The questionnaires continue; here is mine, and followed by that is the next part of the short story.
1. What led you to write?
I was always really playful and imaginative when I was younger; I suppose I still am. I decided to write to escape some of the problems with my life very early on; I discovered this was the key to something much greater in later years.
2. When did you start writing?
The earliest I can remember was about ten years old; I used to write fiction in primary school, but we had to. I loved the writing part, but not the handing it in; funnily enough I still feel the same way.
3. What does writing represent in your life?
Mostly my identity; how I grow over the years. It means everything to me, and nothing to anyone else; but it will always be that way. You’re always the only person to care about your imaginative life; and I’ve learned there’s nothing wrong with that.
4. Are you happy with your current style?
Yes and no; I have an idiosyncratic hate for the comma, which I am managing to break now. I feel the need to use words I know people don’t the meaning of but then I think NO; people don’t carry around a dictionary with them; they will end up slamming the writing down with a mighty force, and gain some mighty frustration from it. Sometimes I think my writing and the words I use are too simple and repeated too much. I am working on that though. Also I have noticed the messages I am trying to get across are very hard to convey without them being cheesy; working on this a lot at the minute. I have been told numerous times my stuff is too cheesy.
5. Do you do editing?
I have been editing more over the last three months than actual writing. I have a lot of words to edit before I go any further with anything else.
6. Do you read about writing (creative writing books, grammar books…)?
Only grammar books; I always keep referring to Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Better Writing; I really recommend it; I have read the thing cover to cover three times now. Read Eats Shoots and Leaves a few times too. Nothing other than that I can remember right now. I don’t need creative books; I am too creative – especially when it is required of me.
7. Favourite genre?
I don’t have a particular one. If I like the idea of a story I will read it, regardless of the genre. Although I am usually a lover of supernatural dramas, children’s fiction and fantasy, some science fiction, and non fiction.
8. Favourite author(s)?
No – just no. I can’t have just one favourite author. The ones that always stick out for me at the minute are J. M. Barrie, C. S. Lewis, Cornelia Funke, Oscar Wilde, Charlaine Harris, David H. Burton, Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke. And I’m sure you have heard of most of them too!
9. Favourite book?
That is hard. I have so many sides that my favorites change between the books I have read and loved. At the minute it is probably The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Trust me, I never expected it to happen; but it was such a lovely surprise. But the book I have read the most (which is now fourteen times) is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
10. What do you prefer to write?
I like writing anything, really. Actually, that’s a lie; I write about what we cannot see; my inner child likes it that way.
11. Is there anything you can’t write?
Not sure. Probably anything to do with the world wars; this is not because I am bad at writing about them, but because I have no motivation for it — at all; I grew up in a house with my step father and older brother both being obsessed by the second, very occasionally the first world war. The amount of films, documentaries and conversations that revolved around this was insane; if you lived with me you would see why it grew old very fast.
12. What is the weirdest thing you have ever written?
Something I have not told anyone about; it was about a family of dust mites that lived in an old and abandoned house; it mostly was about prejudice families at war with each other; I humanised the mites of course; I had too! It was done purely for a personal creative exercise though.
13. Choose a topic: love, death, friendship. Now write a couple of lines about it.
Death. At the time between this life and our next, there is a glimpse of the future that comes through our eyes; an insightful vision took hold of me at that exact time. Then, there it was — the light that is the doorway to my next life; the one I have been waiting for for a long time. I feel alone — until a hand of someone I know takes my own.
14. Do you think you have influences from any professional writer? if so, which ones?
I’m not sure, honestly. I think C. S. Lewis has been a big influence on my work in ways I didn’t manage to see for quite a while. I am not a copycat though. I use religion and faith in a lot of my stories; some show it more noticeable than my others.
15. Worst book you have read so far?
Pride and Prejudice.
16. Why is it so bad, in your opinion?
It feels as if nothing happens; please don’t make me read it again!
17. Choose one of your characters and describe them in 3 words.
Sam: hyperactive, science geek.
18. Does your character feel ‘alive’?
I bloody hope so!
19. Could you kill this character?
I seem to have a knack of killing of the characters I love most; it is unexpected so I usually do it. So yeah.
20. Do you hate any of your own characters?
Only one so far: Elgora Sansin; I haven’t gotten to know her so well as she is new, so that might change.
21. Now, let’s be honest. Every writer has their own favorite creation: what’s your favorite story, out of everything you have written/planned to write? And character?
The two fantasy novels I am working on that is one story. They are not going to be finished for a long, long time still. I am illustrating them myself, which will double the amount of time it will take me to finish it. It will be worth it by the end though.
22. Have you ever abandoned an idea for a story? Why?
Yes. The idea didn’t seem to expand very well.
23. Have you ever deleted a whole piece of work? Why?
Yes; with my fantasy novel. I originally wrote it when I was thirteen. I looked over it and thought it was so bad that I cringed. I pressed the control and a button on the keyboard then hit delete; I regretted doing that, but on some level writing the whole thing from scratch showed how much I loved the story, so I didn’t.
24. And finally: make up a completely original character right now and describe them briefly. It doesn’t even have to be human!
A woman named Genevieve. She is half Russian half British and works as a counselor; unlike most people she is friends with most of her clients, but that still doesn’t affect her work; it is this twenty or so group of people along with Genevieve leading them, that they decide to build and form a shelter house for the homeless; this is where their adventures begin; where she finds a certain something that was missing in her life.
Here is some more of the short story. Enjoy:
Andrew was in the restaurant in the hotel; he saw what was once a friend many years ago walk by until he noticed him.
“Andrew, you old git. Still raking in the millions?” Well Andrew was furious because he knew he was not old; he gave an unforgiving stare at him before answering.
“Always,” he replied, smiling, attempting to rub it in his face.
“I can’t believe I am finally staying in this hotel. It is such a remarkable building; all the carvings of stone and marble; especially of cherubs and angels; the bold creams and red materials; they’re all such a pleasure to the senses.”
“Can’t say I’ve noticed any of it.”
“Wow; the money must be really making you blind now. Can’t you see it?” The old friend looked around the hotel with a clear excitement in his voice. “This place is giving of its old history from its sheer appearance and design .”
“I did hear this was built over three hundred years ago,” said Andrew.
“That’s right. But I’m betting you don’t know this.” Andrew gestured his hand to the seat opposite him as he was simply curious. His old friend sat down. “They say that this is the hotel that an angel stayed at when it first opened in the year of 1711 on the month of May.”
“It’s just a story; people make things up all the time.”
“Wait, let me finish.” He looked at one of the carved angels on the ceiling above them before continuing; Andrew looked up as he did after a second or two.
“Look at that,” he said. “I didn’t even know they were up there.”
“Beautiful aren’t they. Anyway – it is said that this angel has never left the hotel since that day; which means he is still–” Andrew finished his sentence:
“Here. A good story to get tourists involved, nothing else.”
“You don’t believe in it, do you? Not even the tiniest bit.”
“Messengers of God – oh please. I’ll tell you now, if one of them did exist and came to me, I would give this God of ours a message he would never forget.”
“It is sad that you only have faith in whatever you see. It is a true wonder what the magic of faith can give to us if we allow it.” An uncomfortable silence lingered for nearly a minute. Andrew took a sip of his espresso before speaking again:
“I suppose that explains the name of this hotel,” not knowing what else to say.
“Indeed. It was changed a week after its opening date after finding out about this angel; it was formerly called The Yearning, and now its present name: From Above.”