Writer Of The Week: Caroline Hall

Our Writer Of The Week is Caroline Hall, whose story, “Snowman Lessons”, is in the January 27 issue, on sale this week.

In the story, the characters’ relationships and emotions felt real. Is this an important part of your writing?

Yes, I love a story where I can get alongside the characters. If I want the reader to care about my characters then I have to invest in them, too. I won’t pretend I find this easy; finding the right voice is always a challenge – but well worth pursuing.

Do you plan your stories, as in you know what is going to happen at relevant stages, or do you simply let your imagination take over?

To be honest, I’m inclined to go either way here. I generally have an idea as to where the story is heading, including how it will end, but sometimes the story takes over during writing and events can pan out quite differently.

What type of genres to you like to read? Any favourite authors?

I have a few favourites although I do veer towards crime and fantasy adventure. I’m also attracted to stories with strong settings, which whisk me away from the ordinary and mundane.

I’ll happily work my way through a series by authors like Robert Galbraith and George R.R. Martin. I’m also a fan of Kristin Hannah, who vividly transported me to Alaska in her compelling book, “The Great Alone”.

What do you hope to achieve with your writing in 2024?

I’ll continue to enjoy the challenge of trying to have stories published. I’m also tempted to broaden out with some longer pieces – maybe a novella.

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

I tend to find inspiration whilst outside – particularly walking. Then my first draft is always notebook and pencil. I don’t go on to the computer until I’m ready for the first edit.

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

I’d say write what you enjoy writing about and don’t feel disheartened. Writing groups are also a good motivator. I know my creative writing group has been a great help towards me becoming a published writer. There’s nothing like being with other writers to spur you on.

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”.