Fiona Lloyd - Interview (June 2018)
Why do you want to be a published author?
I suppose the most truthful answer is, because I can’t not be. It was my childhood dream to write books, (that, and being a Shakespearean actress!) I was very shy and spent a lot of time reading, escaping into the worlds between the pages. I loved the weekly library visit where I could sit surrounded by towering shelves of enticing stories.
If other children could pick up a book I’ve written and lose themselves in that world for a moment that would be a wonderful feeling. If those stories inspire, comfort or give confidence to a child, even better.
I’d also like to prove to my own children that by working hard you can achieve your dreams, and that my crazy ideas and hassling them for feedback are for a reason! They might stop rolling their eyes at me then.
How long have you been writing?
I remember writing a poem when I was four. I have a copy of my first ‘book’ that I wrote aged eleven, and was always being commended at school for my imaginative writing. I received plenty of crosses in red pen on my creative work as I was deliberately spelling words incorrectly to give the characters dialects! The teachers didn’t approve. I drifted away from it through my twenties and thirties, although was story telling in other forms; acting, film making, writing scripts etc., and came back to it a few years ago after doing a creative writing weekend course. I wrote some short stories and poems, then spent most of last year writing a fantasy story of approximately 50,000 words. The characters were hassling me to get their story onto the page so I pretty much switched the TV off, and got on with it. It’s now in the cupboard waiting until I have more knowledge and skill to shape it into something I’d be confident to put out publicly. I’ve been actively improving my craft for the last two years by researching, listening to podcasts about writing and the business of writing, ensuring I write/read something every single day, and of course, joining CKT!
How will you celebrate your first publication?
A little get-together with family and friends. Good food and a decent bottle of red wine. I’d love to read it to my daughter’s class and maybe do a related craft or imaginative exercise with them afterwards. I’d have to send some copies to my family in the U.K so they could celebrate too! Any excuse…
How would you describe your writing style?
I think I have an evocative, descriptive voice that translates the scene and the emotion to paper quite vividly. Its very much discovery at this stage though. I’ve pushed myself to create pieces that I wouldn’t have considered before, such as writing in the first person, or writing humour, and realised it’s not as alien to me as I had thought. I get bursts of ideas. There is a very long list in my notebook and whichever character shouts the loudest, gets worked on at that point. I like to write in pencil, then do an initial edit as I go whilst typing it up. I usually put it up for critique after several reviews, then consider the suggested changes and try and improve it again.
How has Creative Kids Tales assisted you on your journey to publication?
The information and resources that Georgie has put together are fantastic. I stumbled across the website around the time of the CKT festival and was encouraged to come along. The day was packed full of information and I met some wonderful people at varying stages of their creative journey. Since then I have connected with many of them via social media, or the critique group, and been able to access valuable resources to help me grow. I would recommend joining the CKT critique group to everyone. I have had experience with others, but this is the best by far. It is invaluable to have fresh eyes responding to your work in an honest, supportive environment. I have taken something useful from every single response, and hopefully have given an equally valuable viewpoint. I have no doubt that CKT and it’s members will be a major contributor to the day my name is on the cover of a book!