Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Interview with Rose Impey

Rose Impey (the author of the Sleepover Club) agreed to answer some questions for my blog and this is what she had to say

1) Where are you from?
I was born in Northwich, in Cheshire, where my family still lives.

2) When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing about thirty years ago. I'd previously been a primary school teacher but stopped teaching to have my children, two daughters, Rachel and Charlotte.  When they went to school I'd fully expected to go back to teaching, but a happy accident with my back prevented that from happening and it was during that period I decided to have a go at writing. I was lucky enough to have my first book accepted and I've been writing ever since.

3) Did you always want to be an author?
When I was growing up it wouldn't have entered my head that it was even a possibility.  I was always a great reader but it was only as an adult, after I had children that I began to entertain the idea.

4) How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
I have a very regular routine: I get up early and go to the gym or swimming, come back and have breakfast and then start writing.  I write most of every day until 5 or 6pm.

5) What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love gardening, sewing, walking, dancing, cinema and theatre. Socialising is very important when you spend all day every day on your own!

6) In your spare time what do you like to read?
I read fiction, often modern American novels. I like books that make me laugh or cry!

7) And what are you reading at the moment?
Sebastian Barry On Canaans Side. The writing is so good that has made me cry!

8) When you were younger who were your favourite author?
When I was growing up we just didn't have the choice there is nowadays. Mostly we read Enid Blyton and individual books like Little Women, Heidi... My absolute favourite was Treasure Island. But I also remember reading Grimms Fairy Tales over and over again.

9) Other than the Sleepover Club are there any of your other novels that you would turn into a Movie or T.V. show if so which one and why?
I really think my novel Six Feet Deep would make a great single drama, but I'd love to see my Titchywitch stories for young readers made into a cartoon series.

10) My sister, cousin and I loved the sleepover club books when we were kids that much that we set up are own sleepover club we did challenges and had our own SOC book, membership cards and rules. Since it became really big have many other fans told you that they have started their own club?
Yes, lots and lots. I probably had more fan mail for Sleepover than anything else I've written.  One of the most common questions was: How do you know what kind of things girls do and say to each other when they're on their own? My answer was: “I have my spies. And I did! I had a few girls who shared all their secrets with me for which I am very grateful.”

11) What inspired you to write The Sleepover Club?
The idea actually was one of two or three I offered to my publishers when they were looking for a commercial series idea for girls of 9+

12) How do you come up with your story ideas?
I'm not really joking about collecting children's secrets. I do find going into school and talking to kids gives me all my best ideas.  Things they say and do often triggers off my own memories and then my imagination starts to work, but I often need the real ideas to act as a catalyst.

13) Are you working on anything new at the moment if so can you tell us anything about it?
I'm just finishing a new series for very young readers. This time it's about a little knight called Sir Lancelittle.  But later in the autumn I'm hoping to start a new novel for older readers and no, sorry, can't say anything about that until I'm really into it.

14) If you could do it over again, is there anything you would change in any of your books?
Oh, yes, lots. Probably something in every book I’ve written. You work and work a story until you start to feel you ought to stop before you completely write all the life out of it. You write until the point when you feel you can't improve a single word. But then the printed book arrives and you read it and even on the first page you think: Oh, no, why did I put that, that's rubbish, if only I could change it, but by then you can't! 

15) Out of all your books, which is your favourite character and why?
I realise now that I've written a variation on the same character in several of my books: he's a boy of about 10 or 11 who's incredibly full of himself, totally irrepressible and hugely annoying to be around... Like Baxter in The Get Rich Quick Club. I love boys like that, they really make me laugh!

16) When writing about something you don't know much about where do you get your information?
I'm a bit pathetic when it comes to research.  I'm always scared to get it wrong so in the end I don't do it a lot, I play safe and write about what I know mostly.  This is a weakness I'm afraid. When I do any research I use reference books, Internet, but I prefer to try to find people who are experts in the field. I like to do as much face-to-face research as I can. 

17) For you what is the easiest part of the book to write?
THE END! No, seriously, it varies enormously. When it goes well it all feels easy, but more often than not most of it feels hard.

18) ...And the hardest?
Getting started probably. You've got the ideas but there comes a point when you have to commit to the screen/page. Even after all this time I still get anxious before I really get into each book.  In fact, I probably get more anxious the older I get.

19) How do you choose the names for your books and characters?
Difficult question. They really do mostly come from your imagination. You always know when you've got it right because the name really fits, like a good set of clothes. The worst thing is when you get a name and can't have it because someone else has used it or similar.  That's very frustrating.

20) Have you ever gotten rid of a character or changed a character in a book before publishing and then regretted it?
No, I don't think I have. There are lots of things you regret but they're more likely to be things you left in and shouldn't have than the other way round.

21) What advice would you give to someone who "ran out of creativity" while writing?
Take a break. Whenever it happens to me it's because I'm creatively tired out. Last year I took six months off writing and came back re-charged. Sometimes as a writer you feel like a battery that's lost its charge, especially after thirty years!.

22) What do you do when you get writers block?
See above. But also I go into schools and sit and talk to kids. That always gives me ideas and, even more importantly, energy.

23) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for choosing my books and please, if there's one that you don't like, try others because I do write lots of different stuff. 
And...send me your secrets!!!!!

Thank you for your time Rose I will be enjoying the Sleepover Club books forever.

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