Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Be Inspired Award

Rosemary Gemmell has nominated me for the Be Inspired Award! Thanks, Rosemary, and may I say that your blogs have been an inspiration to me, especially Reading and Writing, and Flights of Imagination about writing your children's book, Summer of the Eagles which I really enjoyed, not having read many children's books for quite a while.
In accepting the award, I have to answer the following questions which I will base on my novel, Gipsy Moth.

What gave you the idea for your book?
I love Devon and wanted to set a romance there. However in doing my research, I found out about Haldon Aerodrome and Amy Johnson's solo flight to Australia, and the story, so to speak, just took off.

How long did it take to write overall?
Several years, but I started from scratch, and learnt to write as I went along. I also took out two years to concentrate on writing short stories.

What kept you going when you were half way through?
I kept going because I wanted to see my novel finished and on the shelf in a bookshop and possibly advertised on a curved wall on the London Underground!
Are any of your characters based on real people, even though you have to say they aren’t?
Not really, but Kathy represents the problems young women faced in the 1930s. Freedom to learn to drive a car, or fly an aeroplane, but not the freedom to raise a child on their own.
Did you ever wonder if you’d have the work published?
All the time, but I believed in the story: I still do, that was why I self-published. I wanted to share it with everyone. 
When you’ve had one book published, do you feel under pressure with the next one?
Yes, because I've learned such a lot that I want to try again and get another book published with a mainstream publisher.
Would you write in a different genre next time, or do you always stick with what you know?
My new book is still a romance, but set mainly in the present.
Do you prefer writing a novel, or short stories?
Both. I liked the variety of short stories. I entered the competitions in Writers' Forum and Writing Magazine each month, and although WF would accept any subject, WM prescribed what you should write about and that was quite a challenge. I did manage to get short-listed twice and came second in one of the WM competitions. Also I learnt a great deal from the feedback I got from Lorraine Mace at WF.
Do you use everyday happenings in your writing?
Yes, I use my experiences and adapt stories I hear and events I see. I think it would be very difficult to write in a vacuum.
If your book was to be on TV who would play the lead male and female roles?
I'm not sure, maybe I'd chose James McAvoy for Ben, and 
Keira Knightly for Kathy. They were fantastic in Atonement, even if they don't exactly match the characters I had in mind. 

I would now like to pass the Be Inspired Award and questions to:
Rebecca Emin, Angela Bell, Janice Horton, Debs Carr and Jen Black. I'm looking forward to reading your answers!


  1. Great answers, Jean, as they allow us to have a little insight into your novel. And thanks for your kind words!

  2. This is a great award, and your answers are interesting. Thanks for nominating me, Jean!