Tucans, diamonds and Steam Punk: Oscar Delgado Chinchilla.

OscarDS

‘I’ve just started thinking about Creative Writing as a career…’

Oscar studied English Literature in Costa Rica. When he was allowed to hand in a creative writing piece instead of just a critical essay as a final assingment for his MA course, he discovered that fiction could be his passion as well as his talent. Since then, he has published his short stories in several magazines and eventually came to Lancaster to do the Creative Writing MA. Now he’s a Creative Writing PhD student in the University of Nottingham. He admits to find more natural writing in English than in Spanish – his first language – as he says he can be more honest when he’s not using his mother tongue.

Oscar is interested in Gothic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction, among others. Read  Like Diamonds in her Eyes* to see how he skillfully mixes Sci-Fi with Comedy just as another great writer we interviewed here, Eddie Robson. Oscar could also be the pioneer of a new genre, Tropical Horror, that blends Gothic with the rich imagery of Costa Rica.

 

*Fun fact: The main character in this story is named after our dear secretary in the English Lit and Creative Writing Department at Lancaster, Leila!

What can you find in this interview?

-Doing a Creative Writing MA at Lancaster University.

-Publishing in magazines such as Fiction Magazines.

-Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gothic, Steam Punk and Speculative Fiction.

-Writing in a second language.

-Travelling and writing.

-Multiculturalism.

 

Do you want to know more about Oscar Delgado Chinchilla?

-Check out his short story Like Diamonds in her Eyes published in Nebula Rift.
-Check out his publications in Revista de Lenguas Modernas.


 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to  Oscar Delgado Chinchilla. He was our writing pal in the CW MA at Lancaster and our dear friend. You might have traumatised us for life by using tucans in a horror story but are still very proud of all your achievements and hope to read your novels soon!

Exploring the writing universe: Eddie Robson.

Eddie Robson

‘We had our first child so I quit job so I could be more flexible… that also gave the opportunity to write, it did mean that when I got the time to write I was ready to use it.’

Eddie Robson has written in all forms of media: from his successful BBC sitcom Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully to books about Film Noir and his Sci-Fi debut novel Tomorrow Never Knows. Doing a MA in Creative Writing made him take this path more seriously. Eddie finished his Sci-Fi novel while taking care of his children at home and is now working on a second one.

Eddie Robson is also a very, very friendly writer. When I bought his book at a Sci-Fi convention he gave me a biscuit – a super tasty one, and for those who know me, biscuits are my only true love. Please, go out and buy Eddie’s book – it’s as delightful as his home-made biscuits, I promise. Or you can also meet him in person this Friday 18th of March in Lancaster LitFest!

If you want to get into freelance writing or radio, or if you’re trying to publish your first novel you cannot miss Eddie‘s encouraging story!

 

 

What can you find in this interview?

-Doing a Creative Writing MA at Goldsmith University.

-Publishing Sci-Fi with Snowbooks. (Currently open to submissions).

-Balancing writing and parenting.

-Freelancing.

-Working for the BBC. Check their Writer’s Room!

Texts Read:

Tomorrow Never Knows (Sci-Fi novel, extract).

Do you want to know more about Eddie Robson?

-Check out his twitter.

-Check out Wikipedia page.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Eddie Robson. We hope to read more of your novels, just one is not enough!

 

 

Throwing darts – Kirsty Logan

Kirsty Logan

‘While we write we’ve to fool ourselves that no one would ever read it’. This might be Kirsty Logan‘s fantasy, but the truth is she has been able to engage with quite a large audience, especially since her debut novel, The Gracekeepers, was published this year. ‘A novel is like a doll house. A huge world you can look at and explore.’ Kirsty also enjoys writing short stories – she has two collections out there, The Rental Heart and A Portable Shelter. ‘A short story is like looking through a keyhole: they’re small but suggest a much larger world.’

Kirsty is a very active writer. She found her agent through Twitter: ‘If you’re not on twitter as a writer, get on Twitter.’ She also participates in the WoMentoring project, as ‘it keeps me on my toes because I see the talent out there’ and travels to fascinating places – from the Scottish’s shores to Iceland – to gather inspiration for her stories. Her secret? Working little by little, ‘If I do 400 words in the morning it doesn’t matter what happens with the rest of the day’, and not getting discouraged easily. ‘Getting published or getting an agent is like throwing darts in a dartboard, not knowing which one is going to hit the bull’s eye.’

What can you find in this interview?

-Experiences in getting an agent and getting published.

-Ideas to publish a short story collection.

-Travelling to research your writing.

-Characterisation.

-Writing routine.

-Animals in literature.

Texts Read:

The Gracekeepers (novel).

Writing Resources:

WoMentoring.

Do you want to know more about Kirsty Logan?

-Check out her website.

-Check out her Twitter.

-Check out her Instagram.

-Check out her Facebook.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Kirsty Logan, who has been very kind in accepting to be interviewed by TWL. We hope to read lots of your novels!

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 6th of December in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with Weird Fiction writer Tim Jarvis!

 

 

The Writing Life’s 3rd Season is Coming!

TWL team

October 2014. The Graduates Welcome at Lancaster University was on a chilly Wednesday evening. Hundreds of students gathered in the Great Hall. People from all over the world with one thing in common: curiosity. What else is going to make you pursue further studies through an MA or a PhD?

Several people from the university spoke about how important it’s to sharpen your own critical thinking, or questioning what surrounds you or gaining independent knowledge. Above all speakers there was one who everyone found particularly inspiring. It was a woman who talked about how important it was to pursue the things you like. To surround yourself with your true passions and work hard on them, because what follows hard work is always a result, and statistically there will be bad results but also good results.

She was a writer in the second year of her Creative Writing PhD – among many other things. She talked about how coming to university had made her realise she could try many different things – things she had never dared to do before. One of these things that she was particularly proud of was her radio programme. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘everything can be possible. You can even have your own radio programme if you like, is that not just great?

We writers usually assume that ours is a discipline that must be endured in solitude. We usually have so many questions, yearnings, joys and tragedies, but we swallow them all and keep writing. Or maybe we don’t write at all because we’re terrified. This woman, however, talked about sharing and asking questions and being a shameless, happy artist.

How do I write a novel?

What can I do to write every day?

What is genre? Do I need to include my work in any kind of genre?

How can avoid clichés in characters?

Do I need to have a blog to be a writer? Where do I start?

Do I need Facebook or Twitter to promote my work?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, The Writing Life is just what you’re looking for. Back in October 2014 and as an aspiring author myself, I googled this woman’s name – Yvonne Battle-Felton – that evening right after her speech. I discovered The Writing Life then, which was about to start her second season. It was a literary programme, yes, not about books but the practicalities of the craft. All those things you feel you need to know if you want to make a living on words. ‘Excellent,’ I thought, ‘this is going to keep me in the way.’

One year after, we are three young writers involved in this wonderful project, asking questions, bringing you the inspiration you might need to realise that being a writer is as doable as any other path in life – not something reserved for a select few.

Teresa Garanhel is our meticulous editor and producer. She’s like a magician because no matter how wrong things go during the interview – we had builders working in the room next to us, for example, or shameful comments have… well, escaped our lips… – she will fix it so it looks like we are professionals 100% of the time. She’s also a cat lover and writer of Fantasy, Sci-Fi and YA. And she collects mugs.

Kitty Hanley is our other interviewer and official marketing expert – with real experience in London, no less. Thanks to her, the programme looks so fashionable that we’ll be in the BBC in no time. She always knows how to carry the authors nicely and safely through the interview. She writes about Poland and WW2 and cooks delicious banana cakes in her free time.

And interviewing and writing this blog it’s me,  Inés G. Labarta. I write novellas and love walking everywhere and if you’re curious about me you can check my personal blog here.

We’ll bring you authors from all kinds of cultural backgrounds and languages. We’ll bring you poets, prose writers, musicians, painters, writers of literary fiction, writers of genre. We’ll bring you writers who are also lecturers, teachers, editors, bloggers… Join the 3rd season of The Writing Life and be part of a community of storytellers that encourage you weekly to be an author!