Tell us a little bit about Deep Water?
Deep Water is a Celtic myth-based story, placed in a contemporary setting. When Danni’s mother goes missing, she has to go and live with her dad in some remote part of Cornwall. Strangely, people in the area seem to recognise her…and she finds herself in increasing danger. She needs to find out who (and what) she is, and save her mother before it’s too late…
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Things are rarely as they seem, so be open to possibilities. Don’t judge too quickly or fear something just because you don’t understand it.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write myth based fiction in a kitchen sink paranormal style.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your book?
Elle Fanning was my first choice, but then I thought of Maisie Williams, who’s a really talented British actress and is amazing in Game of Thrones. She has an elfin quality, which is what I had in mind for Danni.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
When I get an idea, I immediately see it visually, a bit like the way you draw a caterpillar life cycle diagram – egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly. When it comes to writing, I find the egg and the butterfly (ie beginning and end) are usually pretty clear from the start, but the caterpillar and cocoon stages are open to massive amounts of variation (in other words, they’re really hazy!)…I’ve tried to write plans, and they do help a lot, but unfortunately the characters have a life of their own and decide to do something completely different half the time.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Starting something has never been the problem – I’ve started lots of things! The problem has been finishing them – and having the confidence to keep going. So to solve this, I did the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. It was a way of giving myself a really expensive deadline with a lot of encouragement to get to the finish line – and it worked. I’m enormously grateful to all on the course – fellow students and course-leaders – and would recommend this path to anyone who is serious about honing their skills.
In fact I’d say being part of a supportive network is invaluable as a writer – whether it’s a writing group, an organisation like the Golden Egg Academy, or simply a network of writer friends on social media. You need all the encouragement you can get.
Can you pass on any tips regarding the writing process to other budding writers?
Put simply, just write! But also, read your work aloud when you think you’ve finished your draft. People always tell you to do it, but lots of writers don’t bother. It really helps to iron out the clunky, awkward bits, because when you read aloud you have a natural rhythm which you want to try and get into your writing. It also helps you spot sections where you need to vary the sentence length, as well as the inevitable bits where you skip through loads of unnecessary description or slip out of a character’s voice and so on.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying/reading process?
I think the cover is tremendously important – and interestingly, the writer generally gets very little real say in it at all! Fortunately I think Usborne have done a great job with mine. I love the cover of Deep Water and think it really fits the book – yet avoids being too much of a plot spoiler.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to write books – it just took me a really long time to get there!
Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?
According to Kurt Vonnegut, ‘We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.’ I’ve found this to be as true as anything else I’ve read about being a writer.
Website: https://luwrites.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @LuWrites