Name: Lucy O’Farrell Carter.
Where are you from: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect
I’ve lived in Bradford, West Yorkshire all my life and started writing when I was very young. I decided I wanted to be a writer after my English teacher at middle school told my mum I had a talent for it. Nothing really came of it until I started writing for a Beatles Fan magazine when I had my own column and really started to appreciate the art of writing again. I freelanced for a few years and then, after taking a creative writing course I decided it was time to take this writing lark seriously.
Tell us your latest news?
I have just published my first children’s book which was published this November! It’s a Christmas tale of hope and love called Jet- Forever Home.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have very fond memories of my childhood. It was very different back then and we had some great times on the estate that my grandparents lived on. Everyone looked out for each other and the kids played out until the street lamps came on. It was a healthy time. A big part of my life back then was our family dog: Jet. She was a real character and we had a very special relationship. I wanted to capture those times and share them with others.
Do you have a specific writing style?
If I had to describe my writing style I would say it was ‘easy reading’. I don’t believe you need to use big words when you can write simply and still be understood and enjoyed. This goes for my adult fiction as well as my children’s stories.
How did you come up with the title?
Once I knew the plot of my story, the title was easy. It was about my dog ‘Jet’ and she wanted her ‘forever home’.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! My story is a simple tale of a puppy dog who wants to be loved and accepted. I want to show that animals have a right to a happy life and that dreams can come true.
How much of the book is realistic?
In my head? All of it! No seriously; my story is based on my memories but of course some of it is fiction. In a nutshell: Jet was a real-life puppy who lived with my grandparents. She was brought to the house by Josephine but of course she was accepted immediately and didn’t have to wait for Father Christmas’s blessing. Patch was real too. In fact all the characters are real apart from Penelope the Poodle, Suzie the Squirrel and Mervin the mouse!
What books have most influenced your life most?
To me Enid Blyton was the master story-teller. Her books kept me entertained for hours when I was a child. In fact I still have most of them to this day. If anyone influenced me with my writing it would be Enid.
What book are you reading now?
How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Aherne. She is my favourite present-day author. I love her writing style because it’s easy to read, funny and she has some great story ideas.
What are your current projects?
At present I am busy promoting my book Jet- Forever Home. Next year I intend to follow up with a 4-book series when I’ll introduce lots more characters to Jet’s world. I also have another book in the pipeline but this one is for adults.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Apart from my brilliant family and friends I would have to say my writing circle. Through writing my book I have been lucky enough to make some new contacts that have supported and encouraged me – you included by giving me the opportunity for this interview.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to think so, but it’s a tough business. Whether I have a writing career or not, I’ll always be a writer.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No I wouldn’t change anything. I think once you have a story in your head there are a million ways you can write it, and over time this can change numerous times! There’s no right or wrong way but it’s important to be happy with the end result.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing for me is the editing. I find this part of the writing process time-consuming and I torture myself for weeks trying to get it just right.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only in my mind.
Who designed the covers?
I found a great illustrator called Nicola Spencer who is also from Yorkshire and studied painting and printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art. Nicola uses mixed media to create her illustrations which makes them really interesting. It was great working with her and she really has done justice to some of my favourite memories.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Apart from the editing process it was difficult sometimes to entwine fiction with reality. When you are using your own memories, sometimes it’s hard to fabricate.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That less is more. As a writer I tend to have a million ideas spinning around my head and I’m often tempted to squeeze them all into one story. Sometimes doing this can spoil the illusion you want to give.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Try to keep focused on your plot and try not to drift off into complicated storylines. Most of all: follow your heart and create what feels right to you. It’s your story.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just hope that anyone who reads my book enjoys it and that it touches them in some way. I try to write stories with meaning and that are uplifting; even though at first they might not seem that way.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Other than writing I really enjoy music, theatre shows and photography. I’m also a 1960s fan.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love a good drama and I’m a self-confessed soap fan but I have an awful habit of dissecting storylines. I love most Stephen King films and Jimmy McGovern is my favourite TV writer. I like anything with a twist!
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Now you’re talking! I love Asian cuisine and am a curry addict. It has to be vegetarian though. My favourite colour is purple and my music tastes are broad. I love rock, soul, Motown and classical. My favourite group is The Beatles.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to have been an entertainer but I never had the confidence or talent to pursue it.
Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?