What was the first thing you ever wrote?
My first writing project was a middle grade adventure novel called Skellingsthorn. I wrote the first draft almost daily between June 2012 and February 2014 and, when it was finished, had absolutely no idea what to do next. I eventually found my way to the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, where I joined a critique group and began redrafting and editing. Skellingsthorn is currently in its fourth draft; it’s finished…until I decide to change it.
What’s your favourite thing about Nottingham?
Wollaton Park. I live within walking distance of the park and would walk there every day if I could.
What writers inspire you the most and why?
I own just about everything ever written by Anne McCaffrey and Terry Pratchett. I have also in the past binged on Anne Rice, David Gemmell, Tolkien, Stephen King and Robert Silverberg.
Currently, I am reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, but before that I read Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, a homage to PG Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks. This was a bit of light relief after spending Christmas and New Year reading T.H. White’s epic Arthurian novel, The Once and Future King.
My “to read” pile (under my bed) includes a re-read of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series and a boxed set of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.
So, to summarise, I enjoy a character-led novel in a panoramic sci-fi or fantasy setting.
However, I’ll read just about anything.
What are you working on at the moment?
Now that Skellingsthorn is finished (ha!) I have begun writing the sequel, Skellingsbane. It’s mostly in my head at the moment, but should soon reach a point where it spills out on to the page.
Why did you decide to join Nottingham Writers’ Studio’s board?
The Studio is at an exciting point in its journey, and Nottingham is an incredibly vibrant place to be writing at the moment. Type “Nottingham city of” into a well-known search engine and the top five suggestions are:
Nottingham City of:
As well as continuing my development as a writer, I hope to promote the Studio as a resource for all writers across the city, to capitalise on and foster the cultural environment we find ourselves in.
If you could have written any book that’s already published, what would it be and why?
The only book I could ever have written is my own. Sometimes when I’m reading I find myself re-writing sections; I know I’m in a really good book when I don’t have time for that.
Photo credit: Leonie McQuillan