Today we catch up with debut “Friend” author Graeme Edwards. Graeme’s story is in Special 247 which is in the shops now.
Tell us about your story, “How Does Your Garden Grow”?
Recently widowed Alison has decided to sell the family home, downsize and move closer to her two children. Alison finds the prospect of leaving behind a garden that she and her late husband created over the past 30 years difficult as many of the plants hold special memories for her. The story was partly inspired by my parents who recently moved house/gardens and the fact that most gardeners have plants that were given to them by family and friends.
When did you start writing fiction?
I always enjoyed creative writing as a child, but just never seemed to have the time or confidence to complete anything I’d half-heartedly started since leaving school. The prospect of writing a novel always seems too daunting so late last year I focused on doing what I was good at in school – short stories. Since going part time at work earlier this year I’ve found myself spending one day a week focusing on writing fiction. It’s been really enjoyable, although I think my coffee and biscuit consumption has increased!
What sort of things do you enjoy reading?
All sorts, but I have my favourite ‘comfort’ reads. James Herriot, Miss Read, Arthur Ransome and the wonderfully wise, amusing and often moving “Chronicles of Prydain” series by Lloyd Alexander are revisited on a fairly regular basis.
Which comes first for you, the storyline or the characters?
Probably the characters most of the time. I find they end up creating the storyline.
What are your future writing plans?
I’ve had a second short story accepted by “The People’s Friend” so that’s really helped boost my confidence – I was afraid I may have just got lucky with this first one. I’d like to continue writing short stories and who knows, perhaps try writing a novel one day… if I don’t though I’d like to dedicate this short story to my mum and dad (Mary and David) and my wife (Andrea)! I’m also a keen garden blogger and dabble in poor rhyming.
What advice would you give to someone trying to become a “Friend” writer?
Definitely spend time reading the magazine. It really helps you get a feel for what a “Friend” story should be. The website also provides lots of good advice too.