This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Pam Weaver's latest saga, Pack Up Your Troubles, was published recently and today she's answering a few questions for our Novelicious readers.
Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
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It varies and no two days are exactly the same. I work better in the morning when I will read what I wrote
the day before and then carry on. I have to pick moments when I can write because sometimes I look after my grandchildren.
When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
I have never used a celebrity but I have drawn inspiration from people I know or from stories in
the news. In Pack Up your Troubles I got an idea for a story line from a real incident in 1981 when a little boy in Italy fell down an artesian well near Frascati. As the rescuers tried to reach him, the whole world held its breath but sadly the outcome wasn’t a happy one. It had a profound effect on me at the time, probably because I had young children myself. In the book, the characters go through a similar experience but I’m keeping quiet about the outcome!
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
That has to be Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I have read it many times and I love the whole structure of the book. Story-telling at its best.
What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
I don’t always do things in the same way but generally I spend a lot of time thinking first and then I research what was happening in Worthing at the time. I enjoy working in long hand and then I do extensive re-writes on the computer until I am happy with the results. I work better in the mornings but I have been known to work late in the evening or even to get up in the middle of the night! It frustrates me when I want to write and family commitments get in the way because writing is for me a bit of adventure. Although I know where the story might end up, I
don’t always know the journey and sometimes I surprise myself!
What was your journey to being a published author?
I started writing about twenty years ago, beginning with children’s stories and articles. In 2001, I branched out into the women’s magazine market and so far I have chalked up 138 published short stories. My story The Fantastic Bubble was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the World service and I would probably have stayed where I was but in 2005 I won a novel opening competition! The competition was judged by Carole Matthews and she was so enthusiastic she introduced me to an agent who promised to read the finished novel. It took me a year to write but I had to wait another four years before HarperCollins Avon picked it up. There’s Always Tomorrow was published in 2011.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That we are all making the same salary as JK Rowling.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Quite simply – to go for it. Think everything through. Know your characters, which may mean writing a ‘back story’ about their lives before the novel begins. You may never use it, but it will keep your character clear in your mind and help you to remember his or her motivation for any action he or she may take. If you write whodunits, you have to know how the book ends because the first chapter will be determined by the last. Don’t forget that your story needs a
beginning, a middle and an end. It may sound silly saying that but if it doesn’t flow it becomes easier to ramble and lose your way. It’s important not to be diverted from the story.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am already 50,000 words into my fourth novel which will be out in July 2014. It’s the story of an unusual friendship between the three ‘wives’ of a bigamist and already I get the feeling there will be murder and mayhem before it ends.