Thank you so much to Lucy Fidler for these prompts! Do follow Lucy’s #JanuaryDailyWrite hashtag for lots of interesting, thoughtful writing ideas!
When do you like to write?
Whenever I can – I push everything aside when the moment takes me! Everyone’s ignored!
Do you have a favourite place to write?
I write in my head when I walk the dog and then scribble ideas when I’m back. I also like writing on the sofa, curled up, or at the breakfast bar with a coffee. This is where I also listen to songs and read poetry for inspiration too!
Are you a seasoned or author or do you class yourself as a novice?
I have two picture books out this year, eeekkk, but definitely a novice! I’m learning a lot about the role of illustrations, text layout and page turns and how to keep my words simple and effective.
Are you a whimsical writer? An emotional writer? A regimented writer?
I’m not sure I have a style yet, but I try and aim for a classic, lyrical, romantic feel. You’ll have to see if you agree! But I’m also an emotional writer, stories come from moments in my life that are important eg: my Nan’s death, my frustration at not seeing LGBT characters get their happy ending. I tend to write in blocks where I write loads, edit every day and then leave it for a few weeks before coming back to it.
Do you have a favourite pen or do you prefer to type?
My husband bought me a new notepad which I like scribbling ideas down in but I like typing as I can edit easily.
What are your fears around your writing?
I desperately want to write sequels to the picture books I’ve already written as I feel the characters have more to tell. I’m worried this won’t happen. I’m also worried my books will be met with indifference! I was really worried about the reaction to gay characters in my children’s picture book, but I’ve decided to employ Mariah’s ‘I don’t know her’ attitude to homophobic negativity!
What do you want to achieve in your writing?
I want kids to enjoy my picture books, to feel whisked away to a new world, to gasp and laugh and feel cosy and looked after. I want children to see diverse families and for the LGBT community to get their happy ending and experience the same magic as everyone else!
What is the biggest barrier in your writing?
I still have a full time job and lots of deadlines so work and time restraints! Also feeling like my ideas aren’t good enough. I’m finding the trick is just to write and keep faith that something worthwhile will emerge. At the beginning of the process I mistakenly thought that my words were the most important part of a picture book but that was SO wrong – writing picture books is a huge team effort and I’ve learnt to value editors’ advice and the stunning work illustrators do!