Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

English - Balancing Act: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

English - Balancing Act: Resources

Article excerpt

The life of the author-lecturer is complicated but rewarding.

Inside my head are:

- Night-time, summer, a Hebridean island. A missing 17-year-old boy and a girl of 15 looking for him ...

- MA interviews.

I am lucky to have two jobs I love - author and MA course leader - but the balancing act is not always straightforward. This week I am desperate to immerse myself in the world of the novel I am writing, but two new books have just been published and I have school and library visits to do.

Bringing the Summer is my second novel about Freya, who is recovering from the tragic loss of her brother Joe in a boating accident. She is 16, on the cusp of adulthood, falling in love, taking big decisions about the kind of person she is and the life she wants. It is a privilege to be able to talk to teenage girls about real-life issues, to help them navigate the minefield of adolescent emotion and to hear their stories, too.

When I talk about my writing process - the journey from experience and imagination via messy notebook jottings to a many-times-revised manuscript - it is a thrill to see them making their own connections, developing stories they hardly knew were in their imaginations. …

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