What time do you wake up in the morning when you have a day of writing planned?
I don’t typically plan writing days at the moment because I’m at university and I’m so busy! But I do study literature and creative writing, so when I know I’m going to be spending the day studying/writing, I wake up at 10am.
Do you energise yourself with tea or coffee?
Tea. I’m an obsessive tea drinker! I love PG Tips, Assam tea and Earl Grey – with soya milk and one sugar (or two if it’s an extra large mug!)
Where is your favourite writing location?
My bed or my desk. I do like the sofa, too, but it can get distracting if someone else is watching TV.
Where would you love to visit and sit and write?
A house in the middle of nowhere with an amazing view, preferably of mountains and forests.
Do you use pens and notebooks? Pencils? Laptop? Computer?
I use pens and notebooks for ideas, plotting and random scraps of information. Then, I usually type up a neat outline on my laptop before I start drafting (also on my laptop). I tend to draft a lot of stories by hand in the summer when I want to sit outside.
How do you relax after a day of writing?
I get another cup of tea and read a book, play a video game or spend time with my other half.
Nibble you must have whilst writing?
I don’t really eat when I’m writing! I always have a cup of tea, though.
Favourite treat to offer yourself after writing?
I don’t treat myself after a typical day of writing. If I’ve finished a big project I like to go out to eat, or spend a few days immersed in a video game.
If you could choose one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is an impossible question. I don’t think I could read one book for the rest of my life without getting sick of it! But if I had to choose, I’d either pick one of the Harry Potter books or an epic fantasy novel like Mistborn.
If you had the chance to meet any author, alive or dead, who would you meet?
Ever since I was a child I’ve wanted to meet J.K Rowling, but I’m aware that’ll never happen! I’d also love to meet Lauren DeStefano as I really admire her work. For a deceased author, I’d have to go with Mary Shelley or William Blake.
Name a character you feel you relate most to in one of your own stories and another authors?
In my own work, I most relate to Lina, my main character. In another author’s work? It’s hard to pick just one. I think most novels have a character who is relatable in one way or another, and that’s what makes literature so powerful.
Favourite factual book?
I tend to just dip in and out of factual books as and when I need them. This one isn’t really factual because it’s about myths and legends, but I love Breverton’s Phantasmagoria. I read it from cover to cover and it’s amazing if you need some writing inspiration.
If you were to write an article on anything, what would it be about?
It’d probably involve books.
Would you rather be famous with a one hit wonder or stable with a long run?
I’d rather have a long and stable career. I don’t want to be famous.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Depends on the book. I wrote the first draft of Realm of Ruin in four months but then realized it needed a massive rewrite. I’ve been working on the current version for two months now, but I’ve been balancing it with a dissertation.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I put a lot of thought into names and I often get frustrated if I can’t find the right one! They all have to feel right. It happens with people, places, creatures…
Do you have any suggestions to help people become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think you have to be patient. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I’ve only recently started to feel confident in my abilities. Don’t be afraid to share your work and get feedback – it’s one of the best ways to learn and grow. There are a lot of writers out there who are resistant to any form of criticism, but you have to learn to handle it, especially if you want to get published.
Just to add, because this advice gets thrown around a lot: I don’t think you need to write every single day. I don’t, but I do write regularly. It’s important to keep practicing, but it’s also important to look after you health and wellbeing. If you need a break, take one. Everyone needs time to recharge.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
I don’t really have any spiritual practices, so I can’t answer this one!
And my own question, for anyone else who wants to do this, is:
What book or author inspires you to write?