Our Writer Of The Week is Patsy Goodsir. Patsy’s story, “Retreat To Goat Island”, is in the Jan 20 issue – on sale this week.
You did a good job of bringing the island to life in your story. Is Norway a special place to you?
My daughter has lived in Norway for over 20 years and I have two lovely granddaughters as a result. I love Norway; it is a special place with spectacular scenery and excellent bakeries that produce amazing food. My daughter and her partner have a beautiful cabin that sits on the water’s edge on a small island. The whole story is inspired by that location, including the goats.
Nature often features in your stories. Are you conscious of looking for story ideas when you are out and about?
I’ve lived in the country most of my life – experienced everything from running kennels to herding sheep. If I’m being honest, I prefer animals to people. There is so much beauty in the countryside if you just stop and observe. Find a quiet place and just watch what appears. Speak to an old shepherd. They all have a thousand tales to tell.
What do you like to read in your spare time?
I have a low boredom threshold. The book has to grab me from the first page. I like Peter James and Harlan Coben for a light read. Adored “The Offing” by Benjamin Myers and Raynor Winn’s “The Salt Path”; a truly amazing tale of her triumph over adversity. There are lots of good, new authors popping up all the time.
Have you always been a writer?
Not by any means. I’ve worked in reception, farming, boarding kennels, a petrol station, café and mobile post office. I embarked on a course by the Writers Bureau in my early twenties, but raising my children and a busy farming life got in the way. I still possess a little book of stories I wrote at the age of 9.
About twenty years later, I returned to the writing course and, this time, I finished it. Now it’s great to be retired and have time to write. However, even with that I find myself buried in felting projects or picking up my camera and snapping wildlife for hours.
Notebook and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view?
Laptop for stories, notebook for poetry. Table when I mean business (sits at rear of the lounge). Notebook for whimsical thoughts that often turn into a poem. Inspiring views can be a distraction, especially if a rare bird comes into sight.
What’s your one top tip for aspiring writers?
Speak to people. Everyone has a story to tell.