Glit-er-ary. I'm delighted to welcome her to my blog today.
What do you write? Why this in particular?
I have had two children’s and one book for teenagers published. In addition I have had eleven short stories (for adults, children and young adults,) as well as a number of newspaper and magazine articles printed. I read books for all age groups and genres. The joy of writing short stories is that I can experiment with different styles. I really appreciate publishing companies like Bridge House who provide writing opportunities and who know their craft as they are run by writers.
What got you started on writing in the first place?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t write. As a child I used to love making up stories.
My first writing commission was for six educational books with the Heinemann Fiction Project.
Do you have a particular routine?
No, but I really should. When I get caught up in an idea it keeps playing on my mind until I write it down. Sometimes this can be quite late at night.
Do you have a dedicated working space?
No, it tends to be anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes I work on an idea when I’m walking my dog and then I wish I had a notebook with me, other times it can be when I am trying to sleep and I know I won’t settle until I write the gist of it down. Other times I will work on a chapter wherever I happen to be and I won’t stop until it’s finished. My favourite place to write is in Woolacombe, overlooking the sea. I find it soothing and a wonderful setting to tune into ideas.
When did you decide you could call yourself a writer? Do you do that in fact?
My mindset is one of a writer in that I am constantly conjuring up ideas for stories, or playing with rhythms or words. I don’t often call myself a writer though, as I don’t yet earn my living from my published work.
How supportive are your friends and family? Do they understand what you're doing?
My son has been brilliant; he created my website for me and helps with photos or technical issues. My daughter has also been very supportive and regularly buys me subscriptions to writing magazines. She writes and performs comedy pieces. Publishers, editors and agents have offered a lot of encouragement, which I have really appreciated
What are you most proud of in your writing?
There is a tremendous thrill when an offer of publication comes through for a book or a short story, there’s nothing like it! It’s also exciting to win a writing competition. It keeps the impetus going on the longer projects. Whenever I have finished a story though, I move on to my next idea and I lose myself in that.
How do you get on with editing and research?
I have to hand-write my first draft which is a scrawl so that I can work really rapidly on my ideas, with plenty of alterations as I go. At this point I try to switch off my over critical inner editor. Later I type the chapters out more slowly, altering the text as I go. The editing is fairly swift afterwards. I enjoy the research that I need to do, but some books require very little.
Do you have any goals for the future?
My most immediate target is to complete a Young Adult book that I have been working on. Once it’s complete I should also be looking for a new agent as my previous one moved to New York. In the meantime I would like to continue writing short stories and to review my children’s books.
Which writers have inspired you?
I love reading all kinds of stories for adults, children and YA; I feel humbled when I read so much brilliant fiction. There’s so much wonderful literature available, from the classics to amazing contemporary authors! Amongst my favourite short story writers are Kate Chopin, whose style is so concise and symbolic and Daphne du Maurier’s collections which effectively evoke atmosphere and tension. It’s important for me to have piles of books to move onto and I choose according to my mood. I don’t even have a favourite genre, but I will read my way through an author’s books if I love them.
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