Those of us who write short and long fiction know the name of Margaret Mounsdon so it is a delight for us to welcome her here today and be able to ask about her writing life.
I love writing both short stories and longer fiction. I tend to do short stories in between the longer fiction to make a change. It’s good to have different disciplines and I find this way of working suits me.
How long does it take to write a short story? Do you plan before starting to write?
I can rough out a short story in an afternoon but that is only the beginning. I rewrite several times and edit constantly, reading out loud etc for things that just don’t sound right. Then I put it away for as long as possible – at least a week, before casting a fresh eye on it. It is amazing what you can pick up that way – typos; glaring errors; all that sort of thing.
What is your latest writing project?
A pocket novel set in a sleepy village. It’s got a dash of romance; a missing will; serious conflict; a pet’s grooming parlour and there’s even a ghost.
How did you start out as a writer?
In spring 2000 I went to a writers’ day and sat next to Sue Curran at one of the workshops. She was looking for manuscripts of a romantic nature for the now defunct Heartline Books. I sent her mine and it was published under the title Never Say Goodbye. They also published my second novel The Peacock House. I had started a third but after they folded I sent it to My Weekly and it was published as a pocket novel. I’ve now had published 25 novels, all on Amazon with a 26th self published novel.
What is your typical writing day like?
There is no typical day. I am not one of those people who insist on no interruptions but I am usually at my desk by nine and I knock off about four. The only rule I am meticulous about is when I sit down to write, I will not get up again until I have done 1000 words. It is amazing how your work grows.
Do you still have a writing goal?
Some of my ‘long’ short stories have been 10,000 word cosy crime dramas and I would love to write a series of cosies if I could find a suitable market.
When Issy Dillaine discovers she was adopted as a baby she sets out to discover all she can about Amy Grant, her birth mother. Her quest for the truth leads her into a world of Z-list celebrities, as well as the arms of investigative journalist Ed Stanwood. But Ed has a secret of his own. His uncle was the QC who had headed up the prosecution team working to convict Amy Grant of fraud.
Angela’s Return Home
(Due out on 1st September 2015)
It had been years since Angela Banks had seen Russ Stretton. She’d been a teenager with a massive crush on him and now he was back with emotional baggage in the form of a five year old son and a sophisticated French ex-wife who was intent on winning him back at all costs.
Thank you Margaret. Your output is amazing.
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Margaret - there is a market for cosy crime, believe me! And we first met on the Heartline stand at LBF, didn't we? I loved their covers.
I always enjoy reading about how other writers work and you're obviously very disciplined.
I like your description of a typical writing day, Margaret - it sounds practical and achievable,(for those of us who are too easily distracted!)
Great post and interesting to see how you work, Margaret. I need to follow that 'not getting up until 1000 words are written' philosophy!
Even when you see someone quite regularly, it's surprising how much you don't know about them! Not getting up from your desk until you've done 1000 words is impressive Margaret.
Thanks everyone for the lovely comments. I've just had my latest pocket novel accepted by People's Friend Tracey Steel. I sent I on Wednesday and she accepted it on Thursday, so I'm currently on a high. I'll have to come down off cloud nine and get back to my 1000 words sessions.
Thank you for a lovely blog post, Margaret and congratulations on the latest sale!
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