Sunday, 19 October 2008

Rosemary Gemmell (

What inspired you to write ‘Midge and the Pony?

I like to start with a character. When I saw a cute photograph of a boy with a pony, the idea of Midge, a boy who prefers horses to football gradually took shape. To make it more contemporary, he is almost bullied at school because of his size and he has no father.

What other material do you normally write?

I’ve had many adult short stories and articles published and sometimes write poetry. I also write children’s fiction, from picture book age to about twelve. Now I’m concentrating on novel length both for children and adults. Two children’s books and an adult novel are with publishers at the moment, in the hope of some positive interest!

What made you become a writer?

I’ve read anything and everything since I was old enough to understand words and adored being transported into make-believe worlds. I also loved the rhythm and rhyme of poetry and started writing it when going through a romantic teenager phase. It was only after many years of work, marriage and motherhood I realised I could actually be a writer and get published. Joining my local writing group was the turning point.

Which writers do you admire?

The classics like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Virginia Wolf and EM Forster. Classic crime writers like Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, PD James and Ellis Peters. The romantic suspense of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and the regency of Georgette Heyer. Contemporary writers such as Janice Galloway, Tracy Chevalier, Sarah Waters and Ann Donovan. Children’s writers JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, Catherine MacPhail and Theresa Breslin.

Tell us something about your writing routine.

Not as organised as I would like! Mondays and Tuesday morning are for creative writing if possible, then two or three other afternoons for rewriting, research or planning what to do next.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

I like my study area in our extension, with computer, desk and rows of books, when typing up my work, but much of my best creative writing is done in longhand in my favourite Costa with a cappuccino!

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