Writer Of The Week: Jane Mooney

Our Writer Of The Week is debut author Jane Mooney. Jane’s story, “The Silver Bell”, is in the December 2 bumper issue, on sale this week.

“The Silver Bell” makes for a thoughtful read – did you have a story message in mind when writing it?

The idea for “The Silver Bell” came to me when I was at friend’s concert. I confess I wasn’t really concentrating on the music that evening as the story was buzzing round my head. It has evolved a lot since then, but the main thing I wanted to portray was the idea of connection between generations of women, and how each generation has its own challenges.

Do you own any cherished Christmas decorations yourself?

Absolutely. We have our very own treasured decoration in our family which was handed down from my great-grandmother. And like Nicki in the story, I have bought Christmas decorations as souvenirs when travelling, and these bring back happy memories when I put them on the tree.

What did you know of the “Friend” before writing for the magazine?

One of the great things about writing for “The People’s Friend” is that there is so much information on the website for writers. I was already familiar with the magazine and so had an idea of the sort of stories that you publish. Your comprehensive submission guidelines and the Fiction Editor’s blogs on the website gave me the confidence to submit.

Do you write around the seasons – winter for winter stories etc?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Often I’m inspired by things around me, and this can lead to seasonal stories (as with “The Silver Bell”). But sometimes the ideas seem to arrive from nowhere. My best ideas come when I’m not looking for them: on a long car journey, at the theatre, when I’m out walking. Then I feel a slight panic until I’ve got the bones of the idea jotted down in case I lose it.

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

Always laptop; usually sitting in a comfy armchair in the living-room, but it can be anywhere.

​What’s your one top tip for aspiring writers?

Set aside time to write every day, even if it’s only 20 or 30 minutes. The more you write . . . well, the more you write. Sorry if that sounds obvious, but if you wait until you’re “in the mood” somehow that never happens. When I’m writing regularly, more ideas come in the in-between times and my actual writing time becomes more productive.

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”.