21st August, 08:20
I hope you’re all having a great summer. I’m now home from my travels so will be back to blogging every week – we went to Bali, Malaysia and Thailand and now it feels pretty weird to be home to be honest! Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a travel blog about any (or all!) of the places I’ve been to.
BUT in the meantime, I’ve got an amazing post for you today – an interview with Fantasy author Fi, whose debut novel Haven Wakes is hitting shelves very soon. Enjoy!
Interview with the author: Fi Phillips
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was 8 years old, I was knocked down by a car on the way home from school. I broke my arm and fractured both my pelvis and my skull. It took me several months in hospital to recover.
Once I’d read the books my school and parents had brought me, I was left twiddling my thumbs, well, just the one – the other was secured in plaster. I was bored, and as my hospital friends mostly left the ward to go home, I began looking for something to do.
We had a teacher who would visit us occasionally on the ward. I vaguely remember learning about 1066 and Henry VIIIth. When my parents were told that there would be lesson plans to fill out, they brought in some pencils and a pad.
With my right arm in plaster, it was impossible to use that hand, so I began to write with my left hand. The result was scrawly and all over the place, but it was writing nonetheless.
I wrote about the children on my ward. I wrote a letter to my favourite teddy bear. I wrote a list of what was in my bedroom. It didn’t matter what it was, any old rubbish, I wrote it down just the same. If I didn’t have enough to read, I wrote myself a story.
That was when I realised that I wanted to be a writer.
How long does it take you to write a book?
That’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string?’ questions. Before I had children, I could easily write a book in six months. With children running around my heels, it took a lot longer to finish a novel. Now, with two independent teens who don’t need me as much, the process is more like 9-12 months.
What’s your work schedule like when writing?
I’m a work from home copywriter so my fiction writing has to fit in around that, evenings and weekends mostly. Having said that, one of the great joys of freelancing (and one of the main reasons I became self-employed) is that I can juggle my hours around, so when my fiction writing needs to take priority, I have that flexibility available to me.
Where do you get your information or ideas?
The ideas tend to come to me, usually when I’m nodding off to sleep, but often from things I see, events that happen to me or news articles I read. Often, the idea starts with a character based on someone who’s stood out to me in real life. I’m lucky to be a fantasy writer because it allows the imagination to wander far and free.
When I’m gathering information, Google is my best buddy, but I also read extensively.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I suppose it comes as no surprise that, as a writer, I love to read. I don’t have as much time to read these days as I used to but it’s still one of my favourite things to do.
I’m at that stage where my teens are becoming increasingly independent, one starting A ‘levels and the other entering the final year at high school in September, so I do my best to create as much family time together as possible.
Other things I enjoy: walking the dog and going to the theatre.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’re all very supportive and I’m lucky that we’re a family of creative and imaginative souls. My daughter created the wonderful artwork on my website.
What’s something you learnt when writing?
I learnt that, for me, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. I just need to step away for a moment, maybe do something mundane like the washing up, and when I return, I know what to write next.
I also learnt the joys of brainstorming a story idea right at the beginning, and just throwing every possibility and detail down on paper.
How many books have you written and when were they/will they be published?
My debut novel, Haven Wakes, will be published later this year.
What’s your favourite quote from your book?
A mess is as good a place as any to start. It can only get tidier from there.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
While my friends wanted to be nurses, doctors, vets, accountants, translators, engineers, musicians, dancers and actors, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. That’s it. Nothing else.
Do you have any advice for budding authors?
Write, write and write some more. That’s the only way you’ll get there, one word after another.
And remember, only you can tell your story in your way.
Fi’s Haven Wakes is due to be published in October 2019. If you’d like to read a FREE sneak peak before then, please click here.