I was tagged by the lovely Aura Eadon to answer the following questions from Nicolette Elzie’s blog.
The first thing I remember writing was at school, when English lessons consisted of taking a red book, the top half plain and the bottom lined, and writing whatever came into your head. My time was spent penning terrible cliché riddled pony stories complete with equally bad illustrations (I am no artist!).
I didn’t think I was good enough to be an actual writer, as in it paying the bills. Anything artistic wasn’t a proper job, or so I was led to believe.
I like paranormal fantasy but I like to base it in the modern world, so urban, dark fantasy might fit the bill. But I like to add a twist of horror too. To be honest I don’t like fitting a story into a neat little genre box. It will be what it wants to be.
My current work in progress is the sequel to my first book, The Making of Gabriel Davenport. It tells the story of what happened after *that* night at The Manor, when Gabriel’s world was torn apart. I started it about 5 months ago when I was waiting for beta reader feedback on the first one, and it has become a thing with a mind of its own. I have a couple of smaller projects lined up as soon as it is done, a novella length dystopian tale which will be written in a dual narrative with another writer (excited about our collaboration!) and a short story, hopefully for an anthology, set in the Middle Ages, which has a paranormal twist.
See cliché riddled pony stories above. I distinctly remember one about a police horse called Nathan. My apologies for any embarrassment caused to modern day police horses with that name 😉
Creating a character who suddenly takes over in your head and leads the story. They become a living, emotion filled being , in charge of the words flowing from your fingers. That high is golden.
The days when the words stick like treacle and everything sounds stilted. The editing phase where there is SO MUCH TO DO and you think that it will never make sense.
Oh, that’s hard. I’d have to go with Anne Rice’s infamous Lestat de Lioncourt, the incorrigible brat prince of the vampire world . I love his strength and will and refusal to give up. He does what he wants to do and to hell with any consequences. But please don’t mention Memnoch. That was a bad cheese nightmare…
It depends on the week. Some days I’m lucky to grab an hour or a minimum word count, but it’s rare that I don’t do something. Other days I have a completely free day. I usually write in the afternoon but I don’t think I have a time that is best.
No. Does having a writing qualification make you a better writer? I’m not sure. It might make you a better technical writer but I believe that your voice is something you have to discover for yourself.
Spelling *and* grammar. Your and you’re grate at me like nothing else!
Just write the damn story.
I don’t have any specific sites. I have a huge amount of bookmarks and Google is a writer’s best friend, but some of the ones I do use are Emma Darwin’s ‘This itch of Writing’, Writeability, Sara Whitford and Sydney Strand. The best supportive group on the internet are the people of the Monthly Writing Challenge. Without them I’d still be manuscript-less and wallowing in my own ineptitude.
I like to read obviously, although I don’t do it enough. I walk a lot, it’s when I iron out any plot holes or plan the next few scenes. Once a week I go to a Pilates class to smooth out the kinks spent from sitting too much. I love movies and box sets – Breaking Bad and Dexter being two of my favourites.
Let’s see. That would either be the brilliant The Death House by Sarah Pinborough or Tantalus by Jane Jazz.
The Fault in Our Stars. Because it made me cry.
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
I don’t have a favourite. Those above. Stephen King, of course. Neil Gaiman. Hilary Mantel.
I’m querying The Making of Gabriel Davenport at the moment. The editing on Book 2, (The Bloodvyne), will start after I’ve let it sit for a while, but I’ll do a note taking draft to keep it in my mind.
Beverly!!! So many of your answers resonate with me!! I feel like I know you, which I hope isn’t coming off as totally weird but your answers make me feel that way I guess, lol. I can’t thank you enough for participating in this tag and for your amazing responses! I look forward to getting to know you more and seeing your work flourish bc I have no doubt that it will!
Thank you so much! And no, it’s not weird at all, in fact, I take it as a compliment ? It made me feel like a proper writer *laughs* Your kind words are truly appreciated, and definitely flow back to you. See how wonderfully supportive this tag is already!
A million ❤️s to you Beverly! You are 100% right and the support this tag has generated has grown to such a capacity that I hadn’t fully expected when I initially created the tag. It’s such a wonderful surprise and I love getting to meet so many other writers in the community!
Rest assured I will be stalking all other answers to this tag like a moth to a flame! ?
Great post, Beverley. Now I feel I know you so much better. Your childhood stories about ponies is super cute and thanks for a couple of reading recommendations. Good luck with the querying.
If only I’d saved those notebooks ? Thanks, Madeleine, I enjoyed the whole process and it’s great to see how other writers tick!
Great post Beverley, and thanks for tagging me! I have to say that I’m a little freaked out about it though. I’ll have to do some thinking on some of those questions, but I’ll do my best to get ’em answered.
Oh, please don’t freak out. It’s just a way of getting to know other writers and indulging in a little self retrospection. And it’s fun, I promise you ? Looking forward to seeing your answers!
Great post Beverly. Love your answers to all the questions. Writing Challenge is like a pot of inspiration bubbling on the stove and at any time I can go there with a bowl and collect some, especially thanks to writers like you who devote time to it.
Thank you, Martin, and back at you with your comment about inspiration (love the way you phrased that). Your focus always spurs me on! Looking forward to seeing your answers ?
Brilliant, love your post Beverley (I resisted the urge to type ‘you’re post’ there – incorrigible tease I am). A horse named Nathan and the ponies made me smile. The story will be what it wants to be, I so agree with this and that’s why all my outlining attempts usually fail. The other words for it was “pantser”. 😀
Hopefully you’ll have good news about your current queries, soon.
You are a tease! *laughs* Yes, my equine past, what can I say? It must have shaped my writing in some way ? I fail miserably at hard outlining. My characters only put up with vague mutterings and the odd post it note ? Thanks so much for the support!
What a lovely surprise to find Tantalus mentioned as one of your two favourite books of 2015, Beverley. Many thanks! This was a fascinating read, and I’m strangely drawn to your story about a police horse called Nathan! Jane :o)
It was my pleasure, Jane ? I have a feeling that Nathan may get his own super hero series at some point
Any luck with The Making of Gabriel Davenport yet? Would love to read it! 😀 Wishing you awesome results with the querying process! May it all work out for the best. 🙂
Love what you write about pilates, haha… I do yoga to stretch out the writer’s kinks. XD I wonder if a high table for writing while standing could be a solution?
Have a great writing week!
No bites as yet but would love it to wing it your way if you’d like to read ? Considering using a Pilates ball instead of a chair. Have to keep the core strong or it all falls apart!
I would love to read it! 😀 Is it PDF? Could send you my e-mail address on Twitter DM 😀
AH! I love how many of us have put ‘Monthly Writing Challenge’ for our writing website. :p That’s just so awesome how many of us there are and how supportive everyone is! (I’ve been slacking on that lately.)
YAY! A Song of Ice and Fire! (Seriously need to get my butt reading the rest of the series, especially with how amazing the world building is in that series! *fangirls*)
And I love that you don’t fit into a neat little genre box. ^.^ I hate when people ask me that because I’m just like ‘uh…’ Most of mine have elements of different genres and classifying it as just one is impossible. So, I totally get you on that!
OO!! Collab! That always has an intriguing ring about it and finding a writer who matches your style is great! ^.^ Best of luck with that! Should be a fun experience.
I know! I wouldn’t be where I am creatively without all of the challenge support. And yes, I need to do that more too *makes mental notes*
GRRM has the most amazing mind. The world building is supreme. That scene where Dany goes into the fire with the eggs – then I knew he had me!
Yeah, fitting into boxes. Ugh. It’s one reason why I think I’ll end up self publishing. Yes, my story has a 15 year old protagonist but it also has many other age groups, and they’re all needed for the story to be what it is. Let us rebel against the genre box! ?
I will let you know when our little project has wings – watch this space!
And thank you for your comment, lovely ?
Brilliant! I was going to tag you myself but Aura got there first. Your ‘interview’ didn’t disappoint. Lots of interesting things to think about. I do hope your query goes well, and you find someone to pick it up quickly. Love the idea of collaborating on a book with someone. I’ve often thought that’d be fun.
It’s lovely to be so much in demand *laughs* Thank you for reading, Annelisa, and for the well wishes.
I’ve collaborated before and it is fun, think two brains for ideas and having someone to bounce ideas from ?
How frustrating. My comment seems to have disappeared. (Loved your post. Hope your query is successful. Collaboration sounds a fun thing to do)
That is odd. I just answered your first reply!
What’s the best part about writing?
“Creating a character who suddenly takes over in your head and leads the story. They become a living, emotion filled being, in charge of the words flowing from your fingers. That high is golden.”
I couldn’t agree more, Beverley. It feels like such a blessing to tap into that ‘otherness’ and be guided to unknown places. What a gift! Thank you for sharing your confessions. I relate to so many of them! 🙂
Only a writer would truly understand ? It’s like having another landscape in your head just waiting to fill with the breathings of your mind. So glad you stopped by, Matt!