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Friday, September 28, 2007

 

WOW! Chats with Author Hazel Statham

Welcome to WOW!'s little corner of the blog-o-sphere. Let's start with a little bit about yourself.

I live in England and have just 'officially' retired. I have been married to my husband since 1969 and have a daughter and a beautiful five-year-old grandson. Apart from writing, my other ruling passion is animals and until recently I was the treasurer of an organisation that raised money for animal charities. I write mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras but occasionally stray into Medieval times.

WOW: How cool! You live in the perfect setting for your stories. How long have you been a writer?

I started writing at fifteen and wrote my first novel at sixteen however, when I think back, I wrote my first poem at thirteen. It was a school English exam and we were asked to write down our favourite poem. Of course, my mind went blank, but rather than just sit looking at the paper I decided to write a poem of my own. You can imagine my amazement when I passed the exercise with a healthy 8/10! As to my first story, I just had a compulsion to write and create my own historical world and that compulsion has stayed with me to varying degrees ever since.

WOW: What do your family and friends think about your writing? Are they supportive?

My family is very supportive but I can remember my daughter's amazement when she first read one of my novels. She rang me up late at night and said, "Mum, I can't believe it. It's like a real book and I loved it!"

WOW: That's so funny:-) And it has to be one of the good things about writing. For you, what's the most rewarding thing about writing? Most frustrating?

The most rewarding is when you see your work in print and hear from a reader who has enjoyed your work. The most frustrating has to be when ideas come to you at inappropriate times and you have no way of writing them down. For example, we were on a nine and a half hour flight from the Uk to the USA and the ideas were coming thick and fast, but I had no way of writing them down. When we arrived at the hotel, the first thing I did was go in search of pen and paper - I've never travelled without a notebook since!

WOW: That must have been horrible! So, where do you get most of your ideas? From life or your imagination? A mix?

I take inspiration from several sources. "My Dearest Friend" came from a dream. "The Portrait" from a line in a song from the film "Hawks". It takes very little to set my imagination flowing and a scenario soon presents itself.

WOW: I just love those kind of dreams! Do you ever have times when the words just won't flow?

Like every author, I have days when my mind refuses to work and the only solution that works for me is to forget about writing and wait until something presents itself. I find that my most productive ideas come late at night and I am not long without inspiration.

WOW: Do you know your whole story before you begin to write it?

Although I write a brief outline of where I want my story to go, I am ever open to suggestions from my characters. Quite often I hear words coming out of their mouths that take the story off at a tangent. These tangents can be very interesting and can add even more depth to the story. For instance, in "My Dearest Friend" I never knew Stefan had an illigitimate daughter until the sergeant strode onto the page and told me and it added yet another element to the plot.

WOW: I just love it when characters do the unexpected! What is the best piece of advice you've been given as a writer? What's the worst?

When you write historical fiction you must research your era and if you state fact, make sure that you make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story. The worst has to be to only write to fit the market - I say, write what interests you and in caring for your characters you inspire others to care about them too.

WOW: Such great advice. How about sharing any upcoming publications and links for our reader

Please visit my web-site to view information and reviews of my current and upcoming publications.

"Dominic" available now from Wings ePress Fictionwise, Barnes and Noble and Borders
"My Dearest Friend" available January, 2008 from Wings ePress
"His Shadowed Heart" available June, 2008 from Wings ePress

Drop me a line at hazel.statham1@ntlworld.com to subscribe to my newsletter or if you wish to discuss any of my releases. I love hearing from my readers.

WOW: Thanks so much for chatting with us and good luck with your writing!

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