Writer Of The Week: Kim Gravell


Author Kim Gravell
This week we chat to Kim who was a runner-up in our Writing Bursary Competition earlier this year. Her story appears in this week’s issue.

Tell us about your story, “Silly Old Fool”.


“Silly Old Fool” is a feel-good senior romance, set at a wedding in Greece. Martin is attending with his wife and adult children, but he feels sidelined from the festivities because a recent stroke has left him partially disabled. He watches his wife dancing with a stranger and reflects on how their relationship has changed since his stroke. He is a proud man and doesn’t like to rely on others and he fears that the romance has gone from his marriage since his wife has taken on the role of his carer.

I was inspired to write the story by the experience of friends who have taken on caring roles for partners or family members. I think society undervalues the contribution made by these people and I wanted to explore the changes that can take place in a relationship when one partner is forced to rely on another due to a change in health. Of course, this being “The People’s Friend”, Martin’s story has a happy ending but you’ll have to read it to find out what that is!

How long have you been writing?


I have made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember but I only started committing them to paper around fifteen years ago. My husband and I were renovating an old Welsh chapel (where we now live) and the landscape of mid-Wales inspired me to start writing a paranormal thriller based on an idea I had been carrying around in my head since I was a teenager.

Having my story “Silly Old Fool” selected for “The People’s Friend” Bursary Writing Competition is a definite highlight in my writing career to date.

Where did you hear about our Bursary Writing Competition?


I buy “The People’s Friend” quite frequently – usually if I’m travelling or if I’m interested by the location featured on the front cover. I bought a copy in January to take with me on holiday and by chance the Bursary Writing Competition was being promoted in that issue. I knew immediately that “Silly Old Fool” would be a good fit for the Romance category and I submitted it that week. I had no expectation of winning though as I knew the competition would be hugely popular. I was stunned when I was contacted with the news that I was the over 30s Romance runner up.

Which authors do you admire?


I love any authors who write strong, independent characters: people who may not like the situations they’ve found themselves in, but who roll their sleeves up and try to sort things out. I think this is a reflection of my own upbringing and these are the sorts of characters I like to write myself – ordinary people exposed to the extraordinary. Growing up I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction and Andre Norton and Ursula LeGuin were firm favourites. I enjoy Nora Roberts’ romances and Jo Bannister’s crime novels but if I had to pick one favourite author it would be Barbara Hambly for her fantasy and her historical crime novels.

What are your future writing plans?


I am currently putting the finishing touches on an anthology of my short stories, “Tales Beyond Midnight”, which will be published in the autumn. Followers of my writing have been asking me for a short story collection for some time and my success in “The People’s Friend” Writing Bursary Competition was the final inspiration I needed to begin putting this together. I’ve also started work on the fourth novel in my Dark Places paranormal series. If this weren’t enough I’ll be writing more short stories and I hope that some of these will be selected for publication in “The People’s Friend”.

Thank you, Kim! You can read more interviews here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, I have found my perfect place on the “Friend” as I’m obsessed with reading and never go anywhere without a book! I read all of our stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!

Writer Of The Week: Kim Gravell

Author Kim Gravell
This week we chat to Kim who was a runner-up in our Writing Bursary Competition earlier this year. Her story appears in this week’s issue.

Tell us about your story, “Silly Old Fool”.


“Silly Old Fool” is a feel-good senior romance, set at a wedding in Greece. Martin is attending with his wife and adult children, but he feels sidelined from the festivities because a recent stroke has left him partially disabled. He watches his wife dancing with a stranger and reflects on how their relationship has changed since his stroke. He is a proud man and doesn’t like to rely on others and he fears that the romance has gone from his marriage since his wife has taken on the role of his carer.

I was inspired to write the story by the experience of friends who have taken on caring roles for partners or family members. I think society undervalues the contribution made by these people and I wanted to explore the changes that can take place in a relationship when one partner is forced to rely on another due to a change in health. Of course, this being “The People’s Friend”, Martin’s story has a happy ending but you’ll have to read it to find out what that is!

How long have you been writing?


I have made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember but I only started committing them to paper around fifteen years ago. My husband and I were renovating an old Welsh chapel (where we now live) and the landscape of mid-Wales inspired me to start writing a paranormal thriller based on an idea I had been carrying around in my head since I was a teenager.

Having my story “Silly Old Fool” selected for “The People’s Friend” Bursary Writing Competition is a definite highlight in my writing career to date.

Where did you hear about our Bursary Writing Competition?


I buy “The People’s Friend” quite frequently – usually if I’m travelling or if I’m interested by the location featured on the front cover. I bought a copy in January to take with me on holiday and by chance the Bursary Writing Competition was being promoted in that issue. I knew immediately that “Silly Old Fool” would be a good fit for the Romance category and I submitted it that week. I had no expectation of winning though as I knew the competition would be hugely popular. I was stunned when I was contacted with the news that I was the over 30s Romance runner up.

Which authors do you admire?


I love any authors who write strong, independent characters: people who may not like the situations they’ve found themselves in, but who roll their sleeves up and try to sort things out. I think this is a reflection of my own upbringing and these are the sorts of characters I like to write myself – ordinary people exposed to the extraordinary. Growing up I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction and Andre Norton and Ursula LeGuin were firm favourites. I enjoy Nora Roberts’ romances and Jo Bannister’s crime novels but if I had to pick one favourite author it would be Barbara Hambly for her fantasy and her historical crime novels.

What are your future writing plans?


I am currently putting the finishing touches on an anthology of my short stories, “Tales Beyond Midnight”, which will be published in the autumn. Followers of my writing have been asking me for a short story collection for some time and my success in “The People’s Friend” Writing Bursary Competition was the final inspiration I needed to begin putting this together. I’ve also started work on the fourth novel in my Dark Places paranormal series. If this weren’t enough I’ll be writing more short stories and I hope that some of these will be selected for publication in “The People’s Friend”.

Thank you, Kim! You can read more interviews here.

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