LISP Short Story FINALIST, MRS SMITH AND ARTHUR BY Claudia Cruttwell
- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?
I work from home as a manuscript editor and I spend my free time writing, reading and walking my dogs. It's a quiet life, which is just how I like it.
- When and how did you get into writing?
I've always loved reading and writing. I studied English Literature at university. Then, a few years ago, I did an MA in Creative Writing at Brunel University. I've had short stories published in print and online. I blog about my writing life at claudiacruttwell.com
- How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write?
I write most days. Mornings work best when my mind is fresh. I'm inspired by people and their inner motivations and relationships.
- How does it feel to have your work recognised?
Having your work recognised is a huge boost. It gives you that affirmation and the confidence to carry on and work harder.
- What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about writing a Story?
A short story is a challenge because you have a short space in which to encapsulate the essence of something that feels meaningful. At the same time, I think it's important to create a sense of space so that the reader has room to breathe and you're not overloading every line. The best thing is when you feel you've succeeded!
- How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?
This story is very much based on an episode from my own life. It's about my first experience of death. To me, it also says something about the human connections that go beyond class. I wrote the first draft about a year ago and refined it, off and on, over the following months.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Story?
I find I have to dive in and write first of all without worrying too much about the end result. If there's a kernel of an idea, I just go with it. Afterwards, it might take many revisions for me to really work out what I'm writing about and more still before I've honed it to the point where I'm happy with it.
- What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about competitions?
Competitions are a way of getting your work out there. The process also helps you to recognise the body of work you've produced so far and inspire you to add to it. The challenge is to manage your disappointment if you don't succeed, but that's a key part of being a writer.
- Lastly, do you recommend the writers give a go on LISP?
Absolutely. What have you got to lose?