Author Sue Perkins updates this blog herself. Please leave comments to say what you like about the site, or any suggestions for improvement.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fairytales can come true

Welcome Laurey, Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Thanks Sue. I'm 26-years-old and a reporter at the Newark Advertiser, Nottinghamshire, UK. This is my first novel which I have self-published. It is available on iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Sony and a few other ebook stores.

Fairy tales seemed an appropriate theme for me to use in the novel, as fairy tales reflect universal themes of social class, love, money, appearance, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between - all resolved at the end with a happily ever after. I believe that every person on this planet seeks a happily ever after, whether they realise it or not or even if they don't really believe in them. One of the hardest parts though is realising when we have attained that happily-ever-after. What really defines it? What really makes us happy?

My story follows four women as they embark on that exact journey and face different trials and tribulations in their day-to-day lives to reach that ultimate goal....a fairytale ending.

What type of reading inspires you to write?
My inspiration to write comes from within – a simple desire to want to tell a story. However, if I’ve read a book that I was able to lose myself in, it only heightens my desire to get my own stories out into the public domain and give people a similar experience.

What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
A gripping beginning, an entertaining middle and an explosive ending – I also think the advice of ‘writing what you know’ also adds to the story you want to tell.

What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
There are certain voices for certain types of story and I adapt easily when I read all of them. However, I have found writing in the first person allows me to really get to grips with the character and understand what drives them as I effectively become that character.
 What well known writers do you admire most?
All of them – purely for the fact they have been able to write a novel and get published. Something I dream of doing every day! It takes a lot of will power, determination, support, love and copious amounts of coffee to create 300+ pages of a believable world, full of dilemmas and resolutions. Anyone who has done that, whether I enjoyed the story or not, has my utmost respect.

What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I think all characters can be believable in the right setting and with the right motive. However, I have made mine believable by giving them a little bit of me. As I said, write what you know!

Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for myself. After all, if I don’t like what I’ve written, no one else will.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I personally love writing. I love being able to create a world in which I can control what happens. The only conflict I have is with the clock, as there are never enough hours in the day to get my day job done, and write as much as I want to.

Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I often talk my ideas through at people rather than to people. They sometimes join in and I secretly delight in the fact I have sucked them into my fictitious world. After all, that is a writer’s ultimate aim.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I have been told I have a particular style – sometimes the way I phrase things can be confusing to read, but it’s the way my brain works I’m afraid and it is something you get used to. I don’t try to write like anyone else, so in that respect I suppose I have found my voice.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am afraid I am naughty on this front and I write only when I feel inspired to do so (which luckily for me is a regular occurrence) otherwise I would probably write a load of rubbish that would be discarded the next day. However, I still write even if I don't know fully where the story is headed …sometimes perseverance has led me down a path I didn’t know was there and the best twists and turns have arrived in my plot.
As a reporter, I write every day anyway so sometimes I do find it hard to sit at my laptop when I get home - but the love I have for creative writing makes me settle comfortably into my chair and start typing.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I’m a minimalist girl really so coffee and my mobile? I like to know if anyone has text me or tried to get in touch. I also have music playing in the background, loud enough to sing along to but quiet enough so that my creative thoughts rise above it.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper?
I write on the laptop, print two to three chapters out at a time and then correct any mistakes as I go along. Once the novel is complete I print it off again and correct mistakes. I repeat once more for good luck.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Facebook mainly – although I’m on Twitter, I’m not a Tweeter – but that will change. I will change!
What are you working on now?
My second novel! I’m quite excited about it as the characters are only semi-formed and I can’t wait to flesh them out and meet them.
What do you recommend a new writer should do with all those things written years ago but never shown to anyone?
Have confidence in yourself and share them. Stories are meant to told - they are born to be shared.
How and why did you begin to be creative?
I have always been arty – I paint, I play the piano, I dance and I write. It’s a magical feeling being able to express yourself in colour, in movement or even create a whole world with words that will be interpreted so differently by the people who read them. I don’t think you begin to be creative, I think you either are or you are not.
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
By giving it the right fuel. Eating right, plenty of exercise and being generally happy. That is how my mind works best.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Writing is a lonely exercise in itself – any more time alone and I would go crazy. I love my family and friends and like to be around them. They cleanse my mind for me – and often provide great material.
Have you ever had a job that was so stimulating that you could not get your mind off of it?
I am a reporter for a local paper – my first job since leaving University. Therefore, I often think about the stories I have written or heard that day – and while it is a rewarding job, I can easily leave behind the real world for a fictitious one.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
I wouldn’t know personally. However, I would go as far to say that conceiving an idea is like sex for the mind….the spark of an idea can be quite orgasmic and you enjoy the moment of having thought of it in the first place. The idea then grows and develops inside of your mind until you have to get it down on paper – a painful and laborious process. But when the finished product finally arrives, you feel so proud that you were able to manage the feat of creating such a thing. You feel your product is the most beautiful thing in the world. Therefore, I think the whole writing process is like a pregnancy – if only an asexual one.
What do you feel when, after two or three years, you see an idea of yours again?
Thank you for this opportunity Sue. 

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