Today I would like to welcome author Claire Fuller to my blog, where she will talk about her new novel and the writing process.
1)CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING. FOR EXAMPLE, ARE YOU WRITING NOW? HAVE YOU WRITTEN ANY BOOKS?
I’ve just finished my debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, which will be published by Fig Tree/Penguin in the UK, and Tin House in the US, as well as several other countries, in March 2015. The UK version is going to copy editing now, and I’ll be tweaking it for the US in the coming weeks. It’s about Peggy Hillcoat; who in 1976 is abducted by her father James when she is aged 8, and taken to live in a forest in Germany. She isn’t seen again for 9 years.
And my second novel is underway.
2)HOW MUCH RESEARCH AND PREPARATION DO YOU DO BEFORE WRITING A BOOK? DO YOU DO CHAPTER PLANS AND CHARACTER PROFILES ETC.? DOES ANY OF THIS CHANGE WHILE YOU’RE WRITING?
I do very little research and no preparation before I start writing; I just launch straight in there and see what happens. With ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’, I knew Peggy would make it home again (the reader knows this from the first page), but I had no idea how. I research as I go along, but it does often become a distraction and I find myself watching Youtube videos when really I should be writing.
3) DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TIME TO WRITE? HOW DO YOU BALANCE THIS WITH OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES SUCH AS FAMILY LIFE OR OTHER WORK.
I have a fulltime job and teenage children so I write whenever I have 30 minutes or more – half an hour before I leave for work, a couple of hours in the evening, and weekends. I have a very supportive husband, without whom the children would be very thin and wearing dirty clothes!
4) WHAT PART OF THE WRITING PROCESS DO YOU FIND MOST IMPORTANT? FOR EXAMPLE, FIRST DRAFT, EDITING, REWRITING ETC.
It’s all important I think, but what I hate; in fact absolutely loath – is writing the first draft. Getting the words down is torture. Once they’re written, I love rewriting, editing and polishing.
5)WRITING HAS LOTS OF HIGHS AND LOWS. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?
I keep a daily word count, and although it’s probably not healthy to be fixated on this,I find it does help when I see it increasing. It’s really hard to keep going when you have no idea if your novel will ever be published, so you do have to enjoy some element of it. For me, it was seeing a story appear from just some ideas and words in my head.
6) DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND/OR BLOG? HOW USEFUL DO YOU FIND THIS AND IN WHAT WAYS?
I have a website where I post pieces of writing, rather than many blog posts, and I use Twitter a lot. There is a fantastic writing community on Twitter, who are always cheering each other on. Plus, Twitter is great for finding out information about writing competitions, book reviews, Q&As with agents (#askagent) and even pitching to agents (#pitmad).
7)IF YOU COULD PASS ON ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO A NEW WRITER, WHAT WOULD THIS BE?
Don’t worry if the first draft is terrible. Mine made me cringe. Just keep going, rewriting, rereading, editing, and hopefully it will come together in the end.
THANK YOU CLAIRE FOR ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NOVEL ‘OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS’ AND YOUR SECOND NOVEL.