I had the pleasure of meeting one of my writers just the other day.
Mark Neilson may be a familiar name to some of you as he has been writing Friend stories and serials for a number of years. We spent a pleasant couple of hours over lunch, talking about families, sharing amusing anecdotes and the general happenings in our lives since we last met up.
A Creative Force
As Mark is an active writer for the magazine, we talked about his current projects with us – two serials, one of which has just been approved. I don’t want to spoil the reading surprise further down the line, but it will be a welcome return for some familiar faces based in the Scottish Borders. Amid mouthfuls of toasted sandwiches, we discussed potential storylines and ways to develop the characters.
I’ve known Mark for as long as I have worked on the Friend, and, more often than not, our meetings generally involve a plentiful supply of snacks and beverages. When we are discussing our next project together, the ideas we share are jotted down on notepads, while brushing biscuit crumbs from pages. I know Mark would agree when I say we work well together. It made me think, too, why we work so well as a creative force.
Though we both have a sweet tooth, it’s not all to do with coffee and biscuits. What works for us is the affinity we have built up over the years. Naturally, fiction is the topic of many of our conversations, but our easy-going chats will also involve other aspects of our lives. Of course, this isn’t important in how a short story or serial will turn out. But writing is by and large a solitary line of work, and having someone to share everyday thoughts can only be a positive.
The Friend has always invested in people. And at the end of the day, there is no greater investment than getting to know someone.