What I love about all those interviews is that it shows there is not one way to go about writing. There is not one type of story. There’s only passion for storytelling and hard work.
So to continue, today I’m talking with
Tell us how you got involved in the Crimelines project?
I started my MA in Creative Writing for Children at MMU in January this year. It was fantastic that one of the first emails I received was about the possibility to write a short story for Timelines. Although I was just at the beginning of my course I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. I am really looking forward to being at the Crimelines book launch at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival.
Was it your first time at writing a short story to be published?
Yes it was and that made the idea even more interesting for me. My writing over the past few years has been either poetry or part of developing a full novel. It was a challenge to try my hand at something different. I shall certainly be continuing to write short stories because now I realise how much fun they are!
What is it you enjoy most when writing short stories?
I love the fact that you have to get a full satisfying story arc into such a small number of words. The structure forces you to hone down your writing and there is no room for extra words. I enjoy the editing process and short stories need plenty of that. Finally for me short stories can be the kernel of something bigger and are a great place to experiment with different genres and techniques.
What are the main difficulties?
The rigour of the word count is both a great discipline and a huge challenge. I chose quite a difficult topic as my short story is about human trafficking which is a massive subject. This meant my main problem was to get such a complex subject introduced and then close off all the loose ends in a satisfying manner for the reader. And you need to paint settings and characters very economically.
Tell us a little bit about what’s ahead of you as a writer.
I am focused on developing my first children’s novel as part of my MA. This is something I was working on before I started and the feedback and encouragement from the tutors and my fellow students means I have nearly finished my first draft. Of course the next couple of years will also be full of work to complete my MA. I’m lucky enough to live in Cumbria which has a vibrant local writing community and I intend to take full advantage of that as well. I am hoping I may have a piece accepted in the next Dark Mountain Anthology which is a fascinating local based project around eco writing. So I have plenty to do in between earning a living!
Thank you Marion for this interview.