1) What am I working on?
Well, I have a sequel to my Young Adult novel, Watermelon, at the completed first draft stage. Thus far, this has definitely been the most difficult thing I’ve attempted to write, and whilst some parts are pretty much ‘done’, others require a complete re-write. This one is currently on the backburner, happily fermenting away until I can muster up the emotional strength to tackle it again.
Then there’s the short story collection. Six shorts for Young Adults that need a good old fettle – the stories that is, not the Young Adults – and then will be ready to go.
Finally, I have an adult novel in its very early stages that I’m really optimistic about, but need to give some serious time and thought to before I continue with it.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
If indeed it does, I would like to think it has a slight edge on authenticity. Doing the job I do, I’m immersed in the company of Young Adults day in day out, and I think I soak up their thoughts, their language, their mannerisms, their emotions largely as a process of osmosis. This means when I come to commit these to paper, they are very real in my mind, and hopefully that sense of reality is conveyed to the reader.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Highly unoriginal I’m sure, but it’s what I know. It’s what I love to read myself. It’s what I hope might challenge readers and maybe offer an alternative view of people or events or ways of living. It’s about presenting characters whose voices are rarely, if at all, heard, and telling their stories in a sensitive and compelling way.
4) How does my writing process work?
If only I blinkin’ knew. It seems to be different for every darn book! Safe was born out of a total naivety as for as writing process is concerned, but I do think my inadvertent lack of regard for writing conventions at the time is what gives it its unique appeal, and that’s why schools all over the world study it with their students. With Watermelon, I started at the end. I knew how the final scene would play out, and worked backwards, building characters and a storyline that all led to that denouement. Someone Different probably had the most definitive plan. Not that I ever actually write a plan - or any other notes to be honest - but in my head, I knew that story pretty much inside out before I started to write; that’s not to say however, that the characters didn’t present me with the odd surprise along the way! In truth, I wish I did have a process; I’m sure I’d be a much more productive, efficient and organised writer if I did. But I suppose, just like most of my characters, I react to what’s in front of me at any given moment in time, and somehow calve some kind of existence out of it all as I go along.
So there you have it. I am now (out of breath and with stitch) running up alongside the very wonderful Lucinda Elliot, whose writing I adore, and passing that mighty flame over into her very original, capable and creative hands. Go, Lucinda!
She works out, gardens when it's not raining, is a classic English Literature and names geek, an opinionated matriarch and a general pain in the ****. She was once a champion Sportsfighter (a long time ago).