1. What do you write?
In the main, I focus on fantasy novels and travel writing (check out my About section for a link to the latter). I’m also been known to write the odd poem, but never when asked. First and foremost, I am an aspiring novelist, and my book-to-be is a fantasy epic.
2. What do you mostly write about?
My focus tends to be people finding strength through suffering (the more harrowing, the better). I’m not really sure where it came from, but I think one of the most beautiful things about people is their capacity to endure, and triumph, even when they have seen terrible things.
3. What’s your favourite thing about writing?
I like the freedom it provides, especially in fiction. In my writing I can explore facets of my personality which are difficult to reconcile with normal life, and dissect situations that I will likely never encounter. Writing about other people has helped me understand my own self better, and I am happier as a result.
4. What/who inspired you to start writing/keep writing?
The first time I thought I’d give this writing malarkey a go was after I read The Hobbit. Shortly after I watched Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, and things just went from there. I had a huge crush on Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and wrote pages upon pages of fan-fiction. It wasn’t the most literary or professional beginning, but if I hadn’t started there I don’t think I would have progressed onto better things.
As for why I continue, I think there are multiple factors that play a part. I was blessedly lucky, in that one of my best friends turned out to be a writer too. We send each other pretty much everything we write, and her support definitely keeps me going. Also, I’m not the best at expressing myself in speech. I like to consider my words very carefully so that I say only what I mean, and writing offers the chance to do this. And finally, I feel I have a duty to continue. It took me a long time when I was growing up to discover what I’m good at, and now that I’ve found my calling I need to see it to the finish. I want to see how far I can grow, and how good at this I can be. I feel like I owe it to myself.
5. Who’s your favourite character that you made up?
Picking a favourite is hard. It depends on my mood, but certainly one of the characters from my novel. They’ve been with me for the better part of four years now, and I’m very fond of them all. At the moment the winner is a toss-up between Desarae and Finnegan.
Desarae is the queen of daddy issues, and has a nasty case of sexual sadism disorder, together with what is probably borderline personality disorder. Medieval settings don’t lend themselves to psychological terminology, so she’s a difficult one to peg for the other characters. She is my favourite because of her ongoing development. I also think she has the most to overcome, since more than anyone else in the narrative she is fighting her own self.
Finnegan is a nobleman spy. He started out as a secondary character, but I enjoyed writing about him so much that he has become a protagonist in his own right. I like him because he also has a lot of internal conflict. Finnegan struggles with his emotions, having been raised to ignore them. His main conflict is one between love and duty, and the narrative explores him coming to terms with the idea that he has a heart, and a breakable one at that.
6. When did you start writing?
I was about twelve when I first put pen to paper (proverbially – I’m more of a typist than a scribe). This was the start of my fan-fiction era.
7. What was the first story you wrote?
Discounting my fan-fiction, which was a long, woolly monstrosity that lurks in my hard-drive to remind me of my humble beginnings, my first actual project that made any headway was a dystopian novel. I was sixteen, and I wrote about half of it before I moved on to my current project and never looked back. Sometimes I think I will return to my first work, but not yet. In summary, the novel was about a group of genetic mutants who knew their own future, as well as the future of everything they saw. They escaped from a containment facility, and the plan was to explore their deterministic lifestyle. It was very bleak.
8. What is your favourite story that you have written?
I have yet to finish a larger project. I have a few short stories lurking about, one of which made my name in university (you can find it here), but I prefer longer projects because I like getting to know my characters. My favourite at the moment is my novel, which is why I am still working on it. One day, I hope, it will be worth sharing.
9. Do you have a writing schedule?
I would like to have a writing schedule. As a general rule I try to write 500 words a day, and read two books a week. Neither of these goals are always achieved, but it helps me to have an aim. Usually I write in the evening simply because that is when I have the most time, but if inspiration comes, I use it. As much as I think it’s a good idea to write every day (and I always write something, even if it’s just a sentence), my mind doesn’t cooperate with set writing times – if anything, I find them detrimental to my level of inspiration.
10. Do you want to be published?
Of course! My book is nowhere near ready as yet, but publication is on the cards for the future. I’m hoping to finish my novel during my MA, so we shall see.