by MC D’Alton
Today I will be chatting with D.D Line who shortlisted in the 2018 KSP Ghost Story Competition. While we’ve featured this gorgeous author before, I think it is so important to celebrate with her in her success as well as that of other writers who listed in this competition.
D.D. Line is an aspiring writer who lives in coastal Western Australia with her family, a curious cat, and two pups who are trying to dig their way back to Queensland (We’re Sunshine State ex-pats!)
While she’s missing her home in the east, she’s embracing the beauty the western state has to offer.
Reading was her favourite past time in her formative years. In her senior year, thanks to a crush on her English teacher and a deep desire to impress him, she developed a love of writing that has sustained her throughout her adult life.
Since then, she’s won a few competitions, had short stories published in both local and state-wide publications, and is currently Romance Writers Australia’s (RWA) Aspiring Ambassador.
D.D. Line writes across genres including Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, and Contemporary Suspense. Her favourite is Paranormal Romance.
Q. D.D. Tell us a little about the 2018 KSP Ghost Story Competition?
The 2018 KSP Ghost Story Competition is one of several events organized by the Katharine Susannah Prichard (KSP) Writing Centre. The centre, established in 1985, is situated in the Australian author’s Greenmount home in the Perth Foothills. It is the oldest of its kind in Australia, and a familiar meeting place for writers of all persuasions.
Katharine was a historically significant person who is notably the first Australian novelist to gain international recognition for her 1915 novel, The Pioneers, which won the prestigious Hodder and Stoughton All Empire Literature Prize for Australasia. She was also wife to the famous Anzac hero, Hugo ‘Jim’ Throssell VC, and a controversial political activist and advocate for peace.
The ghosts of Katherine and Jim are reputed to ‘occupy’ the house with several visitors to the centre claiming they have seen, heard or felt a presence as they move about the establishment – the perfect backdrop for a ghost story, wouldn’t you say? 🙂
The competition itself preludes to a chilling night out where guests dress up in their spookiest finery, toast marshmallows around campfires, and share their ghastly tales. It was open to two categories – YOUTH (8-18): Max 500 words and ADULT: Max 1,500 words and was loosely based on the theme ‘NIGHT’ with the top five short listed entries in each category invited to read their stories on the night.
If anyone would like to know more about the center and its wonderful history, I’ve included the link for your convenience. 🙂
Q.What was the allure of the competition for you?
The allure for me was threefold. One because I love spooky stories. I’m a fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz and their macabre tales. Two, I enjoy the challenge of a short story and believe it will help improve my writing. And three, I love and admire the writing of the judge, Author Carolyn Wren, and I would have been thrilled if she liked one of my stories in return. Which, happily for me, she did. 🙂
Q. Tell us a little about your story and where it placed.
My story is about an Indigenous warrior spirit named Wundurra who was called forth by the elders of his tribe to perform one last important task before he returns to the land of Dreaming. It covers an ancient and secret tradition, which brought great honour to the men selected. I’m pleased to say this story earned Second Place.
Q. Was there any controversy surrounding your story?
There wasn’t a controversy surrounding this story, but I did need to be conscious of sensitivity issues. Being a Caucasian writer telling a story about a culture steeped in a rich heritage that wasn’t my own, I had to make sure I wasn’t saying anything offensive.
Before I entered the competition, I had an Indigenous friend read my story and give me her honest opinion I was honouring her heritage. I was pleased to later discover the judge, Ms Wren, also had an expert on Indigenous culture read my story, approve it for sensitivity issues and give his permission to share my story.
Q.Why this story?
Sometimes, writers chose the stories they write. When I learned the competition was made possible thanks to a kind donation by Tabetha Beggs of Little Black Dress Productions, I thought I’d write a story about a little black dress that cursed whomever wore it. But sometimes, stories come from another place entirely.
At first, I didn’t pay attention to the soft clicking noise at the back of my mind. But it became louder, more distinct, and was soon accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful notes of a didgeridoo. Then came the voice of an indigenous gentleman, whose hypnotic tone commanded I write his story. So, I did.
As mentioned earlier, I am not a descendant of the traditional owners of this land, and I cannot tell you why Wundurra chose to speak to me. But I can tell you the clicking of the clap sticks and the warm burr of the didgeridoo did not stop until his story was told.
I’ve mentioned in a previous interview that sometimes I hear voices who demand I tell their stories. This was one such occasion. 🙂
Q. The moment I found out where I’d placed…??????
I grinned like a Cheshire cat at the wonderful things Ms Wren said about my story, and then I went into a quiet, internal panic with the knowledge I’d soon have to stand at the microphone and read my story out. LOL. Fortunately, I brought Clap sticks with me as they were an important part of the tale. They gave me something to do with my hands and helped impart the atmosphere I wanted to share.
The link for a FREE copy of the Ghost Story Anthology can be found here:
Thank you D.D. For chatting to us about your latest story!!