Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Carolyn Belcher. 74
Fiona: Where are you from?
Now, Stowmarket, Suffolk. But, I’ve moved about during my 74 years. South Lincolnshire, Liverpool, France etc.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Bachelor of Education, Liverpool Uni. Taught drama and dance in Knowsley. Married twice. 3 children. 3 Grandchildren. Now a widow.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My 3rd novel, Angela’s Pin will be published later this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Carolyn: In 1986. I wrote a piece Private Lives, for my students to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It achieved Pick Of The Day in The Scotsman.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Carolyn: Then. I got the writing bug.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Carolyn: A tutor on the writing course I attended in 2003. She said the short story I had written in response to an exercise she set, was the first chapter of a novel.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Carolyn: The publishers didn’t like my working title, Silence Is Not Agreement. We brainstormed other possibilities and came up with, Crocodiles And Angels.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Carolyn: I think my writing style is quite poetic. Genre? Realistic fiction.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Carolyn: Most novelists agree they draw on their life experiences and use aspects of people they know in their work. I am no exception. I am an Autolycus, ie a snapper up of unconsidered trifles. In my loo is a notice which says, be careful what you say, you could end up in my novel.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Carolyn: Re the first 2 novels, I don’t know. The publisher chose them. Re the third, George Wicker. I have changed publishers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Carolyn: That essentially we are all alone.But once we have accepted this, we can move forward.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Carolyn: No one in particular. I belong to a book club and we read a huge variety of novels. One of my favourite authors is Anne Tyler. Her books have integrity. I love the pictures she paints.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Carolyn: The Bury St Edmunds writers’ group, Write Now.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Carolyn: No. I am a retired drama teacher. Writing is a way of life. My deceased husband said I was a figment of his imagination.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Carolyn: No, not now.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Carolyn: That when I thought I had done the final draft, I hadn’t. But that’s the same with all my writing.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Carolyn: I have no idea who would play Angela as a child. Maybe Emma Stone should play Angela as a young to middle aged woman and Helen Mirren or Meryl Streep, Angela in her 60’s.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Carolyn: If you love writing never give up. Be prepared for rejection. Then mentally bin them and carry on.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Carolyn: If by page 40 you are not enjoying the novel, stop reading. There are too many wonderful books out there to continue with one you are not enjoying.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Carolyn: Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Carolyn: No. It might have been Winnie The Pooh.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Carolyn: Many things. But in particular, Stewart Lee re laughter, the cruelty human beings are capable of re crying.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Carolyn: There are quite a few, but out of them all, David Attenborough. He epitomises, for me, the joy we all could take in our planet and its flora and fauna.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Carolyn: Gardening, theatre, cinema, classical concerts, dance performances, reading, having friends round for a meal, Discord choir, supporting Liverpool footy club, book club.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Carolyn: Scandinavian crime dramas like The Bridge. Last Tango in Halifax, Sherlock, Little Boy Blue. (I taught Stephen Graham!) Re films, Mama Mia, but not no 2. Stan and Ollie. Superb performances. Midnight Cowboy. West Side Story. Moulin Rouge, the musical, The Phantom of the Opera. But my favourite film is Lars and the Real Girl, with Ryan Gosling.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Carolyn: I love food. Possibly roast shoulder of lamb where you make cuts in the meat and rub a mixture of crushed garlic, oil, lemon juice and coriander in the cuts.
Colours, autumn colours. Music; classical music like Bruch’s violin concerto. The pop music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I love the music of the Beatles, Ultra Vox and Queen. I also love the music of musicals.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Carolyn: It’s hard to imagine. I’d would be an actor or a director (plays not a firm.)
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Carolyn: With my family. But they wouldn’t know I only had 24 hours left.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Carolyn: Nothing. I will be cremated and my ashes scattered in the sea at Old Hunstanton.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Carolyn: Not yet.