Today, I have a special treat for you – an interview with Best Selling Author Imogen Clark who has written Postcards From a Stranger, an intriguing family drama about secrets and lies
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I know it’s not what I’m supposed to say, but no. I did write stories and poems as a child but writing wasn’t something that I ever saw as a career. I have always been a big reader though, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before the idea of writing occurred to me. Once it did, I dreamed about penning a novel for a while and finally decided to give it a go. After that I was hooked!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Usually a book starts with a question. Having had a challenging day with my four children, I contemplated chucking my passport in my handbag and setting off for the airport to see where I ended up. Of course, there were swimming lessons to go to and meals to cook and so I didn’t do it but it did make me wonder what kind of mother might leave her children and what might drive her to it. That thought turned into Postcards From a Stranger.
I’m always on the lookout for stories that might become a novel although lots of them never get further than my notebook.
Is your material autobiographical?
Definitely not. All my stories and characters come from my imagination. However, you write what you know and so there are anecdotes or turns of phrase that some of my friends and family might recognize. I tend to write about places that I have been to because that makes it easier to visualize but I have been known to work from photos and virtual tours on the internet when I can’t get to the actual location.
What are you working on now?
I usually have several things on the go at once but at various stages. I am currently contracted to Lake Union, the women’s fiction arm of Amazon Publishing, for my next three books. So, I’m working on the edits of the next one whilst trying to plot out the one after that in my head. The next book explores the dynamics that form between siblings and how that affects their lives as adults. The third is about the converging of two families who have more in common than they realise.
Do you prefer any genre in particular and why?
I write what are called ‘book group’ or water cooler’ books. They are the kind of stories that have issues to discuss in them. I didn’t set out to do this intentionally but all the books I’ve written so far seem to fall into this genre. I would love to write Crime Fiction and I read a lot of crime but so far, I haven’t had a go. Maybe one day . . .
What does your writing process look like?
I’m not a nine to five kind of writer. I have busy children and a house to run so I have to work hard to blend the two sides of my life together. That said, I am quite disciplined so each morning I write a time-time for my day and make sure that some of it is set aside for writing. I love to get up early when the house is quiet and write a chapter or two. I mainly write in my study at home but when I fancy a change of scene, I’ll take myself off to a local café or wander up to a bench on the moors and write there instead.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read, obviously! You can’t be a writer and not read and I devour more than a book a week. I also like to walk and listen to books which I do most days. We have a fantastic independent cinema in Ilkley so I try to get there whenever I can – it’s my guilty pleasure. I also enjoy yoga and I sing in a local choir. I’m a dreamer too so I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting places to travel to and try to get away whenever I can, preferably to places a little bit warmer than Yorkshire!