Writer Of The Week: Pamela Ormondroyd

Our writer of the week is author Pamela Ormondroyd. Pamela’s serial, “For The Love Of Peggy”, begins in the October 8 issue.

Strong family units often appear in your stories and serials. Are you inspired by your own family in that regard?

Oh, yes. We are quite a large family and all live close by, so there is always some minor crisis to deal with. We are quite a feisty lot (strong women!), but we all rub along nicely because we genuinely care for each other.

“Peggy” is the follow-up serial featuring sisters Ruth, Amber and Vera. Are sequels easier or harder to write?

I find them easier as you already have a backstory and well-defined characters. But you do have to make sure you have interesting plotlines for all the main characters, so that they develop, grow and move the story along.

You are adept at writing both historical and contemporary stories. Do you prefer one over the other?

I enjoy both. With historical fiction there is usually quite a bit of research beforehand. With my herring girls serial, I had to learn all about the lives of the herring girls and their men at sea. I wrote streams of notes.

With Ruth, Amber and Vera, I read about the 1920s. All very interesting.

Contemporary stories usually stem from local conversations, watching folk in cafés, or even from an unexpected, wonderful scene while out walking.

When did you first decide you wanted to write stories?

I can’t remember when I didn’t have a writing pad, pen or book in my hand. I loved all the childhood classics and yearned to be able write like my favourite authors. When I realised you could have books for free from the library, it became my second home.

Do you write every day, or is it when inspiration strikes?

Only when inspiration strikes, I’m afraid. I can go weeks without a single good idea. But I use my unproductive times doing other things, which always help. (See tips below.)

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

With notebook and pen to start with and then switch to laptop as a story takes shape. I sit in a tiny bedroom opposite a blank wall, but I do like to listen to the radio now and again.

P.S., What’s your one top tip for aspiring writers?

When my head is empty of ideas, I turn to a good book or magazine and immerse myself in someone else’s world. I get out and about, maybe a bus ride somewhere, meet up with friends, go for walks and just chill.

Inspiration for me comes when I least expect it. I’ve even been inspired and moved by articles and letters in the good old “The People’s Friend”.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.