Thanks to Maudie Smith– author of the fabulous Opal Moonbaby series- for tagging me into the #mywritingprocess meme. I’m endlessly fascinated by how other people write, yet to describe my own process feels a bit like this…
1. What Am I Working On?
I’ve just finished the edits for ‘The Girl Who Walked On Air’ (due out 7 August) and now await the copy edits. I’m also working on a new project- current title ‘In Darkling Wood’- which is based on the story of the Cottingley Fairies, and has two narrators, one modern day, one from 1919.
2. How Does My Work Differ From Others?
A tough question. There are lots of brilliant historical fiction novels out there, especially in the 9-12 age range. As for my stories, I write in the 1st person, which perhaps isn’t so common in MG fiction. My narrators have strong, distinctive voices. They use idioms appropriate to the time and their social class. Although I’ve had to do heaps of research in the writing of my books, I don’t want them to be ‘history lessons’ as such. That said, I’d love it if readers learned something about the era from them.
3. Why Do I Write What I do?
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, both for adults and children. What I love is that sense of being transported out of my world and placed very firmly somewhere else. ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ came to me quite easily, as did Tilly’s voice. The more I researched the era, the more I loved the way history offered up little story gems. ‘The Girl Who Walked On Air’ contains one such ‘gem’, a real life scene which emphasises a major plot thread. I also really love a good old-fashioned romp of a story; Rebecca and The Woman In Black being two of my favourite reads.
4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
It starts with an idea. Then a visit to Paperchase for an A4 spiral bound notebook. Next I might write a few scenes to get to know my characters. I make notes, find pictures, do research. Then I start writing, though the order of this process differs for each book, and I keep a little notebook nearby AT ALL TIMES for those random ideas.
Newer projects have been written to deadlines. Recently, I’ve also had to write story outlines first. This has forced me into being more ‘knowing’ of my story before I start. Does it work? I’ll keep you posted…
Next up are three fellow AuthorAllsorts:
Natasha Ngan, author of the brilliant ‘The Elites’, whose second book ‘The Memory Keepers’ is out in September.
Kendra Leighton, whose debut ‘Glimpse’- based on Alfred Noyes’ ‘The Highwayman’ is out in June.
Emma Pass, author of the Carnegie nominated and Brandford Boase longlisted, ‘Acid’. Her next book, ‘The Fearless’ is out in April.