Writer Of The Week Carrie Hewlett tells us all about her writing.
You can read Carrie’s latest story “The Test Of Time” in our weekly issue.
The characters in “The Test of Time” are reunited by chance after many years. Did you know how the story would end for them before you started or did you journey along with the characters as you wrote?
I travelled along with them, as I do with the characters in every story I write.
Some people have everything planned out, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them.
I have a vague idea at the back of my mind as to where I want them to end up, but it’s always interesting and fun to find out how they get there along the way.
How long have you been writing and when did you realise you wanted to write professionally?
I’ve always loved writing, even as a child. And I’ve always loved losing myself in the sheer magic of books, dreaming that one day I’d be able to write one myself.
I’ve now written two children’s books, and I’m in the process of trying to find an agent/publisher. Not as easy as you think!
And, of course, I love writing short stories and poems — though it’s been a steep learning curve along the way.
I’ve done varying jobs over the years, mostly secretarial, but my passion has always been writing and I guess I’m just lucky now to be able to have a go at doing what I love.
As well as fiction, you also write poems for us. What most inspires your poetry?
Gosh. Anything and everything!
A poem I wrote about a squirrel was inspired by gazing out into the garden and spotting a cheeky squirrel hanging upside down to pinch bird seed from the feeder.
Which story or project are you most proud of up to now?
That’s a hard question to answer.
Certainly, my first story acceptance with the “Friend” a few years ago made me feel very proud!
But each time I get an acceptance I do a happy dance around the room – does that answer the question?!
Notepad and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view?
Laptop definitely! I can’t write anywhere else; I’ve got to have peace and quiet too.
My desk is by the window in my study area, so if I ever get stuck, I can just gaze out.
I do use my phone to jot down ideas, as you never know when inspiration will strike. I’ve been talking to people and said “hang on a minute” whilst I dictate an idea into the phone!
Before that I used a notebook to scribble down ideas. Then when I’m stuck, I just look through them to see where my imagination takes me.
What’s your top tip for an aspiring Writer Of The Week?
To keep writing, and to never give up. If you truly love what you do, you will always get there in the end.
Try not to get too disheartened by criticism and rejections. It’s par for the course.
And finally, (oops – you only asked for one!) the other thing that’s really helped me is joining an online writers’ group; they give great feedback, and it helps to know you’re not alone.
Writing is very solitary, so it’s nice to find others in the same boat so to speak.
For more from our Writer Of The Week series, click the tag below.