The Latest …Snippets and Excuses

1 What am I working on?

Well, apart from painting for the next exhibition, there is an accumulation (it can’t be called anything else) of a memoirish-novel which is at present a pile of papers that keeps slithering to the floor. All extremely valuable stuff, you realise; straw that is waiting to be spun into gold, or at least fed through the computer.

2 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Because I come at things from a painter’s stance, although that is enlivened by my mother’s lively Liverpool-Irish voice, her humour and love of talking in its own right. I also like breaking rules, like the current embargo on adverbs, (sadly, annoyingly.) I also can’t stand The Hero’s Quest format and would like him to stay at home instead.

3 Why do I write what I do?

Because no one else will do it like this and it will lay neglected otherwise. Plus, it begins like an itch and I have to attend to it now and again. Ignoring the impulse is no use -it does not go away. Paper and biro is the only cure.

4  How does your writing process work?

There is no ‘process.’ It goes by the phases of the moon , or some other unknown timetable. Weeks without and then all day and biro under the pillow – and then an exhausted stop. I am not one for the formal 1,000 words a day grind. You can feel those parts of a novel where the writer has just gritted their teeth and soldiered on, to fulfil their allotted daily stint. They reach 300 + pages of unneeded words. It shows in poems where the lines are slack, just to fill the page, but have no oomph.

The process mimics pregnancy, the itch, the nausea, the quickening, the ballooning, the removal of interest in everything else, the strain, the release and then the  surprised looking at the ‘how did I do that?’ result. And then,  showing  it, book or baby, to the world!


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