Well I'm back! There will be more on my lovely but exhausting holiday tomorrow but firstly, before I can be distracted any further, as promised an interview with Fiona Robyn.
Fiona is the author of several books, including the novels The Letters and The Blue Handbag. On Monday her third novel Thaw came out which, as the regular reader will know, she is promoting with a Blogsplash.
In honour of this momentous event Fiona very kindly agreed to answer some pressing questions regarding life the universe and octupi (SY = me, FR = Fiona)
SY: My earliest writing memory is making a picture book about a kingdom under the sea. I was about 6 and the octupi all had 16 legs. Do you have a similar writing memory dating back to childhood? If not what was your earliest realisation that you needed to write?
FR: That sounds like a good story! I do remember stapling folded paper together to make books, designing the cover, writing the first couple of pages, and losing interest. Thankfully I’ve learnt the skill of completion since then. I also loved books from an early age, Roald Dahl was a particular favourite. I didn’t start writing until I was 18, but words were already in my blood.
SY: Tell us a little bit about your writing day. Do you have routines and rituals or are you more spontaneous? What are your favourite procrastination tools?
FR: I have a wide range of procrastination tools, from feeling hungry to suddenly needing to dust the living room. I’m very creative. I need to sit myself down first thing in the morning, and make myself stay at my desk until I’ve written 1000 words, although that does vary depending on what stage of the novel I’m at. I do light a candle before I start writing. A good (writer) friend gave me the candle holder.
SY: Your first two novels, The Letters and The Blue Handbag, were published last year. How was "the road to publication" for you? Long and winding or smooth and straight?
FR: Long and winding, I suppose, as it took six years after finishing my first novel to find a publisher, but I know it can take much longer. In retrospect, I’m pleased it took so long, because I had a lot of opportunity to learn how to deal with rejection. That’s a vital skill if you want to be a writer. I was also able to write exactly the kind of books I wanted to write, without having to worry about an audience, agent or publisher, as I didn’t have any of those things.
SY: Your next novel, Thaw, is out now. It tells the story of a woman deciding whether or not to end her life and explores what makes a life worth living. Can you share a little about where this story came from and what it was like to write?
FR: The book came from the same place as all the others; they begin when the main character turns up in my head. As I get to know the character, their story emerges. It was quite difficult to write sometimes, as the book is hard hitting, but I’m very fond of Ruth and I hope my readers will grow fond of her too.
SY: Finally Fiona, you have decided to publicise Thaw with a "Blogsplash" in which as many bloggers as possible will publish the first page of the novel on their blogs. How did you come up with this idea?
FR: It’s a bit of a gamble to blog the whole book, it might mean I don’t get any sales at all, but I wanted to make sure that as many people as possible knew about the project and the Blogplash felt like a way of getting the word out. Bloggers have always been very supportive to me, and I knew they’d be up for it! Let’s see if we can still make 1000 blogs. I’m at 245 so far so it’ll be a big push!
To buy Thaw right now go to Amazon UK or the Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery).
Thank you Fiona and best of luck with the new book!