My Writing Life
I recently did a blog swap with Jennifer Gilby Roberts. We set ourselves a list of questions and then appeared on each other’s blogs. Here are the questions and my answers:
1. When did you first begin writing in earnest?
After a few false starts, I began writing seriously in April 2012. I had read Meet Me At The Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan and enjoyed it so much that I had a sudden desire to write something myself.
2. Has your writing changed since you completed your first novel?
Yes it has changed since writing Conditional Love. I think my plotting, pacing and character development has improved so that my first drafts are better these days. I can also write more each day than I used to be able to do. Generally I think I’m more confident about my writing.
3. How much planning do you do before you start writing?
I’m naturally an impatient person so when I get an idea for a book I want to charge in and start writing straight away. But I’ve learned that my writing will be much better and I’ll have less re-writing to do if I spend more time developing characters, writing a synopsis and making notes about each of the three acts in the story before I start. I also try and write the blurb before I begin too, to help me get the tone right.
4. Describe your typical writing day?
Once I’ve waved my daughters off to school on the bus at 7.30, I walk the dog, come home and start work by 8.30am at the latest. I allow myself a short faff on twitterand Facebook etc and then start writing. With Ivy Lane, the chapters are shorter (2250 – 2500 words each) so I tried to write one per day. Once I finish writing new material, I try and plan out the next day’s chapter so that it is in my subconscious ready for the following day. I usually fetch the children from school in the afternoon and have a couple of hours off between three and five. Then once I’ve performed some maternal duties I try and fit in another hour or so of correspondence, blog posts, emails and social media etc.
5. What is the hardest part of being a writer?
Juggling between writing new material and promoting my existing books. Both jobs are vital and sometimes it is hard to fit everything in!
6. What does the rest of 2014 hold for you in terms of writing?
I have just finished a novel for Transworld publishers called Ivy Lanewhich is being serialized in four parts as ebooks with the paperback coming out next Spring. I am putting the finishing touches to another novel White Lies and Wishes ready to send out to publishers. I’m also mulling over some ideas for a new novel, but haven’t quite decided which one to write yet!