Friday 7 October 2016

The PINK SOFA meets: ME!

As you all know, the PINK SOFA is incredibly friendly and sofiable and loves nothing better than a good chat with a lovely guest. Sadly, it is currently guestless, so to stop it weeping all over its upholstery, I have offered myself. Yes, utter madness, but there you are.

When did you start writing? 

I probably started writing as soon as I could write ~ I remember making tiny books for my toys, age about 6 (yep,very Brontes). I won the Writing Cup at primary school, for a review of Alice in Wonderland. As with most of my stuff, I still don't know why it was 'so good'.

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good day's writing? 

Coffee. More coffee, ooh and a piece of cake would be nice.

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes? 

If I wrote only when the mood struck, I'd never get anything written. I have learned after 17 published novels that the only way to write is: you sit down at the computer (usually an hour or so in the morning and then a few more hours in the afternoon) and YOU WRITE. Bum on seat, fingers on keyboard. Only way to do it. The inspiration comes as you start.

Is writing your main source of income? Lots of articles say writers make no money. Can you survive on writing alone?

I could never survive on writing alone. As a self-published writer, I make a couple of thousand pounds a year, and that's apparently pretty good. In the past, I taught at secondary school. Currently as I am retired, I tutor A and GCSE English. I don't know of ANY writers who do not have several day jobs to make ends meet. And with the ruthless discounting of books and ebooks by retailers, it is becoming even harder to survive.

What is your favourite cake? 

As I write Victorian crime fiction, it has to be Victoria sponge ~ of course!

Where do you do most of your writing? 

I have colonised the third bedroom. I have my desk, my iMac and all my bits and pieces. The window overlooks the pond, so I can stare at the fish for inspiration. I do a lot of inspired staring.

What book are you reading at the moment? 

I'm reading An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. Love his books ~ consistently good. I read Archangel every 2 years.

What's the latest word on  your Victorian books?

I'm glad you asked. All four novels are 'off' Amazon at the moment for a tidy-up. They are also having NEW COVERS designed by RoseWolf Design (very exciting: I love them, hope you will). The fifth one Wonders & Wickedness is being edited. All the books should be back on Amazon soon.

Do you use social media (facebook, twitter) to engage with your audience? Does it helps sales? 

I LOVE social media. I have met so many great people on there. I tweet at @CarolJhedges and am there every day chatting, posting pics, getting into discussions and trouble, and generally having fun. I have a very active Facebook page as well and I belong to several Book Groups on Facebook. It's the only way to get yourself noticed ~ though not if all you do is promote your own stuff. Most of my sales come from people who've enjoyed what I post and decide to read the books on that basis.

What do you prefer? Kindle or printed book?

I'm a book girl. Partly my age (66) and partly my arthritic hands. I just find as I write on a screen, I prefer to relax with an actual book. And one reads books more slowly and thoroughly. And they look good on your bookshelf. I appreciate that ebooks are cheaper and you can store more on an ereader, but I just like turning pages, and underlining things, and going back to read something that I enjoyed.

If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead? 

Die. End.

The PINK SOFA and I are now going to stuff ourselves with cake. Please feel free to join us  and share your writing/reading experiences.


  1. No cats mentioned? How can a writer survive without one?

    1. The cat, like oxygen, is implicitly understood

    2. And you were complaining that Kitteny went AWOL last time BH was not there. Now, you know why

  2. On the basis of this charming interview with yourself I am going to buy one of your books. Much better than having a guest.

    1. How kind..the SOFA says it is for this that is exists! (well, no, what it actually said was: more cake!)

  3. I'm so glad the pink Sofa finally persuaded you to relax on it too. Lovely interview! I liked the pit about the inspired staring. I do that too!

  4. I was particularly interested to read the part about the discipline of writing. The physical act of sitting and typing is essential, whether or not inspiration has already shown up.

    1. It's something 'newbie' writers don't always realise. They have an ''inspired'' idea, then get depressed when they run out of steam at 20K words. It takes sheer slog to keep going until 80K ..bit like a marathon....

  5. resourceful as ever, Carol, but you know what they say about people who talk to themselves...
    Personally, its the only way to have a half normal conversation...

  6. Great chat loved each bit of it dear

  7. The interview was just!

  8. I'm so with you on Victoria sandwich. It has to be the best cake. Chocolate cake is vulgar.

  9. I agree with you about the 'sitting down and just getting on with it' part. I set myself a target of a magazine story a week and stick to it.

  10. Loving working with you on your new covers, Carol. Coffee and cake are the perfect writing aids, I agree... I do love a slice of Victoria sponge!

  11. Entertaining as ever, Carol. I loved your 'Grandma' posts and thoroughly enjoyed the one Victorian novel of yours I've read. There are 'piles'of books here, taunting me and so many titles listed to read, I need cloning! And now I've just started writing a 'serious' novel, I'll have to put fingers to keys EVERY day...When my lads were young, I made them a Victoria spongecake each week,plus a banana cake and a coffee one...Had to fill them up somehow! x

  12. Fabulous rapport between interviewer and interviewee, Carol. How on earth do you manage it? :-)


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