Author of “The Games People Play”.
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!