1. What genres do you usually write? Or at least, what genre do you feel most comfortable writing?
----- I'm quite flighty in terms of my interests, so I've dipped into many different genres... fantasy (both urban fantasy and high fantasy), sci-fi, dystopian fiction, historical, realistic... list goes on. I've written short stories, plays, poetry, novels and even a musical or two. I'd say I lean most heavily towards realistic fiction and dystopian fiction, at present, though I'll write about anything in which there's potential to explore and develop characters
2. Do you have recurring themes in your stories? If yes, are the themes story-specific, or do they turn up in all or most of your work, regardless of story relation?
----- I've noticed that the theme of time recurs in a few of my projects; also, perhaps in correlation with that, the theme of memory. Secrets, lies and trust crop up quite a lot, too. And identity. And the forbidden. Oh dear, I seem to have quite the melodramatic bunch of themes, here
3. What do you consider to be the hardest part of the writing process? (Choosing a title, character development, exposition, &c)
----- Planning the plot! I feel I need to have a vague sketch of what's going to happen, if only so that there's consistency in my writing, but I detest knowing everything that's going to happen. I like to be surprised; to find things out almost at the same rate a reader would
4. Be honest, now: Do you ever feel sorry or remorseful for the things you "do" to your characters in the story?
----- I get surges of this sort of thing, and it always coincides with (perhaps is even partly responsible for) writer's block. I'm aware all the time of how ridiculous I'm being, but my characters are so vivid and real in my imagination that the idea of traumatising them is sometimes nothing short of inhumane, and I have to take a step back and remind myself that "hey, it's only fiction"
5. If you can spend a day with one of your own characters, who would it be, and what would you do?
----- Probably Etienne Palmer, a rather Mad Hatter-esque character from, oh, a good five or six years ago (oh, Etienne, I do miss you; I ought to write about you again sometime). We'd go to circuses and markets and then see a play. It would be a very... lively sort of day, almost a culture-overload, and I'd likely be exhausted by the end of it
6. Who do you think are your major influences in writing?
----- I'm influenced by social-criticism writers and satirists (Dickens; Waugh) in my depiction of setting and side-characters. My conversational first person narrative pieces are rather Sallinger-influenced, I think, and my more formal first person narratives are perhaps a strange combination of Charlotte Bronte and Margaret Atwood. I'd say I'm influenced more by specific books than their authors in general, if that makes any sense. For example, I'd definitely claim influence by "The Picture of Dorian Gray", but not by Oscar Wilde generally. Now I'm babbling.
7. Do you have a "darling" - a favourite character or story of yours that you just love for some reason? Who/what?
----- In terms of characters; I'd have to say Prosper Fortune. She's a character from my days of Victorian roleplaying at a site called the Cirque du Cornix, so she doesn't have a story of her own, I suppose. I ended up killing her off, for some reason (oh, hurrah for plots that spiral out of your control) and found that I missed her terribly.
8. Which of your characters, in your mind, resembles you the most (either physically, by personality, by background, &c - it's up to you)?
----- Physically, I suppose the closest would be Anna Davis. We both have lightish brown hair and round faces, and appear younger than we are. Anna's eyes are brown, though, while mine are a light blue. In terms of personality, Anna fits too in several ways (she did, after all, start out as a sort of self-parody, back when she belonged to a different story to the one she's in now). Of the characters who have nothing to do with me, technically... I suppose perhaps Maeve from my NaNo novel?
9. Do you have "soundtracks" for specific stories/characters/scenes/&c?
----- Yes! Not really for scenes, but definitely for characters and stories as a whole. I've noticed that certain artists seem to feature prominently on some of my writing playlists. There's a lot of Annie Lennox on my playlist for my current project, "Artless", for example.
10. How would you describe your writing style?
----- Detail-oriented (sometimes too much so); character-driven; a merging of realistic and symbolic
SOPHIE: BtN's resident whimsical insomniac fairytale-junkie!
“Hope is the thing with feathers"