Yesterday I went to an amazing Foyles event with Sarah Leipciger, Sarah Winman and Maggie O'Farrell. In that order they're ranging from debut author to very experienced author. The evening was so interesting and we got an amazing gift bag too! I can't type up everything because too many great things were said, but here are some quotes that will hopefully inspire any wannabe author out there - it sure helped me!
Maggie said to be an author, you have to be a reader first. She personally loved Secret Garden and believes re-reading is important to find out how a story works. Sarah WInman said she wasn't an avid reader (can you believe that? She's great!) but loved comics because she liked seeing things. All authors agreed they have a stationary fetish - don't we all?
Sarah Leipciger talked about book she tried to write but couldn't finish. She said that she made her main character too much like herself and that prevented her from writing the story. However, all authors agreed that they need to write the autobiographical stuff to get it out of their system and to be able to write real fiction.
As all writers know, you need a good environment to write in. Sarah Leipciger called it "the writing bubble" and I'm absolutely in love with that expression. The best writing bubble is a place where it can be completely quiet and you can write for hours without distractions - the ladies all liked candles in their bubbles! Even with those bubbles, all writing is different and Sarah Winman said that no book she's written has ever had a similar writing process.
The advice they had for new writers? Always finish your story. There's no way to get published if you haven't finished your story. Sarah Winman said that often when your story is finished, the rest will often just happen. Don't get discouraged by rejection and don't read reviews! It's clear why you shouldn't read bad reviews, but good reviews, according to Maggie, make you too self-conscious as well and that will take you completely out of the writing space.
So new writers, anything useful for you?
I'd like to thank Tinder Press for this amazing evening! It motivated me so much to keep on with my story and I loved hearing these wonderful ladies speak. And of course just to show off my tote.