Writer Of The Week: Christina Collins

writer of the week

We’d like you to meet Christina Collins, our Writer Of The Week, and a debut “Friend” author!

Her story, “All In A Day’s Work” appears in this week’s issue.

Tell us where the idea for “All In A Day’s Work” came from?

When I met my husband, he was a self employed plasterer. About 15 years ago, I decided to do a nail course because I was fed up spending so much money on having my nails done. I built the characters and developed the story from this, but I wanted it to have a bit of a twist.

How long have you been writing fiction?

About 20 years ago I wrote a children’s book. I didn’t ever attempt to get it published, as it was the kind of story I would have read as a young teenager. I didn’t think it would capture the teenage audience of today, but it gave me the bug for writing.

However, life got in the way.

Three years ago I was off work for a lengthy time because of problems with my eyes, and I found myself with plenty of spare time. So I decided to try my hand at short fiction stories. The ideas kept coming, so I continued writing.

Who are your favourite authors?

Until recently, I was very particular about the books that I read, sticking to authors I knew. My favourites include Nicholas Evans, James Patterson and Jodi Picoult.

My daughter started writing book reviews and on her recommendations I started reading genres I wouldn’t normally have considered, and authors I have never heard of, and it opened up a whole new world for me.

What are your writing ambitions?

To continue to have success with short stories, build on my writing skills, and hopefully move on to write a serial or even a pocket novel.

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

When I started writing it was always a notebook and pencil, as my typing skills weren’t fast enough to get my ideas down as quick as my mind was working. I’d then type it up and edit.

Now it’s usually straight onto my Chromebook, but I always carry a notebook and pen wherever I go, and I keep one by my bedside as ideas always seem to come to me at night. It could be a new story or a sentence I think I could add to an existing story. I need to jot this down, there and then, or by morning I would surely forget it.

Usually, I write sitting on my bed with my Chromebook propped up on a cushion. I don’t see the world around me, but I like to keep the window open to catch any sound outside. 

What’s your top tip for an aspiring Writer Of The Week?

Use the world around you to create ideas, and build on characters. Always have a notepad and pen at hand to jot down any ideas before they escape your mind.

Accept constructive feedback, and use it to develop your writing skills.

When I look back over some of my earlier stories, I cringe at the lack of punctuation and  character building. Most importantly, believe in yourself.

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

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!