Creative Frontiers chatted to Kelly Rose, one of the authors in our e-zine Six of the Best(second issue now out).
CF: Tell us a bit about yourself.
KR: I have been married to a very patient man for the past twenty years and have two lively teenage daughters. We have a cat called Revel who surveys his estate from a wheelbarrow at the bottom of the garden. I am qualified as a Human Resource practitioner with a degree in education and training. I have had a number of short stories and letters published. One letter in Zest magazine resulted in time with a life coach, personal trainer and nutritionist.
CF: What subjects or genres do you like to read?
KR: I love to read a variety of different genres including autobiographies written by inspirational characters, historical, crime and contemporary fiction, romance and mind, body and spirit. I seek to be inspired or to be taken on a rollercoaster of a journey, which enables me to relax. I also love to read books that have been recommended to me. One time, a friend offered to lend me The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. This was not the type of book that I would normally have read but I read it anyway and enjoyed it so much that I read the whole series. Learning point: never close yourself off to different genres.
CF: Who are your favourite writers?
KR: Oh, that’s an interesting question. Canadian writer LaVyrle Spencer is definitely one of my favourite fictional authors. I have read all of her books and they were all of a five star rating in my humble opinion but sadly she no longer writes. She brings the most unlikely characters together in an intriguing way. My absolute favourite LaVyrle Spencer novel is That Camden Summer.
CF: What subjects or genres do you like to write?
KR: I love to write fictional short stories with a twist ending. I am relatively new to writing and short stories and letters are a great way to start. Short stories are often approximately 1000 words in length and quick to write. I can usually write one short story in a day. I also enjoy the element of surprise at the end of the story, sometimes even to me.
CF: How did you know you wanted to write?
KR: I was encouraged to write by a local author and creative writing tutor, namely Pamela Fudge. I had written a short story at the age of fifteen, which was read out on the local radio. It eventually earned me a grade A in my English GCSE. Who says writing does not pay?
CF: How did you get the confidence to start?
KR: I enrolled on a creative writing course, which consisted of six modules. I started putting pen to paper by writing letters to the local newspapers and lifestyle magazines such as You and Zest.
CF: If you can remember the day you went from non-writer to writer, how did that feel?
KR: As part of my homework on the creative writing course, I had to write six short pieces, one of which was a letter to my local paper complaining about the monstrosity of a building known as the IMAX cinema on Bournemouth beach. I was stood in Sainsbury’s when I opened the newspaper to see my first letter in print. I was so thrilled that I bought twenty copies for my family and friends. I am glad to say that the IMAX cinema has now been removed and the fabulous scenery replaced. The power of the word.
CF: Do you find novels or short stories easier to write?
KR: As mentioned, I am relatively new to writing and therefore find short stories easier to write. They are quick to write and even quicker to share. Personally, I believe in taking small steps at first, which will eventually lead to getting a novel published or even a Mind, Body and Spirit book.
CF: How (and where) do writing ideas come to you?
KR: I usually write about what I know. This was one good piece of advice offered to me by my Creative Writing Tutor, Pamela Fudge. Brilliant writing ideas come to me in the middle of the night or when I am out and about. I never used to carry a pen and paper, so these ideas used to get lost or disappear. I now carry a pen and paper with me wherever I go.
CF: What writing methods and discipline do you practise?
KR: As with most writers I am sure, I am one of the world’s best procrastinators when it comes to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard nowadays. Once I have an idea, I usually start writing the short story. I have a basic plan in my head and may not know the end until I am fast approaching. I often surprise and frighten myself.
CF: How much do you edit and polish?
KR: As I am a perfectionist, I edit and polish as I go along. This can be very effective when I have finished the story, as each sentence is perfect. However, it can mean that I have one perfect sentence at the end of the day – not very productive.
CF: Which do you find easier: constructing characters or building a plot?
KR: I usually find building a plot and constructing characters relatively easy. However it is getting the story from my head to screen that is the hurdle.
CF: What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?
KR: As mentioned, I am both a perfectionist and procrastinator and these traits often get in the way of my writing. It is often easier to spring clean the entire house than to sit down and start writing. When I was studying for my professional exams a fellow student had the best cut grass in Dorset. Now I truly understand.
CF: What do you most enjoy about writing?
KR: I enjoy the immense satisfaction when I have finished a story and have given it to others to enjoy.
CF: Do you fall into writing ‘dumps’ and, if so, how do you get out of them?
KR: Yes – at times I fall into writing ‘dumps’. Now this is where household chores are at their most useful. Whilst ironing, I can come up with a new plot or a way forward. Walking can achieve the same results and is better for your health.
CF: If you’ve suffered rejection, what works for you in dealing with it?
KR: I try not to take rejection personally. Sending my short stories out to different publications increases their chance of success. It is better than hiding them away in a drawer somewhere never to see the light of day.
CF: What are you working on at the moment?
KR: I am currently working on a short story with a twist ending. I am also in the process of writing a Mind, Body and Spirit book, which will hopefully improve my mind, body and spirit as well as my readers’.
CF: What further ambitions do you have for your writing?
KR: I hope to finish the book and publish it so that it could lead to a career as a motivational speaker and possibly a film ………………………………. Well a girl can dream.