MY INTERVIEW WITH MARIT MEREDITH
Originally hailing from Norway, my guest tonight is married and now lives in Wales surrounded by her large family of children and grandchildren.
She is very much involved in village life and runs the craft fair and the local craft group, as well as making and selling the most superb fabric figures. She writes fiction and short story anthologies as well as an on-line newspaper. A vegan by necessity she writes cook books and is rumoured to be collaborating with a certain knight of the realm on a book with recipes from 15 different centuries.
Marit Meredith is always witty, never complains and is always ready to lend a helping hand, whether it’s in her local village, or to a budding writer she’s never met.... like me! I’m proud to have her as my guest tonight.
Marit, firstly many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. We’ve exchanged many emails and I’m a firm fan of your on-line news letter, but tonight I want to find out something about the woman behind the email address. Nervous?
Wouldn’t you be? I’ve been interviewed before, but never in such esteemed company. I don’t feel that I have enough presence as a writer to deserve this slot, and feel like hunkering down behind the sofa to escape your eagle eye. Unfortunately me knees won’t let me!
I assure you that you have more right than most to be here and I know your countless friends will totally agree! When did you come across to the UK from Norway?
I came over in 1972, with the intention of staying for a year before going back to art college in Norway.
I'm so glad you stayed. So, how did you get into writing and what was your first work about (published, or not!)?
I can’t remember there being a time when I didn’t write stories. In school my essays were regularly read out to the class. A little embarrassing, but encouraging, too. My first story was about a character transitioning from one life, to being born into the next. Quite ambitious for a 14 year old! I sent it off to a weekly magazine, but it was, alas, rejected, although it was a very nice and helpful rejection letter. I was quite pleased that I was addressed as Mrs J… At least the editor thought it was an adult who had written the story.
I know you’re a vegan by necessity, rather than choice, Have you plans to create new recipes and publish them?
Vegan, gluten free, potato free… the list goes on. The task I had set myself has become more complex, but I will get the recipes sorted out one day, with alternatives for the various allergies and intolerances. One day…
The fabric models you make and sell through your Old Hen’s Nest website are wonderful and I’m now the proud owner of some of them. What started you making them and how did you become so skillful?
My educational background is in art and design, besides which I made teddies, dolls, dogs and more years ago, to make ends meet when my eldest three were children. Some of the things I made still survive, I have been told, decades down the line. Working with textiles is just another media. I’d love to do more arty work, sculpting with the needle. Credit should also go to my Mum. She taught me well!
Birds and mice seem to be your favourite animals. Do you also make to order?
I’ll make just about anything stitch-able to order. Birds are a definitely my favourite. I don’t know about mice. I made an awful lot of them for last Christmas, due to demand.
My daughter has a whole family of your mice in her bedroom and loves them. Your Twitter based newsletter @ThePagesZine is great. How did you come up with the idea and how do you get so much interesting stuff for each edition?
David Robinson told me all about it, as he runs one of these papers too. It’s great in as much as I don’t have to do anything but ensure that I follow interesting people. Posts/blogs are then automatically selected, according to popularity (or perhaps number of tweets), which inevitably makes for an interesting read. No work involved.
And I’d pictured you slaving over a hot writing desk and a guttering candle! Coupled with you blogsite “Where Fact and Fiction Fuse” you seem to spend more time in helping other writers promote their work than in promoting your own, yet I know you have some wonderful Works In Progress. Will they become finished works?
Are you trying to guilt-trip me? Very naughty! Yes, I do have many unfinished works, some just needing the final edit and a kind publisher, and several will be finished – although I can’t tell you when, as my Old Hen’s Nest business is keeping me very busy at the moment.
Do you have a set routine as a writer and model maker, and a special place where you work?
My routine went to pot when I set up Old Hen’s Nest last year, but I will re-install my early morning and late evening writing slots very soon. That fits in with the family, too. I write by my lovely bureau, in the corner of the living room, my favourite work place.
What are you’re working on right now?
Mainly research for an almost completed work.
You helped me so much in the past and I hope you will be in the future, but what is the most important piece of advice you could give a budding writer?
Don’t ever give up!
Excellent advice. One last question, Marit. If you could achieve one important goal within the next 5 years, what would it be?
Marit’s excellent blog site Where Fact and Fiction Fuse is at: http://wherefactsandfictionfuse.blogspot.co.uk/
Marit’s The Pages magazine is on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ThePageseZine
Back issues of ‘The Pages’ (which she ran for 3 years), is to be found at http://www.theapprenticewriter.webs.com
Marit’s short story anthologies are on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=marit+meredith&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Amarit+meredith
Marit’s website Tea Time Morsels and Other Books, is at http://maritmeredith.webs.com/
Marit’s cloth hand-stitched models can be seen and bought on her Old Hen’s Nest web site at: http://www.oldhensnest.co.uk/ and more recent ones on her Facebook page Old Hen’s Nest.