Christine Haile is one of the featured authors in our new e-zine Six of the Best. She has also written three novels, all available on Kindle: November Remember, Molly’s Daughters, and A Shadow of Lavender. We managed to tie her down for an interview as she trekked over the Himalayas (or somewhere like that).
CF: Tell us a bit about yourself.
CH: I don’t really like talking about myself, but here goes. I trained as a nurse so have SRN RFN NNEB to add to my name. These were acquired in the north of England so my historical novels are concerned with Lancaster. My story about a hurricane in St Lucia was written because we lived in the West Indies for a number of years. I’ve had a long bucket list of places to visit and things to do. It goes from the Amazon rain forest to chasing whales in Alaska to looking for tigers in India. It was a long list but it is nearly complete.
CF: What subjects or genres do you like to read?
CH: I like to read about adventurers, people like Joe Simpson, Ranulph Fiennes and Ellen MacArthur. I envy them their bravery.
CF: What subjects or genres do you like to write?
CH: I like best to write historical novels about true happenings. I admire the people, who lived a few hundred years ago, and their courage,
CF: How did you know you wanted to write?
CH: When I first started to write.
CF: How did you get the confidence to start?
CH: Just got on with it.
CF: If you can remember the day you went from non-writer to writer, how did that feel?
CH: Yes, I remember. The tutor at my creative writing course told me to stop playing about with my ideas and put them into words.
CF: Do you find novels or short stories easier to write?
CH: Novels. More freedom to expand and do research.
CF: How (and where) do writing ideas come to you?
CH: I enjoy research, so when I am browsing through history books and when a problem catches my imagination, I read more about it.
CF: What writing methods and discipline do you practise?
CH: I am very undisciplined and am continually changing the basic plot.
CF: How much do you edit and polish?
CH: I try to persuade my husband to do most of it, then change everything back to how I first wrote it.
CF: Which do you find easier: constructing characters or building a plot?
CH: I do not find any of it easy and spend many a sleepless night reconstructing the plot.
CF: What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?
CH: Putting the first words onto a clean page.
CF: What do you most enjoy about writing?
CH: Watching the characters develop a life of their own.
CF: Do you fall into writing ‘dumps’ and, if so, how do you get out of them?
CH: Yes, I do sometimes feel as though the story has ceased to develop. Another cup of coffee usually sorts thing out. Being melodramatic is not my thing.
CF: If you’ve suffered rejection, what works for you in dealing with it?
CH: I shrug a lot.
CF: What are you working on at the moment?
CH: Something different for me: world domination by a few very strange people.
CF: What further ambitions do you have for your writing?
CH: To actually see one of my family reading one of my books.