Your writing about the 1960’s in A Wedding in the Country was so authentic, how did you do your research?
Although I wasn’t a teenager about town in the early 60’s I do remember quite a lot about my early days. I checked the internet constantly, too.
I did used to get lost down research holes. It becomes very addictive.
Many people felt that they lost some of their creativity during 2020. How difficult was it to write during this time? How did you overcome this?
During the first lockdown, when it was Spring and the weather was so lovely, I got into the writing groove quite easily and really appreciated not going out and not having visitors. Sadly it hasn’t worked like that this time! I miss the visitors (especially family) and it isn’t so easy to lose myself in my book.
In which of your books have you felt most reluctant to leave your characters, do you have any plans to write a sequel to any of them?
I did feel very close to the characters in A Wedding in the Country, possibly because they’re based on my own history. Luckily, I planned to write three books based on them so I haven’t had to say goodbye just yet.
How soon after finishing one book, do you have to start on the next, do you have a set routine for starting a new book?
How soon I start the next book depends on a few things. I have in the past had short stories to write, or short novels. And sometimes I need to do research before I can dive in. A bit of fallow time between books is useful. Also, finishing a book is tiring and I need a bit of a rest. I’d like a couple of months.
Do you have any unfulfilled writing ambitions?
I do have a secret desire to write a cosy crime but I don’t think I could ever do the plotting tightly enough. I can’t stop thinking about it though.
What advice do you have for any aspiring writers?
Read a lot, persevere, and learn to take criticism. I’d add learn to tell the good advice from the bad. But when you’re in the hands of a professional editor, do what they suggest unless you can make a really good argument not to.
Image credit of Katie Fforde – David O’Driscoll