“On a Dark Tumultuous Night….And at the Dying of the Light…”
So begins Mr Lawrence Pinchpenny’s descent into a long, tormented, and haunted night. Visited by the mysterious, frightening, and ghostly apparition of The Woman in Grey. The spectre of The Graveside Bride. But why does she haunt his dreams?
When and where do you prefer to write?
The simple answer is that I try to write whenever I can. Anything I see, hear or feel can spark my imagination. It could be a word or idea, or question and it can inspire a whole world of creative activity. Anything could light the fire and lead to a good idea for a character or story. I find that I am always imagining, plotting out story ideas or often just daydreaming!
At the moment I type up most of my work on my laptop in the bedroom of my flat because I share with other housemates. But I often sketch out ideas in pen and paper in a notebook on the kitchen table, late at night, then type it up later.
I often find my imagination fires with more clarity at night.
When I was in college I always used to write at night! Sometimes even overnight. I would start writing at six in the evening when it was getting dark and write for what felt like five minutes, look up and suddenly realise it was six in the morning and the birds where singing outside my window and it was getting light again. What had felt like five minutes actually turned out to be about twelve hours. I would just get so engrossed in the story, getting lost, wondering where my imagination would take me. Trying to fathom out what would happen to these characters next, how, and why?
It always felt like a great creative purge where I could just explode onto the page a whole world of productive ideas and industry.
I do not do that so much now though. I try to keep to sociable day-light hours, from about 10am to 8pm. Although I am not sure writing could ever be described as sociable unless it is collaborative.
Do you have a ritual?
Not really no. I just hope that the ideas flow and that I do not get too distracted by social media and other things. I feel like my laptop is a portal into another world, and I love creating the images and details of that world. There is probably an element of pure escapism to it, which hopefully comes across in the writing.
Do you like a drink or something to nibble on while you write?
COFFEE. COFFEE and more COFFEE! Coffee galore! Yes, unfortunately I drink gallons of coffee, which is probably not good for me, but there you go.
I try not to nibble too much. BUT. I find that nibbling on rice crackers, fruit and Ryvita, (I try to be healthy!) Help me to focus on my work. They do help to sharpen the mind, “ The little grey cells,” as Poirot might say. I try not to get distracted by the call of the biscuit tin. Although every now and again….
Do you consider writing a different genre or do you already do that?
I write in lots of different genres. I read and write lots of ghost stories and thrillers. Actually, these lend themselves well to writing at night when spooky and scary images are heighted by the darkness, and shadows. Imagination is alert and more accessible to creating ideas out of and things that go bump in the night.
But I also have written children’s stories, and I would love to write a YA series with a strong female protagonist. A female detective, perhaps.
At the moment I am writing in the fantasy genre, which is new for me, but I always think you should challenge yourself to read and discover new or other genres that you may not have investigated or invested in before.
What are your favourite books?
Wow. How long have you got. I think my favourite book of all time is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein.
But I also love other classics like Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
Oh, I love Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw also.
I also love more contemporary writers such as Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter. I like Susan Hill’s novel the woman in Black as it is a very scary ghost story which when I first read it, I read straight through in one sitting, because I could not put it down. And that is a very rare thing for me to do.
I also adore crime fiction by Ian Rankin, I have all the Rebus books. Mark Billingham, and John Grisham. Cormac McCarthy is an amazing writer.
I like some horror too. I enjoy reading Stephen King
I love the YA series Mortal engines by Philip Reeve and I loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Actually, my favourite books that I have read recently are Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones which probably defy any of these genres.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
No. Not really. I cherry-pick qualities, personality traits from different people I have met or know. They are usually am amalgamation of different people I have met. Sometimes the look of a character can come from the distinctive look of someone you just happen to see sitting on the train. You never talk to them, but you think, yes my character would dress like that, or cross their legs that way, or wear those glasses, or talk on the phone like that.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Probably have to say the Bronte’s. I think I would love to walk across the wild moors with them, I love walking and I often find I am at my most creative when I am out on long walks.
Just be in their pure world of imagination. I love the fact that all the Bronte siblings created these wild, gothic worlds together. They would write together, and their stories developed from their games and play. I think that is the purist from of imagination. Unhindered, unrestricted, just magical.
Do you take a (digital) notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I am probably a bit old fashioned, but I prefer good old-fashioned pen and mini pocket notebook. I can quickly scribble down an idea wherever I am. But I find ideas tend to stick with me, they stick in my head as if waiting for an outlet of expression. Waiting for me to finally shape them and craft them into a narrative. I find them hard to shake off, like this idea needs to be written down. And I have to find the narrative form to tell that story.
Which genre(s) do you not like at all?
I struggle with sci-fi and some romance and chick-lit. Unfortunately, it just does not appeal to me.
I have not read a massive amount in these genres, I must confess, but I find them hard to hook into.
I would never rule out reading books from these genre, as I have previously said, and I am not dismissive of them at all. But they do not catch hold of my imagination.
I prefer a good crime novel or detective story.
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I have always thought I would quite like to travel to Egypt. I think I was inspired by mystery stories set in the tombs and catacombs of the kings and queens.
I would like to write an adventure/mystery or perhaps horror/detective story, set around the time of the great architectural excavations and explorations. Investigating the pyramids, hieroglyphics, and treasures, but also the grave robbers who violated and exploited these sites for their own gains. And then sold the treasures for money.
Actually, I would love to go to Canada. (I have never been, but it has always appealed to me) To find some small town, remote, isolated. Somewhere off the beaten track. And write a mystery story, suspenseful or a thriller. Perhaps with Magic Realism.
Thank you, Angela Goldsmith
About the author
Angela has a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature. As an actor, Angela was trained by RADA trained teachers.
As an actor Angela has appeared in many Theatre, Film and Television productions, Social media Advertising campaigns and Music videos. .
The Graveside Bride is her first published novel.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Graveside-Bride-Angela-Goldsmith-ebook/dp/B08GPRC4VR/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2YRQXK8OIKPB5&dchild=1&keywords=the+graveside+bride&qid=1601052161&s=digital-text&sprefix=the+graveside%2Cdigital-text%2C199&sr=1-1