Tyrolin Puxty Talks Writing, Vampire Cats and Life in Mudgee
Tyrolin Puxty does it all. No, seriously. She is a published author, owns a performing arts school, teaches creative writing and co-hosts a podcast called HooPod, which is part of Felicia Day’s Hooman community. Tyrolin has also been in the Top 25 of the Australian Songwriters Association and Top 5 of the Australian Independent Music Awards, was awarded an Australia Day Award for Music in 2014 and 2017, and for Arts in 2015. Despite this, chocolate, cats and copious amounts of TV marathons take up the majority of Tyrolin’s time.
In an effort to tell you all about one of my favourite authors, I asked Tyrolin to answer a few questions for me below:
Summer: When did you first start writing?
Tyrolin: My earliest memory was three! I toddled up to Mum and asked her to teach me how to read so I could write stories. Precocious little kid, really. For years, Mum would buy exercise books and I’d write picture stories, usually revolving around a red bird and mermaids. Looking back, I think I may have plagiarized Shirley Barber and Enid Blyton. Please don’t send me to jail.
Summer: That’s an adorable picture you just painted! So today – where do you like to write and why?
Tyrolin: I wish I could say it’s somewhere posh, or creative, like a cabin in the woods. The reality is, I curl up on the lounge in my PJs with chocolate biscuits and procrastinate on Facebook for an hour before I start my work. Sometimes I share these photos on Instagram to make me look cool…but…yeah, check out this pic. The computer wasn’t even turned on. The shame.
Summer: I’m the same! I always look homeless or horribly depressed when I write. No bra – no dignity. Just my laptop (and social media!) Okay moving on – What is it like to be an artist/ creative in a small town like Mudgee? Do you find you have the support and resources you need?
Tyrolin: Oooph…I really wish I could sing praises for my hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mudgee and I have a lot of support from my family, friends and students, but in general, the arts do not get the backing they need. There have been local events who have not been very helpful or professional, so I’ve found my place hosting panels at Oz Comic Con and Supanova in Sydney/Melbourne. I’m hoping this will change in the future, because I genuinely adore Mudgee, but I am not impressed with several unnamed officials. You’d think people would be careful not to irritate an author, haha! *taunts with pen in hand*
Summer: Ugh the struggle is real! We’ll have to combine forces to get some more funding! Next question- Who are some of your favourite authors? Did any one author in particular inspire you to start?
Tyrolin: I just realised you’re spelling “Australian”, Summer! All the extra “u”‘s and “s” in place of “z”! You and I are completely mixed up! I find myself spelling “American” for my publisher! Little things like changing “slippery dip” to “slide” and “torch” to “flashlight” have been tricky — like I’m betraying my written accent. It’s one way to give a girl an eye twitch.
This is book blasphemy, because I don’t read much! Every time I start reading, I feel I should be writing instead! I always loved Lemony Snicket’s twisted, humorous style and Rebecca James’ fast paced novels. Nobody in particular inspired me to write — it was just something I had to do. If I don’t write, I feel like the stories inside will eat me alive!
Summer: I feel the same way about wanting to write when I’m reading! However, some books like Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine just get me HOOKED. Sooo what are you currently reading?
Tyrolin: *awkward silence*.
WELL. I don’t know if this counts, but I’ve just bought the Charmed comics and I’m obsessed with them! I finished reading the Hunger Games last month, but I’ve been so busy with my degree and work that I’ve neglected reading. That’s a *really* boring answer.
Also, Peta is not so hopeless in the books. He’s actually really cluey. Didn’t get that vibe from the film. #thebookwasbetter
Summer: Where did the idea or inspiration for Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat come from?
Tyrolin: I had NO intention of getting it published because I thought it was so ridiculous! I was teaching my creative writing class, and I jokingly said to the kids; “write a story about monsters putting on a play”. They didn’t go for it. I thought it was a fun idea, so I played around with the concept of a possessed man killing anybody who didn’t treat a cat well. It just developed from there. I let loose all my sarcasm, hidden thoughts and crazy ideas, and my editor said it was the best thing I’d ever written. I finished it off within ten weeks, not anticipating a good reaction, but people seem to really dig Colt!
Colt’s mannerism are also inspired by the delectable Jensen Ackles. I had the pleasure of meeting him in May and gave him a copy of the book. It was a really great experience. Having said that, it is infuriating that not only is Jensen Ackles aesthetically pleasing, but he’s also a real sweetheart. Part of me wanted him to be a jerk so I could stop crushing on him!
Summer: Will there be a sequel?
Summer: Can you tell us about the book launch on Friday night for Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat?
Tyrolin: YES. Okay! See, I’m already excited and I haven’t even said anything yet. 7pm Friday night (30/6) at the Mudgee Town Hall will be the unleashing of the monsters who reside within Colt’s world. We have singers, dancers and actors from Stepping Out in Mudgee and special guests from America! There will be a live reading and book signing. If you enjoy the Mudgee pantomimes, laughter and talented singers, then this is right up your alley! You can get tickets here or on the night for only $10! https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=272372
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