does the word "story"
mean to you?
word story is forever connected to the first stories I ever knew. I
chose good parents as they both made up bedtime stories and were very
good at it. I wish I had inherited that ability; when my children
ask me to make up a story I’m flummoxed which doesn’t seem quite
right. Now my favourite short stories often don’t fit with my
interpretation of the word story
at all. I think story gets used to categorise many different types
of descriptive prose because there isn’t another word that quite
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
can honestly say that I never have a reader in mind when I write.
Thinking of anyone reading would make me seize up with embarrassment.
I’m the same with lots of things: I can’t play the piano if
there’s someone in the room for example. When I’m writing I’d
hate to have an imaginary reader peering over my shoulder – I think
it would make my characters terribly self-conscious; they might all
start showing off horribly.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
many things! There are few things I’d rather talk about than my
stories and characters once they’ve left home. I have to restrain
myself if I know someone’s read it from running up and asking which
stories they liked, which they didn’t, did the vibrating bed make
them laugh…did they get the reference to the yellow dress etc etc
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
feels very different this time. Ten years ago I was still quite
bashful but I long for people to read this book and enjoy it.
What are you working on now?
just finished an introduction to a book of Daphne du Maurier’s
stories. It’s called The
Doll and Other Stories.
The collection is mostly made up of her earliest stories and has
been fascinating to write about as so much from her juvenilia went on
to feed her later great novels. Notice I’m telling you about the
thing I’ve just finished rather than the thing I am about to start…