I started writing age ten, and have continued for over seventy years, which makes me quite old. I plan to continue to do so until then pen falls from my hand (yes, I still like the feel of pen on paper, though I do use a computer). For about forty years of my writing life I focused on travel, but my first love is fiction to which I have happily returned in advanced years.
What inspires you to write?
Mainly the amazing way ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances. My childhood was through World War Two but, in later years, I have learned how war affects succeeding generations, and this is a common theme of my novels.
Tell us about your writing process.
I try and write every day. When I have a book in progress this is a must, but more recently I have been a sole carer for a very poorly husband. He collapsed and died recently (February 2013) and now writing is being fitted in between sorting probate and down-sizing accommodation. Writing is not the problem on the whole. Marketing is far more angst-making.
In the case of a novel, I usually know how it will end, but not always how I shall get there. When I start getting too muddled, I start making notes or bringing out the white board.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
On the whole my characters take me over though I do try and stop them from getting out of hand. In particular, I need to check back carefully that they have not talked me into a situation which becomes nonsense when the story is further down the line.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Write every day. Write even if sometimes you are writing nonsense. And if you continue to find every reason for not doing so (we have all been through that), question whether you really want to be a writer.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In my travel-writing days, this was not a problem. A publisher wanted a book on this or that topic, and you wrote. Not so easy with fiction. After wasting much time banging head against brick wall, I settled for print-on-demand, and have not regretted it. I have not made a lot of money, but I have not lost any either and hopefully I have imparted a few ideas into a few heads along the way.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s worrying. My most recent book, self-published in 2012, seems to be hitting distribution problems as it is not available on major wholesalers’ websites in the US. Currently a buyer in Finland’s largest book shop is having difficulties finding a source from which to buy it. Yet I am told this distributor is one of the biggest in the world. So biggest doesn’t apparently mean best, and this really is worrying.
What genres do you write?
Fiction with contemporary or modern historical backgrounds
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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