1. How did you come to write The Wildwater Women?
It’s been a long journey to publication and it’s taken a lot of perseverance! I began writing in earnest five years ago, and although The Wildwater Women is my first published novel, it’s not the first full-length book I’ve written. HarperNorth read the previous manuscript I had out on submission, and loved my descriptions of the Lake District, and asked me to write about wild swimming.
The Wildwater Women is a love song to the Lakes, as well as a tale of friendship and overcoming your fears. The book centres on four women who meet while wild swimming, and it’s a celebration of nature and the transformative bonds we forge with others. The message at the heart of the story is to appreciate the little everyday moments in life.
Writing the novel was an intense nine-month process. I planned it for the first three, detailing the characters’ lives from birth right up until the book starts, to make them feel as real as possible. This helped me understand how they would behave in different situations, and the types of things they’d say in conversations – I wanted them to seem like fully fleshed out people as there’s no greater compliment than when a reader says they completely believed in the characters and their world.
2. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen! I initially wondered about journalism, but fiction writing has always been my passion.
3. Why did you choose to study the BA English Language and Communication?
I thought the different elements of the course sounded both interesting and relevant to life outside university. The Grammar module in particular has stood me in very good stead for being a writer!
I liked the sound of the Language of Advertising section as I find the way different words can impact our thinking really fascinating. Learning about connotations and the way language can be used to influence us was really intriguing, and is something I often think about as an author.
4. What did you like about the BA, and did it play a role in you becoming a writer?