I have been a scriptwriter for over ten years. Ever since my first ever writing role on The Big Breakfast (popular (for a while) early morning, irreverent, fun comedy/news show), I have been writing. I have written for many TV channels including E!, Living, Channel4, Channel 5, Pick, Virgin1 and ITV. I am also an ex-radio presenter and I am a stand-up comedian. Never Go Back is my debut novel.
What inspires you to write?
I am in a very fortunate position in that I write every day as a career. I found that what I couldn’t use/didn’t want to use in a TV script, I developed and created a stand-up comedy routine. All my comedy and writing comes from my own personal life experiences or that of people I know. When friends sit around in a social environment (usually with a splash of alcohol) the stories people share can be hilarious. I’ve always been very honest about life and in return I get the same back. These stories create seeds of ideas that can be developed and manipulated to create characters and scenes that are realistic and very funny.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have my main story on a computer. I know in my head where it has to go next and constantly make notes wherever I am. I then play around with those notes, developing and changing them until they start to form an acceptable path. I then write and re-write the gags until I am certain that the funniest lines are used in the best way before committing it into the story and then starting the process again with the next section. I do find the best ideas come from your subconscious mind and not forcing yourself to write is the best way to get the creative juices flowing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
For me, the characters need to be based on someone I can visualize. They need to be real. Then I begin a dialogue with them.
Everyone says that at the time they couldn’t think of a great response but afterwards it came to them. When writing a novel or a script that’s the moment to seize that opportunity – your characters can always have the perfect come back!
Sometimes when I conversation happens I will let it play out in my mind and write everything down as it arrives in my imagination without editing. I’ll carry on until I run out of conversation. Only then will I go back. If I become too quick to self-edit the moment passes and the creative train of thought is lost forever!
What advice would you give other writers?
I would tell them what I was told when I first started. I went to the boss of a high profile TV show and told her I could write and she asked me what I’d actually written. I said ‘nothing’. She told me that everyone she meets tells her that they can write but very few can prove it. I went away and wrote for anyone and anything that would have me – websites, radio stations, newspapers, magazines. Much of which was unpaid but, it gave me a resume of work and allowed someone to critique my work and help train me. I then sat down and wrote a script. When I went back to her a year later she was impressed enough with my work to offer me the role I desperately wanted. Many people tell me they have a book and tell me all about the characters and the plot and I tell them I’d like to read it and yet there is nothing on paper. JUST DO IT!
Finally, let it go, show people. The only way you can ever tell if it’s any good is for people to read it and tell you. Even if they hate it, at least you can work out why and learn from the experience.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After writing Never Go Back I sent it to an agent, they really liked the book and offered to send it to a publishers. The publisher liked the book and asked me to change certain parts. I did, and the process went back and forth for a while. Over a year of tweaking later I received a letter to say they no longer dealt with comedy. Rather than start over I thought I had a book I was proud of and decided to self-publish and see if people liked it. Fortunately, the response has been far better than I could’ve ever imagined.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
With publishers taking less risks I foresee the only way new authors can be discovered is through self-publishing. Well established writers and celebrity biographies will make the publishing grade but the rest will have no option but to self publish. I don’t actually think this is a bad idea as if you are going to purchase an actual hardback/paperback book you’ll know it’s or the author has been tried and tested.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
comedy, romantic comedy, chick-lit, lad-lit.
What formats are your books in?
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