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Interview with author Tamsin Winter

We interviewed Tamsin and learnt about her writing journey and what her inspiration is to write.

What is your favourite thing to write about?

I like to write about things that are highly emotional, difficult to talk about and awkward situations. I always make sure there is a funny character to add some comedy. Emotionally tense scenes, the ones that make me cry, will always be my favourite though.

When did you start writing?

When I was little girl.

How did you discover you liked writing and wanted to be a writer?

When I was little life was quite boring, and in the 80s there were also no phones and so I had to make my own entertainment. My way of entertaining myself was with a pen and paper.

How did you get your books published?

I entered a novel competition, and I was contacted by the judge from the competition who was also a literary agent in London. He liked the book and he wanted to represent it. He sent it out to two publishers and that’s how I got my book deal.

Do you have any unpublished books?

Yes, I have lots of unpublished books and unfinished books. I have one that I wrote over lockdown that was rejected by my publisher, but I still like it. Sometimes I write for myself. I write a lot of poetry as well that isn’t published.

How many drafts do you do on average?

9 – 10 drafts.

How many people read your drafts?

Just my editor.

How do you get inspiration and ideas for your books?

Real life such as the news, online articles, social media and also daydreams. Some of my ideas come to me in daydreams.

"Sometimes I write for myself. I write a lot of poetry as well that isn’t published."

How often do you get writers block?

I tend to have the opposite issue. I have so many ideas and not enough time to write them all.

What do you do when you get writers block to help you?

I take a break or go for a walk to clear my head. Sometimes it’s the fear of not being able to write something perfectly.

How long does it take you to write a book roughly?

Approximately 18 months altogether, then another few months before it actually gets published.

How do you decide on the front covers/ illustrations of your books?

Freelance artists. They draw the characters based on how I picture them. Normally I find somebody on google images that looks like the character that I imagined. I also make a mood board that I send to my publishers, and it all goes over to the designer. They do the font and the placing of the lettering, then the marketing department come up with a tagline and a blurb. I get sent a jpeg and I approve it.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to be a writer?

Read a lot and keep writing and practicing. Don’t try and write like anyone else, know that who you are is unique and so how you write is unique.

By The Speak Out Team
Photo credit: Michal Czyz via Unsplash

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