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Maddie Grey's Interview

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Maddie Grey talks about War of Attrition.


Submitted:Feb 22, 2012    Reads: 200    Comments: 8    Likes: 5   


Q: Where are you from?
A: I'm from England, and I live in a little town by the sea. J

Q: What is some of your latest news for writing?
A: At the moment, I'm kind of at this crazy stage where I have about five different ideas for a novel, ALL of which I'm desperate to write. I'm currently writing the novel I'll post after War of Attrition is over, but I'm really looking forward to writing novels in the future. I guess I want to challenge myself and experiment with different genres, so I'm thinking of perhaps writing a romance with some mystery and a bit of action it it, just to spice things up. So yes, I really wish I had more time to write at the moment!

Q: When and why did you start writing?
A: My mum says I've always been writing stories, ever since I was a littlie. I've always had a really overactive imagination, and I guess I just wanted to write down my daydreams and imaginations. I think I started writing seriously when I was twelve. It was quite strange, actually, I just remember one day I decided to write a novel, and so I did! I was a fantasy story, and when I read it back now it's just hilariously bad, but I was very proud of it when I did it. It's strange thinking that I used to write fantasy stories, because now my writing is so different. I realized about three years after my first novel that the bit I enjoyed most about writing and reading was the romantically parts, and so I decided to focus my stories entirely on that. I remember being stunned at how natural it felt to write romance, and how much easier it was for me! So I wrote 'Getting Over Leo', and posted on booksie, and I've been writing romance ever since. J

Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A: Honestly, I don't ever think I considered myself a writer. It sounds so serious and professional! But really, I suppose it's just a description of what I do. I spend a huge part of my free time writing, so I guess I've been a writer ever since I first decided to write a novel. J

Q: What inspired you to write 'War of Attrition'?
A: Now this is a bit weird, but basically, I was at my uncle's house, and he has three little girls. And so there was this children's book about two drum players who were rivals, but got on really well, and I don't know, the moral of the story was something about being friends and caring for each other even if you were rivals. But I was just really caught up by the idea of rivals, but rivals who had that click, who had sparks, and I thought it would work really well as a romance story. Then underneath that book was a newspaper, which happened to be open on the agony aunt column…and well, I just thought about how a school newspaper would be the perfect place for rivalry, and I loved the idea of an agony aunt with her own personal agonies. So suddenly the idea started to fuse together in my mind, and I was so excited to write it!

Q: How would you describe your writing style?
A: Gosssh, this is a hard one! I think I write primarily for myself, if I'm honest. I love reading stories which are quite light, but have deeper issues within them. I also love a few soppy moments, some passionate kisses (>.<) and bits of humour throughout the tale, and I try to replicate that in my stories, hopefully that comes across!

Q: How did you come up with the title for 'War of Attrition'?
A: My amazing history teacher! He used this phrase so often to describe the English Civil War, and I was distracted one lesson, thinking about writing, and just thought it would be a really good name for a novel…and it fit this story perfectly. So all credit for that goes to him!

Q: Is there a certain message in 'War of Attrition' that you want your readers to know or understand?
A: Mm, not consciously. I mean, I think Raina, the main character, has a lot of issues with pride and trust which I hope my readers can relate to. I think we all have trust issues deep down, I know that I do. Sometimes we want to trust someone, but we can't. Sometimes we want to trust someone, but we can't. Sometimes we trust someone we shouldn't trust. I hope that people who read 'War of Attrition' can relate to Raina in that way.

Q: How big of a part did reality play in 'War of Attrition'?
A: Not a huge part. I haven't ever been in the situation Raina's in, I can actually relate far more to Fliss's situation, loving someone but not being able to tell them for fear of ruining the friendship you have. I guess we can all relate to that. To be honest, I take parts of my life, conversations I've overheard, thoughts I have, and entwine them with a completely made up plot. Some part of 'War of Attrition' are actually inspired by conversations I've had with people, so I hope they never read it, or they'll think I'm a creepy stalker person!

Q: What books that you've read have influenced your writing the most?
A: Wow, hard one! To be honest, I don't read young adult romance outside of Booksie, not really. I've started to try and get into it, but I'm more of a historical fiction girl (history geek!) and also, I'm always scared that my strict parents will find an 'inappropriate' book on my shelves and getting cross! So I'd actually say a lot of my influence for writing comes from Booksie writers, probably the most major one being Phoebe Gardens. When I first joined Booksie I feel totally in love with her way of writing, and her characters, and I think that probably impacted my work! But yes, aside from that, I think historical fiction writers such as Eva Ibbotson have influenced my writing style, along with authors who rewrite fairytales, like Shannon Hale. It's a mix of styles, really.

Q: Are you reading any books right now?
A: I am always reading! I've always been a little bookworm, so I always have a book to read. At the moment, I'm reading a historical sort of period drama called Indiscretion, by Jude Morgan, and it's brilliant, I've recently read The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green, too, which was a very different book to what I usually read, but made me think more deeply about life and how we live it, and was very moving.

Q: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
A: Yes. I'm always looking for new stories to read on Booksie and a writer called Cheers has recently posted a novel which is really fun to read. J

Q: What are you current projects?
A: I'm currently writing the story that will follow 'War of Attrition', which is quite therapeutic for me; the main character is sort of subconsciously echoing my life at the moment, and so writing it feels really natural. I can't wait to hear what people think of it, actually there are some scenes I've really enjoyed writing.

Q: Do you see writing as a career?
A: Ideally, writing would be my dream job. I see it as a hobby, to be honest, and to be paid for a hobby would be amazing. But realistically, I know it's not going to happen, as much as I'd love to publish a book!

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in 'War of Attrition'?
A: Would I change anything? Goshhh, another hard one! In retrospect, I'd liked to have written more about the newspaper process, because I feel I kind of skimmed over it. But I think, looking at the novel as a whole, it worked out better than I expected it to, and I'm pretty pleased with the end result so nothing major, no!

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A: Definitely. Sometimes I sit there, and reread a bit of my story, and just lose hope. I start wondering why I bother, and feel like I'm just so utterly awful I might as well just give up! I think that's the hardest thing. I try to keep faith in my work, but sometimes, I just hate the way I write, and I hate my characters and plots! I think I struggle making a really interesting plot, and I'd love to have the talent some people have of making brilliant twisty turny plots that are really unexpected.

Q: Who is your favorite author on Booksie and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: Ooh well, I don't have a favourite author at the moment! I'm reading novels by MarriahJustine, teindre, Forever After, and Cheers (I think that's all? If I've missed anyone I'll be so cross with myself!) which are all brilliant J

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: Many things. I found fitting writing time into my busy school schedule (It's such a good job I don't have a social life!) was hard, along with keeping motivated at times. However, I really enjoyed it, as I always do, so it was all definitely worth it.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing 'War of Attrition'?
A: Not specifically. I think I've improved my writing style, maybe? I feel like each novel I write I'm improving from the last, just because I'm practicing, but I don't think I learnt any specific lessons.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: I'm not sure I'm the most qualified person to give advice, but from my experience, practice. Set yourself a challenge. Last August I decided to write a novel, one chapter per day, and though at times it was a bit crazy, I was SO glad I did, because I learnt so much from that, and I really felt like I'd improved a lot. So even the challenge is super challenging, definitely attempt it. You might surprise yourself. J

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: Just thank you, really. I seriously would not be writing as much as I do now if it wasn't for your support through comments and through reading. It means the world to me, your comments always cheer me up when I feel rubbish about my work, so thank you, so, so, so much, you're all absolutely lovely.





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