Safkhet Publishing ~ Summer Reads

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Guest Post ~ Carol Hedges ~ Write about what you know...



It's the advice given to all writers, and it's probably the reason I write about strong women, and not giant spiders on Mars. It's also why, at the beginning of Jigsaw Pieces, my first ebook just published on Amazon Kindle, there is a sentence that says: "Not all the events and characters are fictitious".

Some people have asked me about this, because it isn't the usual thing you read. So, after first thanking lovely Sheryl for her generosity in hosting me on her blog, I'd like to share a couple of events that prompted me to write the story.
        
I was on my first teaching practice. I'd decided to retrain as an English teacher so that I could fund my daughter through uni. One Monday, I arrived in the staffroom to discover a strange silence. Nobody was speaking, or making eye contact. Curious, I asked my mentor what was going on, to be told that over the weekend, a student had committed suicide. Nobody knew why.
      
I remember quite clearly how it felt as the news ripped round the school. And something inside me said: one day, you have to write about this; it is important. Thus "Grant Penney's" death became the central plot line for the book. As you read the initial chapters, you are seeing and hearing exactly what I experienced that day.
         
But I didn't want Jigsaw Pieces to be a totally tragic story. And so I gave the narrative to Annie Skaerstad, a feisty 19 year old Norwegian student - a cross between Sarah Lund and Lisbeth Salander. She is based on a couple of girls I taught in my first teaching job. Streetwise, sassy and full of attitude, they gave me, and everyone else a hard time!
         
They had a big thing about 'respect' - something they felt teachers never gave them, which was why they did not give it back. I struggled to connect with them, was sure I'd failed. But then, unexpectedly, at the end of the last lesson before study leave, they dropped a card on my desk as they left. Inside was a single word: Respect.
         
And so, a book was born....






Carol is an author of eleven novels and several short stories. Her Spy Girl series is published by Usborne, and currently available on Amazon. She has one daughter, now left home, and lives in Hertfordshire with two cats and a lovely husband...





... and she drives a pink 2CV! Wow! I want one!




Connect with Carol ~

On Twitter @carolJhedges.

7 comments:

Linn B Halton said...

I there are shades of real life in most things I write, so I totally agree. Sound advice - and, oh that car!

Mandy said...

Love the car!! Agree completely with writing what you know - and if you don't know then find out. I like to do research on hot beaches mainly!

Sheryl said...

Haw, haw. Love that comment, Mandy! Thanks for stopping by. You, too, Linn! And, yes,I agree that car is just coooool! Bit like us, really :) xx

Melanie said...

Love the car! I, too, have shades of real life in my writing...

Kit Domino said...

Fab car! Shades of my life creep into my writing too. It's what makes our writing come to life. Not that I've ever been a time traveller ...

Henriette said...

Brilliant interview, Carol. I'm so with you about putting in events we've experienced - how can we not? - because it's about how we felt as people/writers at the time, not about actual, real names and dates.

Carol Hedges said...

Thanks folks - and a BIGGIE to lovely Sheryl. Jigsaw Pieces. And no, you can't have my car, tho' if you care to drop by for coffee and cake, I'll gladly take you for a spin!