Today, I’m blogging my interview with Carol Lovekin, an author who lives in my nearest town here in West Wales, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet and chat with at book fairs over the past couple of years. Carol is published by Honno Press, a Welsh based women’s press based in Aberystwyth. Carol will be at the Narberth Book fair on 22nd September and Llandysul, hosted by Parlour Press Publishing on 29th September.
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’m a plotter. The idea of writing a book without a plan terrifies me! It’s hard enough with one, frankly. I write a detailed outline. That said, I’m up for the challenge. If plot, characters &/or other factors (editor?!) suggest tangents, I’ll go with them. It’s part of the excitement of conjuring a story. Characters in particular have a way of knowing where they need to go.
2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?
I have magical, writing earrings! They’re odd – an amber one & a moonstone. Until I lost one of each original pair they were favourites. Rather than abandon them, I paired them up & gave them a role. And I do like a tidy desk. I can’t work in a mess.
3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
I’m a trained ballet dancer.
I hand write in pencil on unlined artists’ sketch pads.
I can swim underwater for (almost) the entire length of my local swimming pool. Working on those last three metres!
I didn’t learn to drive until I was 59.
I don’t do even numbers.
4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?
Knife. Flint. Huge box of pencils. Big box of paper. Teapot.
5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My favourite book. Immaculate writing & a superb indictment of racism in America.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve loved it since I was fifteen & read it every year. Where my love of the Gothic novel comes from. (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier vies for this slot, for the same reason.)
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Sublime writing; a beautifully constructed novel & a moving exposé on the reality of war.
Possession A S Byatt. Insanely good writing & the best dual narrative novel I’ve ever read.
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman. I love her take on magical realism. The writing is lush; it has an indefinable quality to it.
6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Dame Judi Dench.
7 Your current writing projects?
One project at a time for me. I’m currently editing my third book. It’s like wandering through a vast wild wood. Luckily, I have breadcrumbs.
Thank you so much for joining me Carol. You can find Carol’s books on Amazon here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref
or for friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref
Join me soon for another author interview; a peep into a modern writer’s life.