…and just when you thought the chin wagging stopped, I now present to you Adele Archer! Of course I met Adele on G+ because apparently that’s the only place I meet people as an adult. (Someone once commented on Twitter that trying to make friends as an adult is creepy as hell. I agree.) A random post shared by someone in my circle floated my way (Thanks Mir Fleur!). What first caught my eye was the picture accompanied by the post; it was a picture of a woman seated in front of a typewriter with her hand extended out to a lamp (or it might have been a candle). Her head was down as if she were exhausted or exasperated (same difference right?). Crumbled pieces of paper littered the desk. Hmm, what’s this all about? So, because pictures work to attract clicks, I clicked on the link. I’m glad I did. Her post was a riot! She spoke about the difficulties of blogging and her thoughts on why even bother? Now, as a writer, of course I connected with that picture and the content. What writer hasn’t felt like “what’s the point of blogging?” I know I’ve been there a few times. Ok, maybe a few times more than I really care to admit.
Any who, I love Adele’s humor! Every blog post, or even comment that I’ve read of hers has produced either a smile, a chuckle, or flat out laughter. Without further ado, get comfortable (with your cuppa) and get to know a little more about Adele below. Hopefully you’ll get a good chuckle in too:
Question 1. Name one surprising thing about yourself.
Answer 1. As a kid, I used to kick and scream on the floor, and cry myself to sleep about not being born a boy. Being born in the 70s, I had it in my head that life for a girl was substandard to the life and opportunities one was presented with as a boy (and I was kind of right at the time). But don’t worry, I’m delighted to be a girl now!
Q2. What’s your favorite food?
A2. That is such a tough question (being that I can put away food faster than anyone I know – so fast, I barely taste it), but I’m going to plump for Thai. I like the little taste explosion you get in your mouth with every bite – savoury, sweet, sour. Mmmm….food. I wish you hadn’t brought it up…
Q3. What’s your favorite movie and why?
A3. I love all Alfred Hitchcock movies but it would have to be The Rope. I love the way the entire movie is filmed in one shot (they just pan in and out of people’s backs or furniture as a change of scene – but there never really is a change of scene). And I love that the film is just like a stage play, all set in one room. I’ve got a thing about films etc being set all in one place (there was an episode of Seinfeld where they spent the entire show wandering around a multi-story carpark whilst looking for their car which I loved. You really have to be a clever writer to make that work – a piece set only in one area. I digress…). Plus I love Jimmy Stewart. Also, I love the subject matter of The Rope; is one person really more expendable than another?
Q4. Who is your favorite author and what is it about his or her work that resonates with you?
A4. That’s a difficult question too because my favourite genre would probably be fantasy series…ies…ies (like The Farseer Trilogy, Game of Thrones etc), but it’s actually going to have to be Bill Bryson. Because I always thought of him as a travel writer (which of course was quite wrong of me), I didn’t think he’d be my cup of tea. But I love everything he has ever written, and I love how his gentle humour flows through every paragraph – no matter what the subject. And it wasn’t until I started reading Bill Bryson that I realised I had to write with my own voice – I really credit Bill with that. It was futile to write like other people; using flowery, verbose language that wasn’t natural to me. I’m a cockney girl from the East End of London. So his writings taught me to play to my strengths, because it was okay to be myself. In fact it was essential.
Q5. What do you think makes a story good?
A5. If you ask me (which you just did), I’d say a good story needs to get going pretty damned quickly. I have the attention-span of a goldfish so as a reader and a writer, I like a story to grab your attention as soon as humanly possible. But perhaps more importantly, the character-development needs to be plausible. People are deep and complex in reality, so rounded, fully-functioning fictional characters need to mirror this. Oh, and I personally need to like at least one character in a book; we all need somebody to root for (but don’t do that if you’re reading Game of Thrones; everybody you care about dies. Spoiler alert.)
Q6. What’s your writing style (outline vs. free flow)?
A6. I always write with a more-or-less fully formed story framework in mind. I don’t think I could function if I didn’t know where the narrative was heading. Sometimes things will change in the process of writing but on the whole, I stick to the plan and get in done; like the pouring-forth of a big ‘splat’ of ideas on a page. Like vomit (but good vomit, mind). If I didn’t do that, I’d never finish anything. Then I go back and make serious alterations as necessary. And they’re always necessary, SERIOUS ones…
Q7. Are you currently working on any writing projects?
A7. Always. I’m in the process of editing book two and three of ‘International Relations’ simultaneously. They’re both finished and the story is just about the way I want it, but there’s a fair bit of housekeeping to do! Once this trilogy is done and dusted (hopefully before the year is out), I’d like to write something completely different – like a fantasy book as that’s what I like to read. But I’m not 100% sure I have it in me. Of course, I’m blogging weekly too – which is a never-ending project in itself. So it’s safe to say I keep busy.
Q8. What is your most interesting writing quirk, if any?
A8. At the risk of sounding self-absorbed, I’d say my most interesting quirk is my quirkiness. I had to sit down one day and assess what would make me comfortable in actually putting my books out there for people to read rather than keeping them as a secret hobby on my laptop. And I figured that although I’ve always been adept at telling a good yarn, there was something missing from my work. And that thing was ‘me’. So I went back in and put myself in the books; i.e. my patter-of-speech, my idiosyncrasies, my neuroticisms and mostly, my stupidly childish sense of humour. [S.M. side note: which I love! Don’t lose that sense of humor! I’ve chuckled a few times so far.]
Q9. Where do your ideas come from?
A9. I used to play a lot of very elaborate games as a kid; being one of six, I went to great lengths to go off and be alone. All kids play but I’m fairly sure my games were a bit odd. I had an old biscuit-tin of soldiers and I invented an entire intricate story (with backstories and subplots) about how these soldiers were imprisoned in this tin (jail) and their various thwarted attempts to break free. I’d sit there murmuring to myself doing their dialogue. And this quickly transpired into me writing these and other narratives down. So a lot of my ideas were formed in childhood. I’ve been writing stories in my spare time since I was a girl and those ideas (I still maintain) were very good ones. I just needed to be a grown-up to give them validity and life.
Q10. What’s the hardest thing about writing to you?
A10. Time. Boring but true. I don’t get writer’s-block, thankfully. I pretty much always know what to write about, but it’s just finding the time to do it. Fitting in a part-time writing career around work and family isn’t easy but it’s the only creative outlet I have so I always find a way.
Q11. What was the inspiration behind your novel, International Relations?
A11. ‘International Relations’ came about as a spin-off from something I used to write about in my early teens. I used to love all the American 80s soap operas – Dallas, Dynasty, The Colby’s – I liked stories that didn’t have to come to a conclusion. So I wrote a soap-opera of my own (God, I was a bit of a weird kid, wasn’t I?) and ‘International Relations’ was just a follow-on story from some of the characters in that.
Q12. Where can readers find out more about you and your work (e.g. blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, etc.)?
A12. Well obviously I’m all over FaceBook, Twitter and Google Plus – but I’m always more than happy to provide a handy link! I’m very thoughtful like that!! [S.M.: LOL]
Global Amazon Book Link: InternationalRelations
Adele Archer Writes Blog: adelearcherwrites
My AboutMe Page (all my social media links): about.me/adelearcherwrites
Thanks for participating Adele! It was nice getting to know a little more about you. 🙂
Whelp, we’ve come to the conclusion of our mini British explosion… just in the knick of time. I think talking to Brits as inspired the weather to act up. It’s been raining nonstop for the past two days. Coincidence? Eh, perhaps, but we’ll see if this rain lets up later today or tomorrow.