Kay Stewart is a member of my writing groups and is someone I really admire. Her writing is always emotive, thoughtful and original. Kay’s story ‘The Chocolatier’ appeared in ‘Thrills ‘n’ Chills‘ published by Wild Wolf Publishing. Kay is also someone who has recommended several of my favourite reads over the last couple of years. Today, she’s on the blog to talk about her writing. Enjoy!
I am a PR consultant, married with two children/adults and live in East Boldon.
My writing can probably be described as contemporary fiction, usually with strong female protagonists.
I have always been interested in story telling from being really small. This will sound very weird but when I was about 7 I used to play ‘two baller’ – juggling tennis balls against the back wall in the back yard and tell stories to myself, out loud. The neighbours must have thought I was so odd but I remember not caring at all and just chuntered on, even pausing a story to have my lunch, then going back out to finish it off!
During my A levels I got fascinated by poetry and loved Ted Hughes and W H Auden. I wrote quite a few poems for a year or so. There was a 10 year gap when I didn’t write at all then a flurry when I had my son and stopped full time work, then nothing for another 13 years after having my daughter.
The MA in Creative Writing got me started again and gave me structure and confidence. Elementary Writers is now a brilliant support as it is a weekly opportunity to discuss what I am working on and everyone gives me encouragement.
I am currently working on a novel about three women who share an allotment and a dark secret and its not going very well but I have pledged to try and finish it by the time my daughter’s A Level exams end.
The thing I like most about writing is the chance to explore different people’s points of view and get under their skin. I also like to play around with perceptions of people and challenge them, for example, I had a female head nightclub bouncer in one story.
One of the hardest things about writing is getting your work out there and being published, everything else is lovely!
I have read more in the last 12 months than I have read for years and I have also read a really wide variety of books – they include Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘The Signature of All Things‘, Elizabeth Strout’s ‘Olive Kitteridge‘, Rupert Everett’s autobiography and Jen Ashworth’s ‘A Kind of Intimacy‘.
In terms of influences on my writing I love Marian Keyes and her ability to make me laugh out loud one minute then move me the next. I want anyone reading my stories to feel the way I do when I read her.
If I had an autobiography I think the title would be ‘Kay:’ – as I like my name – ‘Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand as a lamb’.
I am an aspiring writer rather than being fully fledged but would advise people to just keep on doing it and do it for their own satisfaction rather than trying to make money or other ambitions, so you stay true to your own voice.
My proudest moment was giving my mam my finished novel for her 90th birthday, just a pity it wasn’t/isn’t published!
If I wasn’t a writer I think I would be a gardener.
I have a blog – kaystewartsblog – which is a bit unloved at present but is about to have a make-over.