What, When, Where?

I’m interested in how people write, what makes them do it and where they do it. So This page is dedicated to  the What, When, Where? of how people write. Look out for interviews with writers about what they do and how they do it!

What, When, Where? with Amanda Saint

11825151_10153401377011259_5311148158818818562_nContinuing the What, Where, When? feature of writers and their writing processes, I am very pleased to welcome Amanda, whose debut novel As If I Were A River, will be published by Urbane Publications in Spring 2016. to the blog to talk about her writing life.

What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place? I’m writing my second novel at the moment. I started plotting and planning it properly about four months ago but it’s an idea I’ve had running around in my head for a few years now. I’m finding that the experience of writing a novel is very different the second time around as I have a much better idea of what I’m doing and how to do it! It’s also a very different kind of story from my first novel and is set partly in the future – but one that looks more like the past and medieval superstitions around witchcraft are resurfacing. It will be published by Urbane Publications in 2017. I’m also working on a short story collection.
I’m one of those clichéd people that says they always wanted to be a writer! Some of my earliest memories are of books and as my siblings were all a lot older than me I spent a lot of time alone as a child. That’s how and why I fell in love with reading and, by extension, writing. I loved writing stories in school and went through a stage just before starting secondary school of writing plays. Then I stopped writing as a teenager as I was told it was not a proper job and not one for the likes of me.
But I had to start again as my head was always filled with people, lines and story ideas. I would be walking around or sitting on a train and writing whole paragraphs in my head so I realised I had to let them out. For around a decade I didn’t really do anything seriously with my fiction, although I did start working with words and got a job as a trade magazine editor, but in my thirties I started going to writing classes, did the OU Creative Writing course and started sending out my work.

When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then? I’m not a creature of habit but I am definitely better in the morning. I work as a freelance writer though and some weeks when I’ve been really busy and have delivered around 20,000 words in articles and blogs for customers I just can’t squeeze out any more words for my fiction.
So I tend to have big focused bursts of writing it as I mull a lot first and work so much out in my head beforehand that by the time I sit down to write it pours out. I try to get away on writing retreats as often as possible too as being away from the everyday routine really works for me. I discovered this when writing my first novel and went to stay at Retreats for You in Devon, which is a wonderful place that every writer should try to get to! I was living in London at the time so just being away from the city helped but I’d been plotting away in my head for weeks before I went and wrote around 25,000 words in a three night stay!

Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it? I write for my customers at the kitchen table in the house where I’m living at any given time, which changes often as I’m a bit of a nomad and move around a lot. To create a different kind of writing atmosphere I tend to write the first drafts of my fiction on the sofa.  Much of my writing takes place in my head though before it appears on paper and this is done on my walks – I usually walk for around 45 minutes twice a day. I write, and rewrite, whole scenes in my head when out walking, and chat with my characters to get to know them better.

 What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else… The vast majority of my fiction is written as longhand in my notepad first. Then it goes into Word from there and when I’ve got a good amount done and am nearing the end of the first draft, I transfer it into Scrivener. Always a laptop as desktops don’t suit my nomadic lifestyle!

 How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group? I don’t belong to a writing group but I have a couple of writing friends that I workshop stuff with via email and occasionally Skype. I’m lucky to have a good network of writers that I’ve met at various events over the years and we are all connected on Facebook and Twitter – which are places I tend to think of as my version of the office watercooler as I don’t have any colleagues to chat with or a real workplace to go to! I also go to the Festival of Writing in York every year and catch up with lots of people there and meet others in the real offline world for the first time.
I also run a small creative writing business, Retreat West, and through that I hold a few writing retreats each year, which are a great chance for me to spend time with other writers too.

Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?! I don’t tend to but only because most of the time I’m living in the middle of nowhere and coffee shops are few and far between! But when I lived in London I often used to meet up with writing friends in the Southbank Centre café to workshop our stuff. I get a bit distracted though and tend to end up people watching instead of writing.

Bio: Amanda Saint’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, will be published by Urbane Publications in Spring 2016. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook and find out more about her writing on her website.

What, When, Where with Katrina Mountfort

Continuing the What, Where, When? feature of writers and their writing processes, I am very pleased to welcome Katrina MountFort, author of Future Perfect and soon to be published Forbidden Alliance, to the blog to talk about her writing life.

Hi Katrina. What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place?
PROFILE PHOTO 1
I find it hard to define what I write because I don’t like defining genres. All my books have women as the main protagonist and all are about relationships of some sort. The books that have been published so far (books 1 and 2 of the Blueprint trilogy) have been categorized as dystopia or speculative fiction because they’re set in the future, but most of my novels have a contemporary setting. I’m currently working on a story about a girl who was born to a native American community – her destiny was to become a shamanic healer, but she was adopted by an English couple and her upbringing leads her to a very different life to the one that was intended for her.

I started writing at primary school – I was a shy child but discovered that I could lose myself in fictional worlds. But at secondary school a dry, uninspiring English teacher thought that good handwriting was more important than creativity, and that was the end of my writing for pleasure. At the same time, a chemistry teacher with a penchant for explosive chemicals (who also happened to be a nun) made me fall in love with science, and although I always secretly nurtured the dream to write, I didn’t try again until I was forty. A close friend had just died and it made me realize that you can’t put off your dreams forever.

When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then?
I have to confess that I don’t have a set routine because I’m a freelance medical writer and my workload can be feast or famine. When I have little work I can write up to 8,000 words in a day; on other days it might be only a hundred. Afternoons tend to be my best writing time – I take my two Labradors for a walk at lunchtime and that’s when I get my best ideas.

Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it?
I’m lucky to have a dedicated study with a desk and computer but it’s not often the pristine writing space it’s meant to be! The walls are plastered with inspirational quotes I find online; the desk is littered with notes. I also have a Periodic Table poster – I’m still a bit of a science geek! There’s often a dog under the desk too.

What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else…
Apple, desktop, word. I love my Mac! But there are also notebooks/scraps of paper all over the house for when I’ve had an inspiration and had to scribble it down there and then.

How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group?
I’m a solitary writer but have plenty of online support. When I was first writing I submitted work on the Word Cloud online forum: http://writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk/. I learned most of my writing skills from the critique I received there, and have made some good friends through it. I’ve also met authors through blogs and Twitter and have found a wonderful, supportive community that celebrates my successes and comfort me through the rejections. Best of all, I have a fabulous US friend who is also a writer. We’re in contact most days and beta-read everything the other writes.

Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?!
I find it interesting that people do that – I never have but I like to carry notebooks around with me everywhere – sometimes I overhear interesting snippets of conversation that I have to use later. Train journeys are also good for that.

You can find out more about Katrina here:
Website http://www.katrinamountfort.com/
Publisher’s website http://elsewhen.alnpetepress.co.uk/index.php/catalogue/author/katrina-mountfort/
Twitter and Facebook https://twitter.com/curlykats
https://www.facebook.com/KatrinaMountfortAuthor
My blog https://herstoryblogspot.wordpress.com/

What, When, Where? with Tanya Reimer

Continuing the What, Where, When? feature of writers and their writing processes, I am very pleased to welcome Tanya Reimer, author of many speculative fiction novels, to the blog to talk about her writing life.

tanyareimerHi Tanya. What do you write?
I am a writing addict. I will try anything in any dosage. I once had an editor tell me I wrote too much dialogue so I wrote an entire novel with very little dialogue, just to prove to myself I could. Then I wrote a play, to counter the hell that was.

At 18, I wrote mysteries. In my twenties, I was into light romances with a historical-mystery twist. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I set aside genre and wrote what was in my heart. No outline, no thinking up backstory, just vomiting it all out. I had no idea what my six book series was. And this is how I stumbled onto my true passion: speculative fiction. I get buzzed up on alternate history and futuristic settings, as long as they get me thinking outside this safe world I live in.

On top of the speculative fiction, I write short stories, I blog, I wrestle through romances under the freedom of a pen name, and I write young adult and non-fiction. Did I mention I was an addict?

 What made you start writing in the first place?
Around the age of 15, I wrote my first column in the local paper in hopes that Superman was hanging out there. No one but me noticed at the time, but I slowly got sucked into writing with brief non-fiction binges and blissful poetry, which I enjoyed in secret and hid under my bed.

What are you currently writing?
This is always tough for me to answer because I work on several (okay dozens) of projects at a time. I stop the editing to write or rewrite when the fit takes me and I binge write for a week or two until the first draft is done and my family is shocked to see I survived another one. This draft sits and I go back to editing.

I organize my work in folders and slowly (could be twenty years later) my manuscripts work their way up to the final folder where they are ready for readers and eventually (after I can’t find anything else to obsess over) publishing.

My closest work to being publishable is Legends on the Prairies, a Sacred Land Story.

I wanted to try my hand at a Monster-In-the-House type plot so I just finished writing a challenging young adult about an underground futuristic world being sustained by an artificial intelligence who decides they will all have to die. I find I’m more into the harder, darker stuff these days.

 When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then?
I write all the time. I am the idiot writing while at the dentist, while waiting for my kids at dance and baseball. I am up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep until that story is fixed. If I can’t write, I will read or have my Kindle read to me.

I wake up before my kids to get in a bit of editing. During lunch, I usually spend it handling correspondence, blogging, polishing, or submitting work. Then at night when everyone is asleep or watching TV, I spend two to four hours working on a project or reading, either alone or with my kids.

Luckily, my work demands I do all sorts of writing and reading so it helps with the withdrawals.

What do you write on: Apple or Windows? Word or Scrivener?
I am currently using Windows with Word. I use my own templates and interactive workbooks that allow me to write without outlining and I found Word worked swell for what I had in mind.

Laptop or desktop?
Since I write all the time, I have an Acer Hybrid that fits in my tiny (okay huge) backpack. It answers my writing-on-the-go needs.

 I do have a wonderful writing desk with a PC, which is great for research or laying out multiple interconnecting plots (why do we do that?). I use it for proofreading or things like intense edits. It is in the middle of our home so it is surrounded by books, historical research, my son’s art table, my husband’s exercise equipment, and my daughter’s music. This way I can spend time with my family, no matter what they’re doing. I stick up motivational things like pictures or sayings to keep me going.

Where do you write— some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it?
TR WWWApart from on-the-go or at my desk, my fav place to do serious writing or reading is in my messy bed. It’s quiet, it’s cozy, and no one bothers me. I have my storyboard by it with enough pacing room so I can work out hard plots by pacing and/or by tossing myself (safely) on the bed until it jostles the answer I need. And if I pass out, my husband just tosses a blanket on me.

How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group?
It was hard for me to admit to others that I was a writing addict. I don’t like the attention. I don’t like people thinking I know what I’m doing. I need creative freedom to be as weird as I want. On the Internet, I found other addicts. They are my support group, and I am always happy to welcome in more. I haven’t met any of my writing friends, readers, or crit partners, yet I trust their keen eyes. I have built some wonderful friendships with these strangers who get my addiction and who care enough to give me honest feedback in a way that works. And! I have met worse addicts than me, which is always a relief.

Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?!
We don’t have coffee shops around my place, but I love the idea of writing in a busy world. Of course, no one wants to see me on caffeine so I would be the one drinking blue Powerade while typing with my eyes on that last cookie which I really want (but not bad enough to stop typing to actually get up and go get it.)

Thanks again for inviting me over.

More about Tanya and her work can be found here:

www.tanyareimer.blogspot.ca
http://tanyareimerauthor.wix.com/books
https://www.facebook.com/TanyaReimerauthor

What , When, Where? with Heather Hill

Continuing the What, Where, When? feature of writers and their writing processes, I am very pleased to welcome Heather Hill to talk about her writing life.

Heather HillHi Heather. What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place?

I have always liked to write about quite serious subjects and give them a comedic aside. I don’t really know why my work naturally tends towards this, but I have this belief that comedy really reaches people on a whole other level; it can make the most difficult things more palatable.

Ten years ago, I wrote a YA novel after the Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murders. These two beautiful young school girls were murdered by someone they knew – a school janitor. At the time, like the rest of the country I was terribly sad but also angry. I remember thinking, ‘why do we tell our children about stranger danger but not giving them the means to arm themselves against pedophile grooming from adults they know and trust?’ So I wrote my first novel. It was a short book; a cautionary tale on pedophile grooming but with a hint of comedy and a good story children could relate to. It sought to give kids information. It didn’t go into what the protagonist in the story was suffering; it took him away from the scene via his friendship with a ghost. The book got seven rejections, although one editor from a major publisher said they liked it and it did make it to an editorial meeting. Then it was rejected. The reason being, the subject matter was considered too dark. But despite this, after I self published it without really giving it any marketing oomph, my son’s schoolteacher used it as a class read last year, which I was very pleased about.

With my current book, the subject is porn addiction. Something many might consider to be another uncomfortable subject in a work of comedy fiction. But again, I am hoping it is done in a way that reaches people. There are plenty of very good non-fiction books on this subject but I think, again, a sprinkling of whacky humour makes the whole subject more easily consumable to a larger audience. I hope I am right and I hope it helps people who are caught in a similar situation to Mrs D.

At the present time, I’ve been working on a completely different book; all the while having a sequel to The New Mrs D tucked away in my mind, bursting to get out. It was stalling me while working on the new one because I was dying to spill it out. But I was afraid to start without knowing if the current book would sell. Now  it has entered the Amazon top 100 women’s fiction humour chart on pre-sales alone, so I’m surprised, ridiculously thrilled and ready to dust off that sequel idea and make a proper start.

When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then?

I write at inopportune moments. I say this, because I have quite a large, busy family (I’m a mum of five) and although my eldest three are grown and flown now, there’s always someone around the house or virtually. I speak to all of them via little Kik messages and Facebook DM’s – which seems crazy but it works for us. Now you have ‘the knowledge of mum’ at your fingertips. Life is certainly never boring. I don’t really have a set time for writing, I just go with what comes really. I’m extremely disorganised if I’m honest. I can confirm that I’m a bit of an insomniac, so will often write very late at night.

Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it?

 Okay, I have a Hello Magazine answer for this one and the real answer, so here goes.

Heather Hill My deskThe Hello Mag answer – there is a beautiful room in my house with a smart little desk and on it sits my almost new PC with a view out across fields. This is where I’m supposed to work.

The real answer: I am an old-fashioned fan of long-hand writing.  I don’t know why but I’m addicted to a fresh page and an extra sharp pencil to write. I love it! And I lie on a rug by the fire, scribbling away while the dog battles with me for fireplace position.

What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else…

With writing everything long-hand, ultimately, of course, it then takes twice as long and I have to go type everything up. Which I do on a very tiny Samsung Notebook that regularly freezes and/or gives me the blue screen of death. Even worse, I work with it balanced on the arm of my sofa in the lounge. Don’t do this at home, people! I have carpal tunnel syndrome to prove it and a permanently numb toe on my right foot. Not good. The health & safety police have a warrant out for my arrest.

How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group?

I don’t do writer groups, although I fully advocate them. I live in a field away from people and don’t get out and about often.  But I do network with a lot of writers online and find them a very kind, supportive group of people. They all know what it is like when you are just starting out; they feel your pain and some even hold your virtual hand while you’re whimpering about rejections and things all writers go through. It’s nice to speak to those that have been in the game a lot longer than me and realise I’m not on my own with all the emotions writing a novel and trying to get it out there puts you through. I’ve also been lucky to share a little of my work with a couple and get good constructive feedback, but I never ask other authors to do this. It has come about from people offering. I don’t like to bug very busy writers by asking them to read my stuff.

Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?!

Drinking in coffee shops – yes! Writing in there? I have never tried this but knowing myself pretty well, I think I’d find the cake counter too distracting.

Heather’s novel, The New Mrs D, is available from Amazon.

What, When, Where?with Emma Kavanagh

emmaHi Emma. What do you write what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place? I currently have two things on the go. I’m mid-way through the line edits of book 2 – The Casualties – and it seems to be going pretty well, so fingers crossed that will be done soon. I’m also working on book 3, which is very much in its fledgling state. I pretty much have the entire thing planned out and I cannot wait to really get my teeth into it. As to what made me start writing, I have always known that some day I would write, that it’s in my bones. But for a long time I hadn’t found the right story. Then one day I got an idea that I just couldn’t shake off no matter how much I ignored it, so there was nothing for it but to just dive right in.

When do you write authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night when do you write and why then? I have always been a morning writer. I tend to find that my brain works better early in the morning. These days, however, my writing has to fit in around the demands of my family, so generally I manage to squeeze in a couple of hours when my son is in creche or with his grandparents. If I’m lucky that’s in the morning, but I’m usually grateful for whatever time I can get. The only time I really struggle with is if I try to write in the evening. I’m usually so exhausted by then that I don’t manage to produce much of anything.

Where do you write some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it? Um…I would love a writing space. I would love it! Unfortunately, our house isn’t huge so my work area has become subsumed into family life. We’re currently in the process of converting my study into a nursery for our new baby. So these days I write sitting on the sofa. It’s terrible for my back, but has kind of become my spot.

What do you write on Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else… For years I used a Windows laptop. Then, when I got my first deal, I decided to splash out on a MacBook. It actually took a bit of getting used to, but now I love it. It’s so much faster!

How much contact do you have with other writers are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group? I have been pretty solitary since I first started writing, which can be tough. But then I discovered the wonders of Twitter and have made friends with some fabulous writers who are so incredibly supportive. That and events such as Crimefest really make a massive difference to me, as I get to step out of my little bubble and meet with others who do what I do.

Finally writing in coffee shops yes or no ?! Absolutely not! I really can’t concentrate with that much hubbub surrounding me. I need my writing spot and – more problematically – an empty house.

Fallfallinging is available now on Amazon and from bookshops.

 

 

 

 

What, When, Where? with Fionuala Kearney

Hi Fionnufk headshotala. What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place?        I write commercial women’s fiction, the sort of book that deals with the gritty issues that we all face, with common themes like love, loss, betrayal, grief and identity. I usually write from several points of view and try to get in under the skin of the characters that tell the story – in a way that will hopefully make the reader both laugh and cry.

I started dabbling in creative writing classes over twenty years ago, convinced that someday I’d write a book! Family and life delayed the more serious efforts which started about seven years ago. At that time, the internet opened up all sorts of writing opportunities and I joined a brilliant online community www.writewords.org.uk  This introduced a whole new world of fellow writers, learning, feedback and support and to this day, people from that original writer’s group remain close friends.

Since then I’ve written four books and finally, having finished the first part of what I call my ‘apprenticeship’, book four ‘You, Me and Other People’ will be published in Spring 2015 by HarperCollins. It’s a dream come true and I’m beyond thrilled to be working with them.

Right now, I’m currently working on edits for ‘You, Me and Other People’ – a scary but exciting process!

When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then? I write in the morning, every morning Monday to Friday, as I find I wake up with fresh ideas and want to get them down as quickly as possible. I tend to take a break after a couple of hours for a half hour or so, catch up on housework, cup of tea, phone-calls, (Twitter and Facebook!), then return to it until lunchtime. I usually squeeze in another couple of hours work during the day, as I always edit as I go along. I never write at night. I find that when I do, the next morning I end up cutting and pasting it all to the file called ‘Save For Another Time’ or ‘Crap You Wrote Last Night’. I just don’t think my cognitive powers fire up properly in the evening. My time is better spent consuming good T.V drama or reading.

Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it?

FK deskI’m lucky that I finally have the office I want at home. It’s MY space, not shared with anyone and I really need that feeling of solitude to be able to work effectively. I’m neurotic about keeping my desk as clear as possible and try and tidy it every day – memories of my father telling me during my school days – “tidy desk, tidy mind”! I really admire people who work with a laptop in front of the telly, but if that were me, I’d merely end out transcribing conversation from Game of Thrones! Same with the kitchen table, I’d just be thinking about putting the next wash on… I have to feel that when I start to write, it’s like going to work and the surroundings need to reflect that.

What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or Desktop? Word or Scrivener? Or anything else? I use Windows, though Windows eight frustrates the hell out of me. Why is it that the I.T. ‘powers that be’ feel the need to fix something that wasn’t broken??! Most of the time, I work on a desktop in my office, but if I’m travelling, I use a laptop. Word – always word. Scrivener scares the pants off me! I do, though, have the most enormous plotting whiteboard on the wall to the right of my desk, complete with coloured pens and eraser. I’d show it to you except it’s got to many spoilers on it…

How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group? When I’m nose down working hard on the WIP, I tend to be quite disciplined and work in quite a solitary way. That said, I have daily interaction with other writers through social media and am part of two writers groups that are really very important to me. We meet virtually and in person regularly and I also attend a week long residential writing course once a year with some of them. Without the support of my writer’s network, I don’t think I could do this job.

Finally, writing in coffee shops – yes or no? So many other writers do this now that I feel like I’m missing out! I do often sit in coffee shops and people watch, giggle at snippets of conversations and imagine what all these strangers do for a living… But writing there? I’m not sure. I’d love to give it a go, but suspect I’d get too distracted to concentrate properly.

What, When, Where? with Clodagh Murphy

HeadshotHi Clodagh. What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place? I write romantic comedy – funny, romantic, sexy books with lots of kissing. I’ve had four novels published so far (and one ebook novella) and I’m currently in the very tentative early stages of my fifth.  I’m at the point where I don’t really know what’s going to happen or where the story’s going to lead, which is exciting, but also panic-inducing. I do know it will have a happy ending, of course – but happy in the moment rather than ‘happy ever after’. I prefer to leave the ‘ever after’ bit to the imagination.

I’m also working on something that’s quite different to the books I’ve had published so far. It’s a story that’s been rattling around in my head in various shapes and forms for a long time, and it really means a lot to me, so I’m hoping I can do the idea justice.

It’s hard to say what made me start writing, because it’s something I’ve done pretty much since I can remember. It probably started from a love of reading – admiring what writers were able to do and wanting to emulate that. But it’s a compulsion more than anything, and it just feels like part of who I am. I suppose I’ve always lived in my head a lot and made up stories to entertain myself, and writing them down to communicate them to other people is a natural next step.

When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then? I’m quite haphazard. I’m not very disciplined, and I work full-time, so I don’t really have a set routine for writing. I wish I had, and setting up a regular routine is a permanent fixture on my to-do list, but it hasn’t happened so far.  I work during the day, so most of my writing is done in the evenings or at weekends. I’ll work late into the night rather than get up early. I’ve tried, but the early morning thing doesn’t really work for me. I’m naturally a night owl.

Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it? I have a desk which is officially my designated writing space. It’s in the corner of the living room by the window. But sometimes I find it hard to be productive there, and I move around. I find it hard to work in the midst of chaos, so when my desk gets too cluttered, I migrate to the dining table. (Clearing off my desk would take time I don’t have. That’s my excuse anyway.) My desk

I’m at my most productive when I go away to write. Once I was staying in a cottage in the middle of a freezing winter, and I was using the kitchen table to write. But it was a big room and hard to heat, and I don’t function if I’m cold.  So I moved to the warmest bedroom in the house. The only problem was it didn’t have a desk or table. Luckily I found an ironing board that I could adjust to the right height and set up my laptop on that. Improvised desk - the glamour!I always knew ironing boards were good for something!

What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else…  I write on a laptop and I use Windows and Word. I have Scrivener, but I’ve yet to get to grips with it. It’s another regular item on my to-do list.

How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group? I have a lot of contact with other writers. It started with an internet writing group (where I met your good self), and over the years I’ve got to know lots of other writers – through social media, or through having the same agent or publishers and meeting up at events.  I have a wide circle of writer friends now, and we meet up fairly regularly or keep in touch via email, phone or online. It’s great to chat to people who know exactly what you’re talking about. Writing can be such an isolating activity, but I think social media in particular has made it a lot more fun and sociable than it used to be.

Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?! I’ve never tried it and I keep meaning to. I think I’d find it too distracting, but some of my writer friends swear by it. I’ll definitely give it a go. I don’t think it would help the writer’s bottom, though!

Some Girls Do (9)

 

My thanks to Clodagh for being the first author in the regular feature. Clodagh’s latest novel ‘Some Girls Do’ is available now.

You can find this and more at ‘What, Where, Whe

I’ve got some wonderful writers lined up, but I’ll start!

I’ll start – here’s my What, When Where?

What do you write – what are you currently writing and what made you start writing in the first place?
I started writing as a child and always dreamed of being a ‘writer’. Back then I had an slightly rose-coloured view of what this entailed! I’d always imagined that it would be quite easy to write and sell a book – how wrong could I be? I started writing seriously because I couldn’t keep it in any longer and if I’m honest I love the feeling of flow that comes with creative activity. I’m currently writing a crime novel set in Manchester and Oldham and I’m enjoying the creative stage very much.
When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then?
I write in the mornings, if possible. I feel clearer in the early morning. But this isn’t always possible, and if I’m travelling I’ll write on the train or in my hotel room. When I write in the evenings I shut myself off away from the TV, but I always have music on when i write, I absolutely love BBC Radio 6!
Where do you write – some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it? 
I write at my dining room table most of the time. It’s quite and have good natural daylight, which is important to me after working in a small room without daylight in my dayjob for nearly fifteen years. Here’s a picture of my writing desk. 1013160_10152454142326002_780102255_n
What do you write on – Apple or Windows? Laptop or desktop? Word or Scrivener? or anything else…
I write on my laptop which is an Acer. I get through laptops fairly quickly as I do some of my dayjob at home. I am lucky to be reasonably computer literate so I can sort out most problems myself. If I could give a tip it would be to always back up your work and get a good anti-virus protector. I use Scrivener to write – see my Scrivener assessment here  . But after submission I do any edits from my agent on Word, with the Scrivener corkboard open for guidance.
How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group?
I used to be part of an online writing forum where I met some lovely writers. We met online first but I have met many of them is real life and some of them have become friends. I find this contact invaluable. They are kind enough to read my work and I trust them to tell me the truth, and I get to read theirs. Another benefit is the networking which helps me to keep tabs on what’s happening in the publishing industry, a kind of bookish thermometer! I’m very grateful to them for putting up with my sometimes odd ideas on my writing journey.
Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?!
No for me, mainly because I don’t have time. I work full time so there are no hours in the day for settling in and tapping away over a cappuccino – I have to grab time where I can. But with every hour of my day full I can’t complain!

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