Thursday, 23 October 2008

Rosemary Bach-Holzer

What was my inspiration to write Sally and the Sign People?

The lousy deal seagulls receive in Cornwall. They are treated as pests and I think that’s wrong. So, I wrote what is (hopefully) an entertaining and funny story aimed at all ages. I’d got divorced and sold my home on the Atlantic and was attempting to relocate to France and failing miserably. Meanwhile I was trying to get Sally Seagull going when I noticed a dog hoovering up the bread I’d thrown out for the birds - so you could say Sally and the Sign People is based on a true story. Sure, it has messages within but I don’t want to overanalyse it. It’s not Michel de Montaigne.

What other material do I normally write?

Varied. I’ve recently started work on a crime/mystery novel that I didn’t envisage in a million years. Generally I stick to humorous real-life articles. I’ve also had success with articles about my cats (they make great copy). I’m putting finishing touches to a self-help book and a natural and cruelty-free beauty book that gives out tips and how you should change your loo brush more often and I’ve recently finished a story about a spider who goes up in space. I’ve also written a hen-lit contemporary humour that’s on the hunt for an agent.

What made me become a writer?

Good question. One I often ask myself. I can’t help it. It’s something I have to do like an itch that has to be scratched. I write for myself but if someone else connects to it then that’s great. I also think this particular itch has been with me since before birth like I didn’t have a choice or say in the matter. My grandfather was a German comedy playwright and although he died way back in 1929 (my father had me in his fifties) his plays are still being shown today.

Which writers do I admire?

Anne Fine, James Herriot, David Renwick (One Foot in the Grave), John Esmonde and Bob Larbey (The Good Life), Jimmy Perry and David Croft (Dad’s Army), Dennis Bardens, Peter Moss, Mark Gold, Jack Higgins, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Arnold & Bach.

Tell you about my writing routine?

I don’t have one. I can write up to 14 hours a day and then not write for six months and on some days I tend to favour hours better suited to a vampire, I seem to come alive after dark. I don’t want to dwell on this because as soon as I mention I have ME/CFS people tend to zone in on that and forget about everything else. I only mention it now because that’s the leading factor as to why I don’t have a set routine, as such. Simply, I do things differently because I have to. My health dictates and I listen.

Do I have a favourite place for writing?

No. Right now I’m happy scribbling from my bed (in a room that is overflowing with packing cases) surrounded by books, my stereo, writing magazines and scrap paper and pens and my laptop for when inspiration and energy come together. In Cornwall I had the best office with the best view and wrote some all right stuff there, however, I’m not one of those who subscribe to the opinion you must have flowers on your desk along with your favourite treats and endless cups of whatever at hand. Going by that premise, writers, the PM, plumbers or teachers can only work productively after consuming a chocolate bar and sniffing an aesthetically pleasing fresh bunch of sweet peas?

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