Writer of the Week is Kate Hogan whose story “Never Forgotten” is lucky number seven in this week’s short stories selection.
Can you recall what inspired the story or where the idea came from?
As a child – and long into adulthood – I was always asking my lovely mum to tell me about the history of our family. I came to love all the characters she talked of. I’ve long remembered them, for ever inspired by their determination and compassion for one another. Davy, the young lad in the story, is very real in many ways, as is the kindly policeman, though the story, like many stories, developed in my imagination
What do you find works best for you as a source of inspiration?
I’m a bit of a dreamer, loving long quiet walks, where I indulge my imagination. Often, as with Davy, I’ll remember a story from the past. Sometimes, though, characters I’ve never met present themselves with an unexpected image or a piece of dialogue and a story to tell. So for me inspiration comes through some level of solitude and allowing my mind to wander.
You’re not our most prolific writer but you often come up with something different. Do you work on more than one story at once? Do you discard lots of ideas?
I go through phases where lots of ideas and characters arrive in quick succession, so I write as much as I can for each character and idea. I’ve had as many as twelve stories partly written during a creative dreamy phase, which helps immensely when my creative flow deserts me! I rarely discard ideas.
Do you do any other writing?
Poetry, songs – a science fiction novel, too.
Notebook and pen or laptop? Kitchen table or study, blank wall or inspiring views?
Laptop for me. Working from a fold-up table in the bedroom, with Gypsy, my dog, snoring beside me, after a long walk with us both taking in the inspiring views.
And a PS: Your one top tip for aspiring writers.
Be kind to yourself and your writing. Our creative self is very much the child within – nurture that child, or you’ll send it into hiding. Stories are for ever, you can always revisit and rewrite. If you love a story and its characters, someone, somewhere, may eventually fall in love with them, too. I sold a story last year that had been written over twenty-five years ago. Rejected many times but with a little bit of nurturing eventually found a happy home.