MY INTERVIEW WITH GINA DICKERSON
What can you say about Gina? She writes novels and short stories. She lives by the lovely Thanet coast with her family and the terribly spoilt Siberian husky. As well as writing, she loves shopping for vintage fashion, de-fluffing her dog, and adding to her shoe collection. She even has a blog dedicated to shoes, so this is no passing fad!
Gina has had poetry and short stories published, although Lies Love Tells is her first novel and Underleaf is her first collection of short stories. Her second novel Exposing You is due out later this year.
Gina, firstly many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. I mostly know you from your Facebook photos and your excellent books, but tonight I want to find out something about the woman behind the shoe collection and the photo on the book jacket. A love of very stylish shoes and a dog that needs lots of long walks… do they really go together?
Hi Richard, thanks for inviting me to your blog! Sadly the shoes and the dog do not mix well. Four inch heels and an overexcited Siberian husky. Luckily I have a (small) selection of flats and trainers for dog-walking-duties but even running with him in trainers he once pulled me over, *splat* on the pavement. Extremely elegant.
Not a mental picture to dwell on so let's find out about the real you. Tell me, how long have you been writing and did you always want to be a novelist?
I’ve always written, even as a young child. I’m a bit of hoarder and still have a book I wrote and illustrated while in primary school. It was about a rabbit that went to a ball and needed a prom style dress! Writing is something I love wholeheartedly and through my love of reading, grew a desire to write novels.
The rabbit story might be worth resurrecting at some point! When you start writing a new project how do you approach it from the point of view of plot, storyline and characters?
Each story is different. Sometimes ideas of plot or character pop up and I’ll make notes until the story feels ready to write, sometimes I like to sit with a blank screen and just start writing. The second way is more of a challenge and most often how I approach short stories. For novels, I draft out a rough plot and a few main characters but the story often changes from that first, simple, plot as the characters grow!
How do you think of the plots for your stories? Does personal and past experience play a part, because if that’s the case then you’ve certainly had an interesting life?
Some of the short stories are fragments of dreams - I know, I must have really weird dreams! When I first started writing Lies Love Tells it didn’t have any of the serial murder or madness, that came later as the characters evolved in the second draft, so no, that one was not influenced by personal or past experiences! My current Work In Progress is definitely not based on experience either; I’ve never seen a Draugr or ventured into another realm! I love creating stories and most of my plots have a dark twist or undertone and my imagination is always yelling at me to write it down!
Who, as a writer, has influenced you most, Gina?
I’ve read a lot of books over the years in all different genres so it’s pretty tough to pick just one writer. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre was one of my favourite reads when I was a teenager, I fell in love with the brooding Mr. Rochester and the simmering undercurrents.
You’ve had a number of poems and short stories published and now, of course your first novel, Lies Love Tells, is out as a paperback. Which gives you the most pleasure, books, or stories, both to write and to publish?
I enjoy writing short stories but novels give me the most pleasure. I really like being able to immerse myself in them.
Is your next Work In Progress a book and can you give us some plot hints?
My next Work In Progress is completely different to my debut novel, or any of the short stories inmy collection Underleaf. It’s a fantasy adventure romance about a young woman called Kaelia who discovers she’s not as normal as she thought. When all of the people she loves are taken, she has a battle on her hands. Others want to harness Kaelia’s powers for their own purposes and she doesn’t know who - or what - to trust. Facing forces of evil, magic, and myth, Kaelia has no choice but to follow the path of her destiny even if it’s written there is one whose destiny is entwined with hers. The problem is she doesn’t know who that person is, well...not yet. She’s tough and is a fighter and there are mythical creatures and other realms so it’s quite fun to write. It has a working title of Kaelia although this may change to Mortiswood as a lot is set in magical woods.
Do you have a set routine as a writer and a special place where you work?
I have a desk in the back of the lounge which looks through the conservatory and into the back garden so I can keep an eye on the dog! The desk is really boring and I’m collecting pictures so I can decoupage it this year. Most writing days start normally - preparing my teen son for school, walking the dog etc. then I’ll settle at my desk and, hopefully, spend most of the day writing.
What is the most important piece of advice you could give a budding writer?
I’m not very good at advice but I would say, read. Read lots of books and find out what you like, or don’t like. Most of all though, keep writing even if you can only squeeze in a little each day.
One last question, Gina. If you could achieve one important goal within the next 5 years, what would it be? And we’re not talking shoes here!
How did you guess my first thought was of shoes? A whole room lined with shelves for new additions...anyway, I’ll stop day-dreaming. The most important goal to me is write books readers enjoy so my goal is have even more books out there and I’ll cross everything (fingers, eyes, toes) that people enjoy reading them as much as I love creating them.
Gina’s excellent book Lies Love Tells is available from Amazon on http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lies-Love-Tells-ebook/dp/B0077AWZSG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349531657&sr=8-1
Gina’s collection of short stories is also on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Underleaf-ebook/dp/B008R1LL7U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346422396&sr=8-1
Gina also has an excellent website at http://www.ginadickersonwriter.co.uk/home
And a blog at http://ginadickerson.blogspot.co.uk/