Thorne Moore is a wonderful writer and supports Judith Barrow in organising the Narberth Book Fair. You met Judith earlier in the week https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/10/judith-barrow-author-and-co-organiser-of-the-narberth-book-fair/, so now it’s Thorne’s turn to share a little of her writing life and what makes her tick….
1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as
you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?
I wouldn’t say everything is totally unplanned, but I certainly don’t work it out in detail. I have an idea of where it should go, an image – usually of a location – and a cluster of characters who are mostly 2 dimensional until I start writing. Then they begin to create themselves without any help from me and do or say things I wasn’t expecting. I work on the assumption that if the characters become real enough, the action will also become natural.
The one thing I do need from the start is not a plot but a theme. Something like isolation or guilt or motherlove, which drives the whole story.
2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?
No ritual whatsoever, unless you include removing the cat from the keyboard at regular intervals, and I don’t care what mug I drink from, as long as there’s caffeine. But I do have a pattern, I suppose. I start writing as soon as I wake up. Don’t bother getting out of bed: dressing is a waste of writing time. I write until I really have to get up and do something else. Afternoons are good for research, but my mind is too occupied with other things by then for total immersion. Finally, unless it’s absolutely tipping down, I always go for a walk after dinner and let my story play itself out like a film in my head. It’s the best way to let problems find their own solution.
3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
- I ran a restaurant because I like cooking, but I really like it as an essential stage in eating the finished product. A sort of foreplay. I’m not so strong on cakes because they really need precision in following recipes. I’m more of a spontaneous-rummage-in-the-fridge-and-improvise sort of cook.
- Given the weather and a lack of other commitments, I’d walk all day. Of course having the Pembrokeshire coast path down the road is a help. I used to run every day but my knees no longer work. I used to climb Snowdon once a year, but now my knees seize up just thinking about it.
- Nobody could ever say I wasn’t opinionated. I was known for it at school and why change the habits of a lifetime? It is excellent aerobic exercise, shouting and throwing things at TVs and radios.
- I make miniature furniture – dollshouse furniture for collectors, mostly elaborately carved Tudor and Medieval. It’s my alternative means of earning a living and I’ve been doing it for 35 years. Eyesight problems are making it increasingly problematic, but I keep going.
- I love houses, their evolution and all the history fossilised in them. Big country houses, ruined castles, 1930s semis, half-timbered cottages, iron-age post-holes in the ground.
4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you
want with you?
- A laptop with solar charger
- Inexhaustible wine (and a corkscrew).
- A really good carbon steel cook’s knife.
- I don’t do glare.
- A spider catcher.
5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?
- Mansfield Park. Really any of Jane Austen’s books, but that one’s the most complicated, I think.
- The Bell, by Iris Murdoch. A regular read full of enchanting imagery, quirky characters, deep thoughts, amusing quotations and it breaks all the current literary rules.
- Lord of the Rings, because, although I adored it when young, I haven’t read it for years and it’s nice and long. It set a trend for fantasy novels, but a lot that came after missed some of the elements that made it a success.
- Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, because it’s even more relevant in today’s world than it was when she wrote it and I’d like to be reminded how lucky I was to be marooned on a desert island.
- Albi by Hilary Shepherd, which I have just read, because it’s huge, not just in length but in scope, focussing on the intensely small and personal and yet highlighting the widest issues of humanity.
6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
That’s a difficult one. Lots of people I’d like to meet and question, but what if they were a huge disappointment? What if they were really boring? I think I’d plump for Shakespeare. Lots of questions to answer there and I don’t think he’d be too dull. I might have trouble with his sense of humour though.
7 Your current writing projects?
I like my books to be complete in themselves, and I never had a fancy to write a series, but I’ve suddenly been overcome by an urge to write a prequel to my first novel, A Time For Silence. I made a start on it a couple of years ago with a short story that keeps nagging me.
8 Narberth Book Fair must take up a lot of time. Why have you got involved?
I was delighted when Judith Barrow held the first fair (in Tenby) because it was a chance to emerge from the private troll’s lair where authors work all alone and meet the public with my books. Or book as it was then. I was delighted to join the team because book fairs are a rare opportunity for indie authors or authors with small indie publishers to showcase their work. We could write the greatest book in the history of humanity but we would still be unlikely to find ourselves in W H Smiths or in the window of Waterstone’s. Book fairs offer that chance to be seen, and heard, but nobody is going to organise them for us so we do it ourselves. I’m gratified that we’ve been able to showcase an increasing number of authors to an ever-increasing audience. Hard work but worth it.
9 Other published work and links….
A Time For Silence https://amzn.to/2v6zvPH
The Unravelling https://amzn.to/2LOxAsO
Long Shadows https://amzn.to/2NX0QLi
FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/1Ruu9m1
NARBERTH BOOK FAIR www.narberthbookfair.co.uk
Thank you so much, Thorne for sharing with us…you’ll have to come and poke around in my old house one day!
Check out the website for the Narberth Book fair or the Facebook page and be sure to find out more about Thorne’s novels…I’ve Long Shadows on my kindle which I’m itching to start!
Support book fairs! They’re a brilliant way to introduce children to books and to meet the author behind the stories you love.
See you on 22nd at Narberth!