SpineOut : June 2011
All Jen McVeity ever wanted to do was write books... Oh, and jump off things... So far she has written over 20 books. She’s also jumped off cliffs and out of airplanes, skied glaciers, hiked the Grand Canyon, won gold medals in beach volleyball, and she flies on the circus trapeze for fun. Jen McVeity calls this research for her writing. Family and friends claim she’s just having a good time. Here are some photos to prove what a go-getter she is ... read on to find out what Danny did with his life! Tell us your dream career! Jen McVeity Danny Becker Copyright © June 2011 Good Reading Magazine Pty Ltd groundbreakers keep reading But back to writing, Jen is also a whiz at writing ‘sizzling starts’ to begin her stories. She loves helping budding authors to start their stories in such a scintillating way that everybody will want to read them. Here’s how she says you can do it. Sizzling Starts Tonight, watch a movie. Check out the start - 95% of movies start with action. Why? Because they want to grab your interest right away and stop you changing to another channel. (Or doing the dishes!) Most authors start with action too. Then they use a technique called ‘backfill’ to fill in the basic background stuff. What were your interests and what did you want to be at five and 15 years of age? When I was five, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and dragons and Power Rangers. Imagine my shock and horror to realise later in life that being any of these things was impossible, due to extinction, non- existence or poor ratings respectively. By the time I was 15, I had matured (slightly) and decided that I would love to be a famous drummer. Suffice it to say, I was never really cool enough for that, so I quickly changed my career path to that of some pretentious academic or professor, teaching some obscure, arty, controversial subject at a European university somewhere. However, I soon realised that this would require me to learn another language (a deceptively arduous task!) and study for many, many, years to do so. I simply didn’t have that kind of focus or drive. What did Danny decide to do? Meet Danny Becker Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist and kinetic sculptor. Check out his incredible creatures resembling skeletons of animals that are able to walk by just using the winds on the beaches of the Netherlands. What an engineering feat – this guy can breathe life into plastic tubes! Tell us what you’d like to do for a career after school and we’ll do some detective work to find out more about it for you. Maybe even talk to someone who’s doing your dream job right now. So come on. So what’s your plan?