Writer Of The Week: Moira Smyth

Our Writer of the Week is Moira Smyth. Moira’s story, “A Blessing In Disguise”, appears in the Jan 14 issue of the magazine.

I’m sure a lot of readers will relate to the characters’ antics in “A Blessing In Disguise”. How important is humour in your stories?

Very important! A story that makes you smile or laugh is a feel-good story, and isn’t that what we all want? Humour can also help balance a serious story. I’d say it’s part of everything I write.

This is your second story to appear in the “Friend”, as “A Little Gem” appeared in last week’s issue. As a new and successful writer, is writing momentum something you value?

I’ve always written. It’s something I love doing and I suppose you could say it’s my hobby. I retired recently and now have more time to dedicate to it, so my success in “The People’s Friend” has been a real boost.

How much does life experience influence your writing?

“A Blessing In Disguise” is based on a night out my friend and I had, and it was such fun to write. Going back to those exciting times when we didn’t know if we would get into the disco or not. Everything in my life influences my writing. I think that’s part of what makes a writer.

What book are you reading, or hoping to read next?

I’m looking forward to Ann Cleeves’ next book – I think she’s wonderful. I’m also doing a lot of walking at the moment and I’ve just discovered true crime podcasts. I absolutely love them. I can completely lose track of time when I’m listening.

What are your writing plans in 2023?

I’d like to continue writing short stories, but perhaps start thinking about serials. There are some stories and characters who just deserve more time and development. I feel so lucky that other people like my work because writing is something that I simply love doing.

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

I worked from home during the pandemic and turned a boxroom into an office. My laptop is my best friend and I have an amazing view of the River Tay from my window that never ceases to make me smile.

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

Keep writing. It can be about anything or anyone, but make yourself put those words on paper. My mum tells me I was in demand as a teenage babysitter because I didn’t just read bedtime stories, but made up my own personalised ones. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find you just have to write!

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”.