Au­thor of “The Games Peo­ple Play”.

The People's Friend - - 66 -

Q what in­spired the story?

A story-starter pic­ture ini­tially in­spired the story. I saw it at a “Friend” writ­ing work­shop in New­cas­tle. The pic­ture re­minded me of a game I have of­ten been asked to take part in through Face­book and from there the story de­vel­oped.

So­cial me­dia has of­ten been a frus­trat­ing in­tru­sion in my life, yet its power to bring me closer to friends and fam­ily can­not be de­nied. It’s all about how you use it. I hope I’ve brought that to life through the char­ac­ters in the story.

Q what’s the best piece of writ­ing ad­vice you’ve heard?

The best writ­ing tip I have heard was from my cousin, Frazer. He told me to cre­ate and let peo­ple like what they want to like. So of­ten I would write what I thought peo­ple wanted to read, rather than just telling sto­ries I wanted to tell. It’s im­por­tant to en­joy your­self while you write and not get caught up in try­ing to please peo­ple.

Q what, in your opin­ion, makes a good story?

In my opin­ion, strong char­ac­ters make a good story. I like to fin­ish a story think­ing about them and won­der­ing what they did next. If char­ac­ters come to life, the story does, too.

Q what’s the best com­pli­ment a reader could give you?

The best com­pli­ment I could re­ceive about my writ­ing would be for some­one to say they could re­late to my work. I per­son­ally love read­ing a story or hear­ing a song and hav­ing a “That’s like me” mo­ment. It would feel nice to know some­one had been touched by my words.

Q what’s your favourite writ­ing snack?

I don’t re­ally snack when I’m writ­ing – in fact, I write to stop my­self from eat­ing. I’ve spent years try­ing ev­ery diet you can imag­ine, and failed them all, too. I tend to eat when I’m bored. Pick­ing up a notepad or turn­ing on my lap­top keeps me busy and my fin­gers away from any un­nec­es­sary nibbles!

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