Writer Of The Week: Vivien Brown

writer of the week

Writer Of The Week Vivien Brown chats to Fiction Ed Shirley about writing and her latest short story.

“A Flower In the Snow”, published in our February 1 issue, is about the sensitive subject of a woman’s longing for a baby, and her continuing disappointment. Can you talk about what inspired it?

Infertility has always been an important topic in my writing. I went through it myself, so I understand the emotional strain it can cause.

I was lucky that my IVF led to the birth of twin daughters. Nobody wants to be left feeling depressed by reading about heartbreak and despair, so my stories always focus on hope and a happy ending.

Tell us more about your writing, Vivien. It’s not only short stories, is it?

After 20 years writing magazine fiction, I moved into writing novels in 2017, concentrating on family relationship themes and domestic dramas.

My third novel, “No Sister of Mine”, has just been published.

Short stories will always hold a special place in my heart though, and I still love writing them when an idea strikes — and I can find the time.

Amidst all your writing projects what’s your favourite genre?

So many genres seem to cross over each other these days, so my ideal story to write (or to read) will be a mixture of romance, psychological suspense and family.

Who are your own favourite authors and what do you admire about them?

I like novels by Veronica Henry, Milly Johnson, Jean Fullerton and Elaine Everest.

Good plots, lots of likeable characters, a bit of a problem to solve, an emotional pull and perhaps a little humour.

Did anyone particularly inspire your writing?

As a young woman I devoured anything by Maeve Binchy.

She was such a talented storyteller, weaving different stories and characters together. And they have such a strong sense of setting.

When I started writing, I wanted to write that way too

Notebook and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view?

Always straight to a screen, usually in my study.

But I am just as happy at the dining table or in the garden on a sunny day.

I don’t need a window. In fact, I prefer a TV to look at than a view!

And a P.S. – what’s your top tip for an aspiring Writer Of The Week?

Writing can be lonely. Don’t try to do it all by yourself.

Join a writers group and meet others who know how you feel and can offer advice, feedback and support.

For more from our Writer Of The Week series, click the tag below.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.