Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Erm, no! Since I was tiny, I’ve always loved books and been a prolific reader, but the thought of being a real, live, actual author – that just seemed an impossible dream to me. I originally trained as a primary school teacher but didn’t want to teach after graduating, so I went into PR instead. I wasn’t enjoying my job very much, so decided to see if I could write a novel. I
did, but that novel never saw the light of day! Over the years I got positive feedback about things I was writing, then it was suggested I should do the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. That was fantastic, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been writing in a
professional capacity one way or another since then. It’s taken a very, very long time to get
to this point though.
Where did the inspiration come from to write your latest book, Me, Suzy P?
Mostly from me, and the fact I’m such a complete disaster area, just like Suzy is! I’m always embarrassing myself, or having ridiculous things happen to me. I had my nose broken in a tickling fight and ended up in a plaster cast after an incident opening a window (yes, really). (Note: literally while I was typing this I’ve spilled a glass of water all over my desk and myself. My trousers are SOAKING – told you I was a nightmare!) I’ve got such a long list of stupid things I’ve done. I also take inspiration from lots of other places, like my friends, or conversations I’ve heard on the bus, films, TV, music…
Why do you write for children and teenagers?
Because it’s so much fun! I write for children and teenagers of all ages and I love it. It gives you a chance to reminisce about your own childhood, and create all sorts of worlds and situations. Picture books are just gorgeous and you get to think in pictures when you’re writing, it really gives you a chance to think about every single word, almost like writing poetry. And writing teen fiction I adore because teenagers feel everything so passionately, which makes for great protagonists and situations. Plus you get to relive all those wonderful experiences like your first kiss over and over again…
What do you do when you're not writing?
I mainly run around like a crazy person trying to stop my toddler destroying my house. So
I hang out with him a lot in parks, playgrounds, playgroups, soft play, trying to get him to
burn off some steam! He’s so much fun. But when he’s sleeping, I enjoy hanging out with
my friends, going to the cinema, and I still read lots, of course. I’ve also just started a sewing
course – I inherited a sewing machine a few years ago from my Grandma, so I’m finally
learning how to use it.
Have you ever experienced writers block? How did you overcome it?
Oh yes. It’s a horrible thing. You think you’re never going to be able to write anything EVER
AGAIN and your career is OVER. I know writers have all sorts of methods for overcoming
writer’s block, but my technique is to find a bit in the story that you really want to write,
and do that bit. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the next consecutive piece of the story, just do
something to get words onto the page again and then go back to the bit you’re stuck on. I
wrote pretty much a whole novel this way, and then went back and joined up all of the bits!
It did make life quite a bit harder, but it does get your word count up which is what your
confidence often needs.
Finally, what are your tips for aspiring writers?
like the hardest thing in the world, you’ve got to keep going!
Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog, Zoe!
If you’d like to find out more, come visit me online, at www.karensaunders.co.uk, ‘like’
me on Facebook at www.facebook/karensaunderswriter , or follow me on Twitter:
@writingkaren. There are also tweets from Suzy Puttock @suzyputtock– so do follow her
too. Me, Suzy P is available to buy from all good bookshops, online and is also available as
Look forward to seeing you around!
Thank you, Karen! Great answers!
PS. Sorry the layout is weird. Blogger is doing its usual thing of not behaving itself.
PPS. I am away on a school trip for the next couple of days so I will not be commenting on any blogs, tweeting, e-mailing etc....
I'm not ignoring you, I promise! :)