Watch the Chapter 4 Novel Reading of TURNSTILES:
Get to know writer Andrea McKenzie Raine:
1. What is your novel about?
Turnstiles is about people who are living on the margins of society and are grappling with their past. The cosmos steps in and brings these characters together, briefly, allowing dramatic changes to happen. Fortunes are reversed and inner truths are discovered. The driving premise of the book is that there is always another door to walk through, no matter how trapped one might feel.
2. Why should this novel be read by all?
I think everyone should read this book because it has a message of ‘paying it forward’ and the idea of hope and transformation.
3. How long have you been writing stories?
Turnstiles is my debut novel. However, I have been writing short stories and poetry since I was a child.
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
The Breakfast Club
5. What motivated you to write this novel?
The seed for my novel was planted when I embarked on a two-month solo backpacking trip through Western Europe in the summer of 1998. I was in London and happened to be going through a tunnel under a busy street at Hyde Park. In the tunnel, I saw a young man in his sleeping bag. It wasn’t clear to me if he was a homeless person or another backpacker finding shelter. His image stayed with me through my trip and then I came home and started writing about him. The other characters soon jumped on the page and the story began to unravel.
6. How many stories have you written?
I have also written a prequel novel to Turnstiles, which will hopefully be published by fall 2015.
7. What obstacles did you face to get your novel completed?
I’m not sure that I actually faced obstacles. Time was the biggest factor. I was writing my book while life was happening: university, work, relationships, marriage and kids. I was serious about my book, but it was a quiet project I was working on. I didn’t know if my book would ever see the light of day. Later, I took my manuscript to a writers’ conference and received encouraging and constructive feedback. Then I forged ahead and finished it, and soon after I began looking for a publisher.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I wish I could commit to a set routine. At the moment, I have a full-time day job and two children who are age 2 and 5. So, time is limited. I try to write later at night and on weekends, and jot down ideas on post-it notes as they come to me.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my children, reading, music and travel.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?
I saw an online advertisement for the WILDsound Festival and thought I would enter my work.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Keep writing. No matter what project a writer is working on — a novel, short story, play, poem or article – it is important to not drop the thread, even if it is left in the air for a little while. Let the ideas brew, and then come back to write those ideas down and flesh them out.
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