Writer Of The Week: Wendy Craig

writer of the week

Fiction Ed Lucy talks to debut “Friend” author and Writer Of The Week Wendy Craig.

Wendy’s story, “A Bit Of A Card”, is in this week’s issue.

Have you always written? Do you write full-time, or juggle writing with other jobs?

I was nine years old when my first short story was published. Growing up, I was always writing stories.

My life changed when I lived in a Greek village for three months. I quit my job and became a freelance writer. I specialised in travel writing and history articles, was a newspaper and magazine columnist and wrote for an online magazine.

Now that I’m retired, my focus has returned to short story writing.

Are you a member of a writing group? Do you find it helpful?

I belong to a Facebook writing group — “Write Your Journey”. That’s been immensely helpful and affirming.

I always learn something when reading the posts.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your story, “A Bit Of A Card”. What made you decide to send it in to the “Friend”?

My grandmother was the inspiration for this story.

She’s been dead 40 years now, but I vividly remember her bridge afternoons. When writing the story I wondered what would happen if I threw an opposite personality into the mix.

“A Bit Of A Card” is the result.

I think “The People’s Friend” provides an oasis of calm and positivity in our busy, uncertain world. You know you’re going to have an hour or two of interesting, “feel-good” reading.

Who is your own favourite author, and why?

Anita Brookner. She’s a master of character study, creating atmospheres and life situations that resonate with me.

Have you found lockdown has helped, or hindered, your writing?

In our first major lockdown in New Zealand the only writing I did was a daily journal.

Baking was my creative outlet!

Recently I’ve been re-inspired to work on a big travel writing project.

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

Notepad and pen for research notes and story outlines, then I write straight onto my laptop.

Dining table/propped up in bed/in cafes — as long as the room has a window to gaze out of when I’m thinking, I don’t worry about the view.

And a PS – What’s your one top tip for aspiring writers?

Top Tip: read your work out loud. You’ll soon hear if a sentence doesn’t flow, if you repeat a word too often or if conversation doesn’t sound natural.

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

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!