Sunday, 10 March 2013
Author Interview: Helen Downing
Helen Downing has aspired to be many things in life. An actress, a writer, a trophy wife, a publicist, and a bang up media sales executive. In reality, she’s a chubby, middle-aged, twice-divorced battleaxe who is addicted to sci-fi and social networking. Please buy this book. It’s her only chance of ever fulfilling her full potential, and possibly getting into heaven.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I start with a basic outline. But then the story has to develop to fill the spaces in between. The best things come out when you are trying to get a character from one place to another. That's when the characters come to life.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Of course! And I happily let them!
What is your favourite food?
Seafood or chocolate. But not in the same dish.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Total night owl. If I didn't have to maintain sustainable employment and a certain amount of social interaction, I'd be lobbying every vampire in the world to come have at me!
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I love the UK. I've been to Wales and England, but I've never been to Scotland. I absolutely adore the Welsh. First of all, I have a thing for Celtic men, and second the cold wet weather lets me wear lots of heavy "forgiving" clothing. I feel at home there.
Do distant places feature in your books?
Depends on how close the reader feels to being in Hell.
Do you listen to music while writing?
No, but I like noise while I'm writing so I tend to have the tv on as background. I can't have anything engaging, so I will look for really boring infomercials or movies that I've seen thousands of times, or something like that...just to feel not so isolated while I'm writing.
It's funny but also heartwarming. It takes place in Hell, and I have a very unique vision of Hell. For instance, the closet every day magically gives you one outfit for the day. It may be Victorian-era itchy underwear, or it may be leather pants. In any case...it's punitive. Louise, the main character, loses her job and gets a new one at a temp agency. Each temp job gets her a little closer to understanding why she ended up in Hell in the first place. It's a story of forgiveness and redemption.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I've learned that with great power comes great responsibility Wait...I think I learned that from Spiderman. I have learned that you don't have to pay some outside force thousands of dollars to get your book published. And if you don't believe in your book enough to sell it yourself, then don't bother publishing in the first place.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I would be more disciplined. Turn off Doctor Who reruns and write more!
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Living every day...whenever bad things or challenges arise I like to think it's happening so that I will have an interesting story to tell.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Write and read something EVERY DAY. Bottom line. If you aren't immersed in the experience, you'll never finish.
What are three words that describe you?
Funny (I hope)
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I love many different authors for different reasons...but I adore Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman...writers who make the English language bend to their will!
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
"Awake In Hell" - Meet Louise Patterson. She is dead. She has been dead for a while. And she is in Hell. Join our foul-mouthed hero as she embarks on a Hellatious adventure; Filled with demons, ghosts, dreams, magic, temp jobs, wardrobe malfunctions, and quite possibly redemption.
List of previous books if any
This is my debut novel.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
My blog - http://groupepublicityupdates.blogspot.com/
My website - http://groupepublicity.wix.com/awakeinhell
My facebook fan page - www.facebook.com/awakeinhell
Thank you, Helen and good luck with your book!
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.