It’s time for my post in the link that it is the writers blog tour currently occurring on twitter. I got nominated by the very lovely and highly talented @helencadbury want to thank her for doing so, and encourage everyone to go checkout her blog wheneverpigshavewings at http://www.helencadbury.com re #mywritingprocess – it’s a corker. She is an award winning crime novelist and currently working on her 3rd book. Have read the first one To Catch a Rabbit and it’s an excellent read. Anyway on we go. Below are my answers to the stock questions, I hope they’re of interest.
1. What am I working on?
Mainly ‘the novel’. My first novel The Dangerous Sun won me a Northern Writers Award last year. It’s contemporary literary fiction and the story is told from the pov of oddball and loner Luke Spargo. Luke’s nineteen, obsessed with the sun and a pyromaniac. The award, run by New Writing North, secured me interest from an agent and having seen a first draft they felt it was a lil rushed and a lil underdeveloped. So that’s what I’ve being working on (inbetween trying to write a crime novella and tinkering with short fiction pieces.) These latter mentions are pure distractions and I’ve today made a pact to abandon them and pay attention to Luke and only LUke. It’s so easy to do isn’t? Ignore the thing that needs the most attention and piss about with the stuff that doesn’t. But this pact, this two fingers up to the God of Procrastination, has been witnessed by Molly the cat so that’s it, I’ve bewitched myself and there’s no going back. So here I am exploiting scenes, fleshing out characters and slashing and burning useless redundant prose. Strangely editing and re-writing is enjoyable. Never expected it to be when i started out as a writer. I thought it would be writing hell but it ain’t.
2. How does my work differ?
People who have read my fiction say it’s got a quirky, sometimes whimsical take, albeit urban and edgy! My novel sits alongside those that feature unreliable young male narrators eg (Gavin Extence’s Alex Woods Versus the Universe and Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country, The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer) but I’ve been told I have managed to find a unique character in Luke and formed an original way to tell his story and that I can create believable characters in a few lines.
3) Why do I write the way I do?
I like exploring what it is to be human and like many writers am drawn to the dark side. The secrets, the weaknesses, the flaws in people. I trained as an art therapist and have a long standing interest in psychology. I love character driven prose and enjoy first person pov and love getting right into the mind of a character. Conflict doesn’t have to be between two people, internal conflict can make for intense, exciting, unpredictable drama. As you can probably tell I’m all about character! Setting and plot do come into my writing but don’t go overboard on description. I like to read authors who share my style and particularly those that have central characters who are disturbing and engaging. One of my favourite writers is John Fowles. I think he’s a genius when it comes to depicting disturbed and engaging! I read The Collector and then The Magus and was blown away. Other novelists I rate include M J Hyland (This is How), Tim Winton (Dirt Music) and the brilliantly overlooked Richard Wright (Native Son). My first love was short stories and I was drawn to Carver and Chekov because of their writing style. I can forgive anyone anything if I fall in love with their writing style.
4) How does your writing process work?
I’m not a writer that can dash off chunks of prose easily but I do think it depends what you’re trying to do. Moving story along, giving people things to do, even dialogue, is much easier to do over creating unique descriptions. Struggling over metaphors and similies can be tough and frustrating and at times I can get obsessed and sit and toil over the same words and sentences for days, even week! My book is character based and told entirely from the pov of Luke. It’s his unique perspective on the world that’s the book’s USP, the reader is always in Luke’s head, which at times is a tense brooding place and at other times Luke is vulnerable and fearful. The one thing writing this book has taught me is that first person present is damn hard to maintain through a whole novel. I don;t push on if it’s not working and I don’t beat myself up. I’ve put guilt in the backseat and if I stray from the path it just means I get there by a different route. I need to enjoy writing as that’s what got me into. But the more you do the better you get at it so that old adage of getting your butt on the seat is so true. At home I have a room set up as a writing room but perversely I usually write in bed in pjs with my laptop. I can’t write in the mornings. Don’t start to write until 2/3pm usually but can go until midnight and into the early hours. Getting out of your comfort zone is also useful. I do treat my writing with more respect if I do it outside of home. Hate that I do, but it’s a fact!
So by now you’ll have worked out I’m full of contradictions. Sit in bed, get out of the house, focus on the novel, start writing short stories. Whatever hope this has been of some use and I’d now like to introduce fellow writer and fellow twitterer, Lynne Blackwell.
I met Lynne at Harrogate Crime Festival where to be honest we spent most the time laughing in the tent! Lynne’s writing has been described as gritty, powerful and atmospheric and she draws on the desolate landscapes of her home county Yorkshire. Lynne’s first novel ‘Into the Snicket,’ received a great deal of interest, with one leading agency offering representation – a situation which she now describes as ‘peaking too soon.’ Subsequently revised it is now currently being considered for crime specific representation. Brought up close to Ilkley Moor, Lynne moved into a nurse’s home on the edge of the Peak District in her late teens. She has since lived in a number of locations; by crags, woods, glens and disused railways – perfect locations for the disposal of fictional murder victims…
Her blog, ‘The Trials of an Unpublished Author’ documents the highs and lows on her long journey to publication and you can find the link here https://sites.google.com/site/lynneblackwellwriter/blogs
Lynne also has a website https://sites.google.com/site/lynneblackwellwriter/home
and of course she is on twitter @lynnemblackwell
so please read her blog in a week’s time and follow her !!