Tuesday, 21 October 2008
What inspired you to write ‘Winter Blooms’?
I love hyacinths in winter. They brighten the house during the darkest days, especially after the Christmas decorations have come down, which is when I most need cheering up. I’m also fascinated by the way everyone has hidden depths, no matter how ordinary they appear. Somehow the two themes came together, and ‘Winter Blooms’ was born.
What other material do you normally write?
I mostly write stories for women’s magazines, where I’m published fairly regularly, but also enjoy delving into the ‘darker side’. My ambition is to be a published novelist, and I’ve been writing a contemporary saga set in the Lake District, which I try to work on when I get the chance between other projects.
What made you become a writer?
I never ‘became’ a writer – it’s always been there, along with reading, though pushed aside when other aspects of life have had to come first. Joining a writing group provided motivation and encouragement, and still does. I get very irritable if I haven’t had my writing ‘fix’.
Which writers do you admire?
Thomas Hardy, the Brontes, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, Anne Tyler, Anita Shreve, Neil Gaiman, Sarah Hall, John Steinbeck… The list goes on, and is quite a mixture.
Tell us something about your writing routine.
I don’t have a routine as such, but fit it in when I can. I try to write most days, even if it means holding a sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other. When I do get in a full day’s writing I’m afraid I drink far too much coffee.
Do you have a favourite place for writing?
My main base is the spare bedroom, which needs a really good sort-out, and I keep promising myself I’ll organise it into a proper writing room. I write drafts in longhand then put them on the computer, so I can write pretty well anywhere if necessary. For instance, I’ve sold stories whose first drafts were written on the shores of Coniston Water.