I introduce to all of you an interview with author Tabitha Ormiston Smith!
- What genre are your books?
My two published novels are contemporary humour.
- What draws you to this genre?
I write humour because that’s what I’m good at. I can be funny about almost anything.
- What project are you working on at the moment?
An historical novel. Still funny, though!
- What’s it about?
It gives an alternative interpretation to the events surrounding Richard the First’s imprisonment and release.
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
John, Count of Mortain, is an introverted man with low self esteem, lacking almost totally any ability to assert himself. He is put upon by almost everyone; he cannot prevent his servants from spreading laundry in the castle forecourt, or the pages from banging the solar door. His favourite occupation is writing a Treatise on the Gouvernance of the Realm.
- Have you written anything else?
I have two novels published, and a short work on grammar, and various short fiction. My collected short fiction, under the title Once Upon A Dragon, will release on Amazon on 31 August.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I don’t know that I really have any. I’m a ‘take it as it comes and then make fun of it’ kind of person.
- Which writers inspire you?
Anthony Trollope, Anthony Hope, Rumer Godden. Austen, of course.
- When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
When I was a little girl, but I didn’t put any serious work into it until a few years ago. Why do I write? Even I can’t answer that one. I think it would take a psychiatrist.
- Do you have a special time or place to write?
Mornings are best for me, because that’s the time when my energy is high. I can forge on in the afternoon too – in fact, I think I’m better at avoiding distractions then. But after dinner is right out. It’s psychological, I think. I was brought up by cats, so as soon as I’ve eaten, I just want to sleep.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
The same place you get yours.
- Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
Now that depends greatly on what I’m writing. My two published novels were entirely pantsers. But in short fiction I use an outline, a fairly detailed one. I’ve also found that in historical fiction it’s a very useful thing. I wrote the first half of my current book pantsing, then got stuck in a plot bog for years. When I determined to get on and finish it, I constructed an outline for the second half. Generally I think that when there are structural requirements apart from the story itself, as in historical fiction where your story must be fitted to an invariable set of facts, the outline is very helpful.
- Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
There is no such thing as writer’s block. We don’t see plumbers refusing to work and whining that they have plumber’s block. If writing is your job, then you write.
- What is the hardest thing for you about writing?
Sticking to what I’m supposed to be working on. Avoiding distractions. Finishing what I’ve started instead of going off on something new.
- How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
I don’t really. I have no idea about marketing, and that’s because I’m a writer. Writers write; marketers market. I don’t fix my own teeth either. I realise this attitude is probably costing me money.
- How much research do you do?
That depends on the material. Of course with my historical novel, a great deal. A shitload. I spent a year reading about the period before I started writing. I just soaked myself in it. I ate the food, I listened to the music…. it was hell getting through Lent. With other things, I tend to research ad hoc if I come up against something I need to know more about. But yes, as soon as there is something like that, there are few limits to how far I’ll go.
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
- What are some of your favorite books/authors?
Pride and Prejudice, of course. The Talisman, by Walter Scott The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope Little, Big, by John Crowley Ash, by Robin McKinlay Golden Witchbreed, by Mary Gentle
- Are you currently reading any books? Of course! I’m never not reading something. Currently in progress: The Golden Bough (James Fraser) Hercule Poirot: the complete short stories (Agatha Christie) Government Men – Gary Davies
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Lnkedin: Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Tabitha-Ormiston-Smith/e/B004TE35RS