FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What inspires your writing?
Favourite authors like Terry Pratchett, P.G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen, Dickins and so on inspire me for their wit, making me want to aspire to write as well as that (or at least getting as close as I can!). I was also inspired by wanting to write about an older heroine who gives as good as she gets, who has a dodgy past nobody could guess at and who then has to work out how to rebuild her relationship with the daughter who is stunned at what her parent comes out with. Eileen is a woman who faces challenges, not least being forced to reveal what she really is knowing her life could well fall apart when her secret emerges. After all, how would you react if your mother said she was a fairy godmother and backed the tale up with proof?
Being middle aged myself, I like the idea of having an older heroine. I wanted to show Eileen as still having an active sex life, someone you don’t just write off and who faces problems often of her own making. The one to pity in the Brenebourne novels is Jenny, who has been dropped in it from a great height. Your mother’s not supposed to do that to you. I also want to explore what happens when Jenny becomes better at magic. Will her mother become jealous? How will Eileen handle that? Jenny is the one being Eileen definitely won’t zap. I like writing about relationships and not just the obvious romantic one. The dynamic between mothers and daughters is interesting. They often say things to the other they wouldn’t dare come out with to anyone else. That leads, I hope, to a lot of interesting stories! And I want to write them!!!!
I wanted to stress the importance of family, another reason to follow what happens to Eileen and Jenny when odd pressures are put on them. Jenny also has to come to terms with being two species (and to begin with in the Kingdom not being accepted) and how to use magic for good, if she uses it at all. The Queen wants to recruit Jenny, Eileen wants her to keep magic at bay (and suppressed the signs of it in the girl for years) so whatever route the girl chooses, she’ll upset someone. Jenny knows she’s been dropped in it. I find it fascinating to explore how she will cope with this.
Eileen and Jenny like to control their lives. There’s much fun to be had writing about characters like that when control is taken away by circumstances they can’t do much about (though Eileen bless her did her best to cheat those, in vain). And Eileen, happy to keep her magical powers while ditching the magical world, wants to stop Jenny using her powers too much. It’s also fun writing about characters who don’t have any problems with hypocrisy! I’m also at an age where I want to read what I want to read and not necessarily what’s out there so if that means writing what I want to read I’ll go for it. I’m utterly convinced there is a market for stories with an older heroine and focussing on relationships other than the romantic one.