This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
From acting and stand-up comedy to working as a claims assistant, bestselling author and Holby City screenwriter Anna McPartlin spent eight long years trying to get published. With her latest novel, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes, out now and already receiving award nominations, Anna is here to talk about her journey.
I hook into a character and let her walk around my head for a while, I surround her with family and friends, then the story just comes from them.
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Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
My average day starts at approximately 6:30am and I take a two hour break in the middle of the day for lunch and to walk the dogs, then I finish around 6pm.
When you are writing, do you use any famous people or people you know as inspiration?
I am inspired by the people I know, even an interesting acquaintance can leave a lasting impression. Famous people haven’t inspired a novel so far but that’s not to say it could never happen. I’ve yet to meet a person who hasn’t fascinated me in one way or another.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
That is an impossible question to answer but Me Before You by JoJo Moyes popped into my mind first.What female writer has inspired you?
Cathy Kelly not only inspired me but she has also supported me from day one. She is as generous as she is talented, a real lady.
Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, White Oleander by Janet Fitch and anything by Roddy Doyle.
What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
I know exactly what I’m going to write before I hit the keys. I know the first and last page, the fun is all the twist and turns it takes to get there.
What was your journey to being a published author?
I started off acting and didn’t like it, then I went into stand-up comedy and loved writing the material but wasn’t excited by performance although it was a very enjoyable time in my life. It was then I decided that writing was for me. I got a job as a claims adjuster and started to write. It took eight years to get my first publishing deal but it was worth every ounce of work I put in.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
I honestly cannot think of an answer. I didn’t know there were particular myths about being a novelist! I’ve just stressed over this question for 10 minutes!
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Don’t talk about it do it and only do it if you are passionate about your story.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished an episode of BBC’s Holby City today and first thing tomorrow I’ll be back working on my latest novel Somewhere Inside of Happy.