So, this week it’s question time! Click under the cut for the questions!
1. What led you to write?
I think I started writing because of the love I had for reading. An early writing memory I have is of needing extra paper for a story we were writing when I was probably in about year three or four, when everyone else’s story was half a page on those half drawing paper/half lines paper. I used to want to make extra stories for my favourite characters, sort of fanfic before I was really aware of what that was
2. When did you start writing?
For actual serious writing probably a year or so before I went to uni in 2008 but I’d been writing awful Harry Potter stuff to amuse my friends for a few years prior to that.
3. What does writing represent in your life?
I suppose its a way for me to be creative that I know I’m actually good at.
4. Are you happy with your current style?
I guess so. I know I have a long way to go with my writing and I know that I can be better but for now I’m happy enough.
5. Do you do editing?
Yes, and sometimes I’m quite brutal about it. I think something is really awesome so cling onto it draft after draft but know eventually it’s going to have to go.
6. Do you read about writing (creative writing books, grammar books…)?
Occasionally. I think for me I’d rather write to learn than read a book telling me what to do and then going to do it.
7. Favourite genre?
Historical novels, murder mystery, Young Adult novels.
8. Favourite author(s)?
Too many! Jonathan Coe, John Boyne, Charlie Higson, Evelyn Waugh, Pat Barker, Michelle Magorian, Siegfried Sassoon, Herge. Probably more.
9. Favourite book?
Really? Currently Goodnight Mr. Tom, Brideshead Revisted and The Absolutist.
10. What do you prefer to write?
Time range 1910 – 1930, usually some element of the First World War involved.
11. Is there anything you can’t write?
Convincing horror, romance, sci-fi and fantasy.
12. What is the weirdest thing you have ever written?
We did a project at uni that involved writing things in different genres and my fantasy one was pretty weird. And awful.
13. Choose a topic: love, death, friendship. Now write a couple of lines about it.
His friends had been the anchor that had tethered him down, that pulled him under. Like those valiant sailors he’d read about, sailing on ships in glittering seas, he wished he could tug the anchor up and away, leaving them drifting in the wake.
14. Do you think you have influences from any professional writer? If so, which ones?
I think I have inspirations from writers more than influence. I try my best to try not to emulate anyone.
15. Worst book you have read so far?
We read a few things at uni that I wasn’t a fan of, some examples: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Red Tent and Mantrapped.
16. Why is it so bad, in your opinion?
I’m not sure if the books mentioned above were particularly bad but I didn’t like them because they weren’t books I would usually read or be interested in.
17. Choose one of your characters and describe them in 3 words.
Because I’m currently writing about him, Auberon: Conflicted, haunted, headstrong.
18. Does your character feel ‘alive’?
Partly. I think he needs a bit more fleshing out.
19. Could you kill this character?
I suppose so, if the story asked for it.
20. Do you hate any of your own characters?
Only if they’re supposed to be hated. I really dislike one of the characters in my big novel but because I’m supposed to hate him, he’s a really horrid person.
21. Now, let’s be honest. Every writer has their own favourite creation: what’s your favourite story, out of everything you have written/planned to write? And character?
At the moment it’s the novel that came out of my dissertation because I’ve worked so hard on it and laboured over it for about 2 years now. My favourite character is from that novel and he’s called Kit.
22. Have you ever abandoned an idea for a story? Why?
All the time. I used to write five or so pages and give up because I couldn’t see it going anywhere.
23. Have you ever deleted a whole piece of work? Why?
No, because who knows when that half a paragraph I wrote five years ago might spark an idea.
24. And finally: make up a completely original character right now and describe them briefly. It doesn’t even have to be human!
Edward St. Clair, a final year university student who finds himself with the prospects of his parents moving to Zurich and he has the option to go or not. He has a thirst for adventure and thinks it might happen somewhere apart from rainy old England!