This week, our Writer Of The Week is Lynne Hallett.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing and would still say it’s one of the things which brings me the greatest pleasure in life. As a small child, I was famous for my lengthy rewrites of fairy tales, while as a teenager I had a few stories published in the local newspaper. Then in my twenties I dabbled in poetry and found my way into print a couple of times.
“I got more serious about writing back in 2007 when my youngest son, Alex, was 15 months old and his brother, James, three-and-a-half. Having read so many stories to them both over the years, one evening I felt inspired to scribble a rhyming story of my own about a mischievous puppy. I entered it into a competition and, encouraged by the judges’ response, enrolled on a course to learn how to write for children. I never looked back, especially after coming second in an international competition in 2012 with my story ‘Who Cut Up the Moon?’
Words can’t describe the excitement
“Bolstered by this, I wondered whether I had it in me to write different types of material. I enrolled on another writing course and this led to my first success with ‘The People’s Friend’. Words can’t describe the excitement and happiness I felt when ‘What Can I Give Him?’ was accepted. It was published in December 2013.
“I can honestly say that it was one of the best Christmas presents ever. I opened the magazine to find a beautiful illustration accompanying the story and my name at the top. There’s really nothing quite like seeing your name in print.
“I’ve since had another story published in ‘The Friend’ -‘And Then There Were Two’, while ‘Play It Again, Sam’ will feature in the 2016 annual. I think that ‘The Friend’ suits my style as I do like reading and writing stories which tug at the heart strings and have a happy ending.
“And you were nice enough to name me Writer Of The Week!
“If I have a good idea and a clear mind, I can write a story pretty quickly. My ideas are generally drawn from life or the things people say. But I do use roll-a-dice story grids to give me characters, settings and a problem to resolve. Time, or the lack of it, is my biggest obstacle to writing.
I snatch moments in which to write
“I’m a full-time English and Drama teacher at a boarding school in Malvern, and when I’m not at school I’m busy looking after my husband, the boys and our home. I try to make it to Pilates once a week, but that’s about all I can fit in. Opportunities to draw and sing now and then are limited. I snatch moments in which to write during the week, but school holidays are the golden time.
“That’s when I can sit down and lose myself in a story.
“Currently, I’m balancing writing stories for women with marketing three of my children’s books, which have just been published. It’s an exciting time.
“My family are very supportive and proud of me. That means a lot, and I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t write. I’ll always be grateful to ‘The Friend’ for giving me the confidence to keep going. And to believe that I can write a decent story!”
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