A Day in the Writing Life of … Peta Crake

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life of one of our members. Today we are featuring Peta Crake who writes in the genres of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     I write urban fantasy and paranormal romance because I can’t help it. Whenever I try to write something about normal people they always start wielding magic, suddenly turn into furry critters on a full moon or discover they are the long lost relative of an ancient god.

What time of the day do you write?     I am an “anytime” writer due to the unpredictability of kids. I used to write a lot in the evenings but lately I have found the middle of the day is a lot more productive for me.

Where do you write?     I write my first drafts longhand (I can hear the gasps of horror already) so the location where I write varies – kitchen table, front porch, on my bed, out and about – I write everywhere. As long as I have a pen and paper with me I am happy. Sometimes I even manage to write in my office.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?    So far I have been a complete pantser. I get a rough draft down first then as I edit I add layers to the story until I am satisfied. That being said, I surprised myself with my latest WIP and planned it by writing a synopsis and a beat sheet. There were too many factions hassling my main character for me to deal with them all without having a basic plan. Of course I have now deviated away from my original synopsis but it served its purpose and allowed me to move forward with the story at the start.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?

Peta Crake photoI don’t use any visual aids as I tend to be inspired by songs and feelings. For example, many of my characters have theme songs as do some of my scenes. I will research places and climates but rather than having a picture of them I write a description of them for my notes. I have a feeling or emotion I associate with each place and person and think of that when I write. If a song was the inspiration for a story I will sometimes play it to get me in the right mood to write or to remind me of the overall atmosphere I want throughout the story.


Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?     Just the great feeling and peace of mind that comes with achieving them. My favourite reward is to sit down and read a book or watch a movie I have been longing to see.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I have an ab-glider in my office to use in case of writer’s block, which is probably why I rarely get blocked. I am also very creative at re-categorizing writer’s block as “research” time. I try to take my dog for a walk at some stage during the day too, especially when I have plot issues to deal with.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     My cat (on the modem), my dog (on the floor behind me or under the desk), notebooks, my iPad and a cup of coffee.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What is your favourite form of procrastination?     My worst form of procrastination is probably working on a project that isn’t the one I am supposed to be working on. I now have a number of stories in various stages of completion which I keep adding to little by little when I need a break from my current WIP. I also have a very distracting crit group (a.k.a. The Boas) who never fail to make me laugh and lighten up a little. I like to think of them as a source of therapeutic procrastination.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     If I am using the computer I save my work and then I write a note to myself about what scene to start writing the next day.

My debut novel, Harbinger, was released by Penguin Australia’s new Destiny Romance imprint in August 2012 and is available through the Destiny website, Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Google and other e-book retailers.


I can be found at the following places:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PetaCrake

Website: www.petacrake.com

Darksider Blog: http://darksidedownunder.blogspot.com.au/

Destiny website: www.destinyromance.com

Thank you, Peta, for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you all the best with your writing career.

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  1. Hi Peta,
    I admire someone who can write longhand. I’d be scratching things out and making a hell of a mess if I did it that way! Lovely to learn more about you from this blog.

  2. Thanks Louise. I think my long hand drafts are legible only to me :-). I do sometimes write on my computer but it means I have to stay in the same room and I like to vary my surroundings. Thanks for dropping in.

  3. Madeline Ash

     /  December 7, 2012

    I’m with Louise, writing a first draft longhand is a huge achievement! And I like your rewards – taking time out from writing to read or watch a film is always a treat for me too.

  4. Glad you could stop by Madeline. I have to say I am looking forward to catching up on my reading and movies when I finish editing my current wip.

  5. Hi Peta, I like to write longhand sometimes as well – it seems to help the scenes flow when I’m stuck. Congratulations on your debut novel!

  6. Thanks Kerrie. It is great to find another “long-hander”. I find the words flow when I write by hand too. It is also a lot easier to ignore all the cyber fun and distractions when you are not working on the computer 🙂

  7. Love learning more about you, Peta. I write long hand occasionally but I have a weak wrist and so don’t end up doing a lot of it. I tend to type faster than I write.

  8. It ate my comment! I’m sure I left one! Anyway, lovely to see you here, Peta. I like to write longhand when I’m stuck but when the words are flowing I have to type. Partly because I can type faster than I write and partly because I am WAY too lazy to type up something I’ve written. I know this is a fallacious arguement, as if I type it I always type the whole thing at least twice once I’ve edited it, and if I typed up the longhand, I could edit as I went – but it doesn’t seem to affect my disinclination. The main longhand I do is on the backs of envelopes (sometimes unopened) and bus tickets and the like when ideas strike and I am without notepad or computer!

  9. That’s ok Imelda, it ate my reply too!

  10. Thanks for dropping in Eleni and Imelda.


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