What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I write teenage and YA fiction. I think the genre chose me rather than the other way round. I have always worked with young people, as children’s librarian, teacher and now tutor. And of course, I brought up my own daughter, the best ‘write about what you know’ scenario there is.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I will usually have a book on the go at any time. Along with it, I write a blog every week (http://carolhedges.blogspot.com) and I sometimes write short stories because books are a long term commitment. Short stories can be accomplished quite fast.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t. I don’t feel the need to share a WIP with other people and I’d be very loth to comment on someone else’s work. I have a few very good friends on Twitter (@carolJhedges) and we discuss ideas and thoughts.
Can you remember your first reading book?
It was a book called ‘Orlando the Marmalade Cat’ by Kathleen Hale. I discovered it at the age of 5 in the library, where I’d been left by my mother. The pictures were so entrancing that I HAD to read the words to understand them.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I have IBS, so have to be careful what I eat. Also I am the world’s messiest eater – there was an occasion recently when I was convinced my laptop had a virus…it kept typing X’s….it turned out, on investigation, that there was ginger cake stuck under the X key. So if I’m writing, I tend to snack on water biscuits, with a smidgeon of jam. Quince for choice.
Lol! I am a messy eater, and peanut shells are not good for the keyboard. Ginger cake is tastier, though!
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Tidy (see pic). I have a lot of precious objects : my knitted cupcake, a fossil I picked up, glass ducks, pic of daughter and new husband, but they all have to be in the right place before I can start work. OCD or what!
Love the OCD routine!
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
I began by being published in the traditional manner; my 4 Spy Girl books, featuring a feisty 15 year old called Jazmin Dawson, who wants to be a secret agent like her mum Assia, are published by Usborne (available on Amazon otr through bookshops) but recently, due to the recession, I’ve found it harder to get a publisher. So last August I self published Jigsaw Pieces as an ebook. It’s on Amazon Kindle and is selling well.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Margaret Attwood, for her Dystopian vision, Carol Ann Duffy, witty and wonderful poet and Jane Austen – perfect plotting and divine characters.
Write the best book you can…. rewrite it, edit it, then get it professionally edited.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
As most of my characters are feisty teenagers, I think I’d love the youthful Elizabeth Taylor to play them – she was so beautiful and spirited in National Velvet.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
Hahaha… I was on my way to the supermarket in my customized Pink vintage Citroen 2CV when a man on the pavement flagged me down. Thinking something terrible must have happened to the car (it’s pretty old and a bit held together with gaffer tape) I screeched to a halt, and opened the driver’s window, mentally preparing for the worst. ‘I had a 2CV like yours when I was a student,’ the stranger said, grinning delightedly.
Sigh. That happens quite a lot, actually.
Ha, you probably bought back memories for the student.