Hello Wordy Wednesday fans, this week I have a more mature writer to introduce to you, a fun tweeter and quite prolific writer. Carol Hedges is a tweeting pal where we moan and grumble and snark about day to day life. In her writing she is often to be found writing dark Victorian detective novels, but she blogs too. So pop over and check out Carol's blog and after you have had a read there and here you can buy a novel or two.
So we settled down on Carol's pink sofa for our chat...
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 8 (very Brontes). I was certainly writing short pieces of prose and stories by Year 7 - That's so cute - I was similar about tragic poetry but the less said about that the better
What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days 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 14 novels that 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, I read lots of articles saying writers make no money, and my readers asked this question a lot! Can you survive on book writing alone? if not, what else do you do?
I could never survive on writing alone. I make a couple of thousand pounds a year - and that's apparently pretty good. In the past, I taught secondary school.Currently, as I am a pensioner, I help my husband with his business, work as an invigilator at a local secondary school and 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 are your favourite biscuits?
Chocolate digestives - milk and plain. Then custard creams.
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'm not one of those writers who carries a laptop around and fits in the odd 20 mins, though I do have a notebook and plan stuff in advance of writing.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I am reading The Shepherd's Crown, the very last book Terry Pratchett wrote before he died. Enjoying it, but sad as I know when I reach the end, there won't be anything else to look forward to from him. - It is so sad to lose such a great writer but we are lucky to be left with his amazing tales.
Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?
I LOVE social media... I have met so many great people on there (like you). I tweet @CarolJhedges and am there every day chatting, posting pics 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. Most of my sales come from people who've enjoyed what I post and decide to read the books on that basis.
Do you own an e-reader? and do you prefer to read digital or paper copy?
I'm a book girl. Partly my age (65) 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. - I think is how many of us feel - a few books I have both in paper on e-format just in case!
Do you dream in colour?
Yes, always. I gather that it's not common but I know I do because colour is so important to me.And I can wake up, think: that was a good dream, and go back and re-run it. Weird.
If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
What is your ideal holiday?
I'm not a great traveller and a bit anti-social when it comes to other people, so my ideal holiday would be to be locked in a library for 2 weeks with nobody else there and an ample supply of cake and coffee.
Huge thanks to Carol for taking part, I hope that you'll take a look at her vast book selection on Amazon, for only £1.99 you could be in the midst of a Victorian Crime tale in the next few minutes, and for those that prefer paper books, those are available too. Perfect gifts!