10 Things I Couldn't Write Without
1. My editor
I’m not just being diplomatic (maybe) but having an editor’s professional eye scrutinise your work is a huge luxury, one I didn’t have before Starborn was published. Knowing that when my messy first draft is finished, she will read it through, not once, but several times, and help me improve it, is a huge relief and something I will never take for granted.
2. My bed
Much to my editor’s horror, I do all first draft writing seated on my bed. I tried, I really tried, to write at my desk (I even bought a proper swivel chair) but I just can’t get comfortable. Maybe the position feels too much like ‘work’ and I like the informality of being curled up with a book, even if that book’s mine. I fear the desktop computer’s only good for editing. And Dragon Age.
3. My cat
Well ok, it’s actually very difficult to work with the cat installed on the keyboard or on my wrist, where she currently is. But writing’s a solitary business and she keeps me company through those long lonely hours. I think my laptop would disagree, however, considering that it’s probably full of cat hair.
Alright, tea and coffee as well. But staying properly hydrated is important – it staves off the inevitable headache you get from staring at a wall of text. Or the bright blank page as is sometimes, depressingly, the case.
I don’t have a strict writing schedule or daily word count, but I write better in the mornings, between 8.30-2 and that’s what I stick to. The exception to this rule is editing, which I can keep at all day.
6. BOOKS, BOOKS! (Stealing ideas since 2002)
No, really, all you marvellous authors I’ve read over the years: thank you for writing such wonderful books. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the inspiration I took from you and the many hours I spent in your worlds. My contemporaries (who I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with at conventions) are turning out fantastic stories every year, which not only give me a lot of reading pleasure, but push me to raise my own standard.
7. My time at Royal Holloway, University of London
I spent four years at RHUL studying for a BA in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing. My tutors and fellow students were very supportive and I came away with a great deal of experience in both creative and critical writing. To my MA class: sorry about the fantasy.
8. My sister
Also known as Laura Madeleine, who is a fantastic author in her own right. Not only does she help me work past knots, she reads all my stuff before it gets anywhere near my poor editor, and isn’t afraid to point out the embarrassing parts.
9. My family
I’m exceedingly lucky to be surrounded by people who fully support my decision to live outside reality. Many others would have told me to get my head out of the clouds and find a ‘proper’ job. An epic thank you to the parents, my first readers, who’ve put up with a lot of weird stuff over the years, ever since the day I first confronted them with dark wizards, elves, phials of mystic smoke, and SORCERY.
Well, I could write without you guys (I don’t think I could stop myself) but then who would my stories be for? Hearing that someone enjoyed spending time in my world makes all the long hours of polishing worthwhile and pushes me on to bigger and better things.
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Lucy's the celebrated author of The Worldmaker Trilogy, which began with the magnificent Starborn, followed by Heartland and finally Firestorm, which will be released in December 2017.