Thank you to Patricia Borlenghi for inviting me on this writing process blog tour. I met Patricia whilst we were both studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Essex Uni. Since finishing, we’ve kept in touch. I recently read her novel Clarisse and am looking forward to reading more. How great is she too for setting up her own publishing business. See: www.patricianpress.com
So here’s my blog tour answers:
- What am I working on?
I’m working on loads of things. Bookswise, I’m re-editing my teen thriller, Discoveries, which is a story about a young person whom, on learning she was adopted at birth, runs off with her birth mother. I then need to edit my fourth book, Best Interests, a story about twins in the middle of their parents’ custody batter. This book is based on a play I’ve written of the same name. I’ve also just started a blog and I’m aiming to add a post or two each week. My posts mostly relate to writing, law and children’s rights having spent many years as a children’s rights lawyer dealing with all sorts of welfare issues for young people. I’m also at the thinking stage of writing a screenplay about a child witness in court. I’d love to, at some point, write thrillers for TV. Oh yes, I’m also working on promoting my first book, Losing Agir. This means, amongst other things, I’m offering workshops on law, rights and writing in schools. I love the schools work. The children have, (so far at least) being amazingly receptive.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well I think its fair to say that currently in the teen market, my type of realistic fiction is in a minority. This then, when you throw the legal angle into the bag too, becomes even less mainstream. But I’m happy to do niche. The YA market is swamped with vampires and magic just now but I’m confident that there will be a gradual move towards my type of fiction. Then, when that happens, I’ll be well placed with plenty of material written and available. From my years representing teenagers in care, the homeless, those with mental health problems, those in custody etc, I’ve got all sorts of ideas for stories. My books are not overtly political but sometimes, I do refer to systems that have failed people in one way or another.
3. Why do I write like I do?
My books are relatively short. I use plenty of dialogue and seem to keep away from heavy description. I love using dialogue to really move the plot plus show characterization. I think that’s why I’m so keen to write more plays and screenplays. I hope my books are page-turners and are fast paced. My first book, Losing Agir, was inspired by a human rights case and my second book, The Silk Slaves of Bangalore, was inspired by a human rights report. Getting facts right is important to me in all of my writing so I read and research a lot before I get going. Although the issues in my books may be challenging, I’m not into ‘misery writing.’ I’m just into writing about what’s real.
4. How does your writing process work?
I try to write every day, even if it’s only a few lines. Writing at home, for me, is too quiet and isolating so I often find myself in supermarket café’s for a few hours at a time. I do freewriting before I try to write anything substantial. I spend 10 minutes writing about whatever is in my head and through these strange ramblings, have found new ideas. I often read my writing aloud, especially where it is heavy on dialogue. Although I look like I’ve totally lost it, it actually gives me some idea as to whether the piece sounds realistic and will work. It also helps in ensuring a consistent voice.
So that’s my bit on the writing process blog tour. Further details are to follow as to whom the blog tour will move to next week.