Today on the blog I'm in conversation with Stephanie Butland, author of Lost for Words.
Any advice to anyone dreaming of becoming an author?
Read. Read anything and everything, within your genre and way outside it. Find something to admire in every writer.
And write. Regularly. Make writing part of your routine and your life. Get into the habit of setting targets and finishing things. It’s relatively easy to dash off 1000 words when you’re feeling happy, well-rested and in the mood. If you want to make a career of writing you need to also be able to write 1000 words when you’re tired, have a towering to-do list and feel utterly convinced that every word you’ve ever written is terrible. So practice showing up. It will stand you in good stead.
Where do you get your writing inspiration from?Anywhere and everywhere! I collect things I see, hear, find in a sort of mental kitchen drawer and when a few of them stick together, that’s a novel. For example: LOST FOR WORDS is a conjunction of:
a postcard I found in a second hand book
a poetry book I found on a pavement by a bin in Camden in 1990
a story someone told me about an adoption that went wrong
watching a contestant called Ted Loveday on University Challenge and thinking ‘Loveday, what an interesting name, especially if you were a bad-tempered night-owl’.
What are you working on next?I’m busy with the line edits of my novel that’s out next April. It’s about Ailsa, who has waited all of her life for a heart transplant, and when she gets it finds out what being ordinary is really like. It has tango dancing, Strictly, the Edinburgh Fringe and a lot of flirting. Though there’s a dark side too, it’s been huge fun to write.
What five people, living or dead, would you choose to invite to a dinner party?This is a deeply unfair question! But also a fun one, so I’ll play. I’m going to go with all dead people, because it seems mad to waste the opportunity. And all brilliant writers, for the same reason.
Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, John Updike, Agatha Christie, Samuel Pepys. And D H Lawrence can act as waiter and learn a thing or two about women.
Thank you Stephanie for taking the time to come and chat on my blog.
Miss Chapters x