It’s GUTGAA time! I beg the patience and forgiveness of all regular readers, for last week I signed on to Gear Up To Get An Agent. This is a merry online cavalcade of bloggers who band together to crit each other’s writing and generally jolly one another up in preparation for the submission of work to the dreaded literary agencies.
To that end this blog will be welcoming new faces with a brief “meet and greet” get-to-know-you post. Rest assured that if you’re a fellow GUTGAA and you’re reading this, I’m probably reading your own greeting post too *sinister stare*
So, the brief bio. A more cynical version of this can be found in my “About” section above. I’m a 20-year-old Edinburgh University history student who fancies himself a writer someday. I’ve had a bunch of short stories published here and there for, well, pretty much nothing. I’ve got one 100,000 word novel done and dusted and waiting to be launched at a long AgentQuery list of, well, agents. It’s a 17th century historical fiction with the working title Covenanted, and aye, like me it’s set in Scotland.
As for the pre-set GUTGAA greeting questions –
-Where do you write?
At a desk, via PC or laptop (usually the latter). Said desk is in my bedroom in my student flat down in Edinburgh. Not the most intriguing answer I know, but what were you expecting? The dungeon of my brooding Scottish castle? That’s only during summer break when I’m back home up in the Highlands.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
The above painting, William III Landing at Brixham, Torbay, 5 November 1688. I really like history, okay? And no, I admit it’s not the actual original painting, just a badly googled copy. It does however go well with Cromwell at the Storming of Basing House on the wall opposite.
-Favorite time to write?
In the morning. Writing isn’t a voluntary thing for me, it’s an absolute craving. If I don’t get it out of my system as soon as I wake up it’ll be plaguing me for the rest of the day like unfinished homework, only this is homework I actually enjoy doing.
-Drink of choice while writing?
Well since I write with the dawn it’s normally cereal that’s getting chugged as the keyboard receives its morning hammering (my GOD that sounded dirty. Seriously, that wasn’t my intention!).
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I wish I was one of those people who could be inspired by music whilst writing, but I just can’t do it. It distracts me almost as much as a good internet connection. I love it for getting in the mood though.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
A number of events led to the birth of my latest manuscript, though they all stem from my love of history. I initially discovered a small publisher located near me in Edinburgh at a book festival, and fancied writing something Edinburgh-based and historical which they would enjoy. I’ve always had a love for the 17th century, and I was covering it at University that semester. I began digging around for good stories set during that period, and happened upon my main protagonist (a real life heroine who’s life I’ve fictionalised). All this combined to create the inspiration for Covenanted.
-What’s your most valuable writing tip?
I’ll give you two for the price of one – read and write. Oh God, I didn’t did I? Oh yes I did! I know you’ve heard those two again and again and again. I know that it’s boring. But guess what, you’re hearing that advice again and again BECAUSE IT’S TRUE. Just read and write s**tloads and you’ll succeed! Tarnashion recruit, it ain’t rocket science! Unless it’s a novel including a rocket scientist, in which case you’re going to have to do a bit of research into rocket science to make it sound authentic. Good luck with that. And good luck with the rest of GUTGAA! See you around.