Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Author Interview: Stella Stafford

Glad to have you on my blog Stella, tell us something interesting.
Something that might be relevant is that I am on holiday from Sat until End of August and am expecting to be out of IT range. I shall miss everyone so much!

Has writing always been a passion of yours, or did you discover it at a later age?
I have always written, i discovered little stories I wrote when I was only just able to write the other day. They were terrible. But I was five!    
Do you outline or write as you go?                                                                            I wrote a plot for Did Anyone Die? (which, funnily enough is the first full length book I wrote since I was an adult) - then the characters all took over and changed the whole plot.They were quite right, they were much better at working out the plot than I was. I always find I am writing with my characters arguing with me if they don't like what i am trying to make them do. I have had to rewrite whole chapters because they refused to continue on that plot line. I suppose therefore you could say that these days I let my subconscious write the books. I have a vague idea at the start of the book and then I wait to see what happens next.

What inspires you?
I think my books are largely inspired by life and my own imagination. I am a prolific reader of almost anything and what I read is part of my life.

Do you get inspired by a certain element(Water. Fire. Air. Etc)?
No. None of these elements.

Do you listen to music or multitask while writing?

When I am 'in flow' I don't really notice what is going on around me at all, it's like playing a difficult piece of music on the piano, the rest of the world vanishes. My dog and my family find this very annoying.

What is your favorite genre, and least favorite?
 I will read almost anything, the back of the cereal packet if there is nothing else around. I like reading good old fashioned classics by choice, I love all the classical writers like Dickens, Wilkie Collins, the Brontes, Poe, Trollope, Thackeray. I loved War and Peace. I don't like books with really explicit sex or extremely graphic violence.  I enjoy the milder end of horror writers like Stephen King. and Edgar Allen Poe. I enjoy fantasy of the Tolkien type and John Wyndham style science fiction.  I like off beat writers, Jasper Fforde for example. I also read French classics (in French that is!), and Latin classics ! I like reading drama  and I love poetry of all kinds. I love travel books, ancient and modern, history books, historical romances. Any form of fiction really! I also read a lot of academic papers in several different disciplines! Sorry, I did say I read pretty well anything! I think that answers the next question as well actually!

What is your favorite piece you’ve written, and what is it about?
One of the best things I ever wrote was a review of other academic papers to consider the question of whether the children of Methamphetamine addicts were more likely to become addicted to Methamphetamine than other people. (I concluded that the evidence suggested they were). I also wrote a good paper on graduate underemployment. I don't think I have written my best novel yet. I am writing one that might be it some time in the future! Or it might not! The Little Wychwell mysteries are fun books rather than great literature, having said that I just proof read my second one and, having not read it for ages, I really enjoyed it myself. 

What is a hidden talent of yours?
Hidden talents -   Making stage costumes at speed  is something I am surprisingly good at ! there you go!  I discovered this when I had to keep making them for my children in between the hours of 10pm and 7am when they only remembered to tell me they were in a play at school tomorrow just requiring a simple costume of ........(whatever) at 10 pm. 

Do you have any animals?
 I have been owned by a succession of pets, ever since I was small, dogs, sheep, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits among others. One I have at the minute is a rescue dog who looks terribly cute and does try to be good but we discovered he had been run over after we had already got him and he has awful spinal and brain damage and is really quite mad. 

Favourite TV show
has to be The Big Bang Theory - hilarious!

Favourite Movie
The Goodbye Girl (I think it was called that, that was the theme song) followed by When Harry Met Sally.

 I like so many! Shall I say Charles Dickens and Bill Bryson as the first two that popped into my head just then?

Favourite book 
ever........er, no, it's too hard to answer! Too many of them!

Favourite animal -
 I love most of them, even if I would not want to meet some of them up close. I do adore cows. Not sure why.

 And last but not least, tell us all about your upcoming novel.
Completely forgot to mention my books when I answered this in Facebook. (NOT good at self publicity!)  I have one published at present in paperback and it's also available on Kindle.  This is the First Little Wychwell Mystery which is called Did Anyone Die? I am writing the fifth of these at present.  The second one, A Very Quiet Guest, will be out next May in paperback and I will pop it onto Kindle shortly afterwards.   These mysteries are set in the village of Little Wychwell in Oxfordshire (which I invented, it doesn't really exist) and in Oxford although I have added two extra colleges. (Kings and Coromandel).  The main characters are Priscilla who is a Classics Don at Coromandel, Elodea, who has been her best friend ever since university, she has no career but does have four grown up children and lives in Little Wychwell, and Elodea's youngest son Barnabus who has just finished his degree in Did Anyone Die?, is taking a PhD in A Very Quiet Guest and by the fifth book has a baby.  They are crime mysteries but in a sense they are also a family saga. They are not serious books, they are very light novels of the sort one could read on a long aeroplane journey without stress. I would call my genre  crime lit (like chick lit with crime!)  but  male readers really enjoy them and classify them as crime thrillers so perhaps you should not go by my classification!

Contact info will be added in a comment when I receive it. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment