the above with that lie. What do you do about it?
Approach it from the point of view of my own confusion without necessarily making her/him wrong.
You’re faced with a horde of desperate, hungry, potentially violent people in a world where the trucks and trains no longer deliver the goods. What do you do?
Ah, a "Wotif" question. Make a bow and arrow, and grab my sheath knife and head to the forest.
Why should people read your work?
Bribery I expect, pure bribery. And because they’re fun!
The Two Jays of Dribblepit: The Eight Stories (Goodreads)
The Two Jays of Dribblepit: The Eight Stories (Amazon)