Friday, 7 November 2008

Annie Bates

What inspired me to write this story?

As a child my mother used to say to me 'but of course that is only your story,' whenever I had a spat with my sister or brother. I guess it has grown from there. Now I read something or hear a tale and can't help wondering...these days we hear a lot of negative stuff about people coming into this country, taking our jobs, living off benefits. It's good for us to turn it round and ask the question - How do they feel?

What other material do you normally write?

Anything. I write all the time. On my computer, on little bits of paper when I'm out of the house, in my head when I'm busy with other things. Always fiction, for young people and adults. Recently I have written a poem about dating at sixty for a local writing group, a story about a heart-red balloon getting caught in a bush and have a longer project going with a working title of 'Girl in a Silver Dress' which is a story for all, young and old alike.

What inspired you to become a writer?

All sorts of things. Watching my father create pictures about things he cared about - he was an artist. A love of reading. When I was in primary school I read every single book in the school library by the time I was nine years old and the headmaster used to take me to the town library once a week to choose more books.

Which writers do you admire?

Too numerous to mention, but here are a few; Michael Morpurgo for the ability to write simplistically without losing integrity or emotional impact. David Almond for his clever stories that map the everyday lives of children with an almost mystical air. Jostein Gaarder, a philosopher who writes lovely stories...Phillip Pulman, Ann Fine, Margaret Atwood, Tracy Chevalier, Sebastian Faulkes.

Tell us somehting about your writing routine?

Not as regularly or as frequent as I would like. This is where writing in my head comes in handy; it can give one the air of being a little distracted or even 'dippy' as a friend of mine once described me, but it helps to satisfy the need to create stories.

Whaere is your favourite writing place?

In my dreams I have this little space dedicated to nothing other than writing. No one else is allowed in; it is reasonably tidy and has all the accoutrements of a well equipped office. It is sunny, warm has a lovely view...possibly from an attic window, overlooking a valley with a river, some deciduous woodland. In reality I write at a small table in a corner of my bedroom, sharing my computer with my three children. Today, as I write this the dog is sitting on my feet snoring, which keeps my feet warm but is a little distracting. Out of the window I can see several mature trees, birch, oak, beech. The autumn sun is painting the leaves golden.

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