Visiting my blog today is the lovely Kit Domino, author of Every Step of the Way.
- Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?
Very definitely with a pen in my hand. I was a sickly child, often away from school and at one stage even having lessons at home too, and thus I used to read a lot. This moved on to my constantly writing stories and had always dreamed of one day writing a book. A dream that came true. At school, my top subject was English and I wrote a lot of articles for the school magazine, usually on pop music! In a later job, the reporter in me led to writing and editing the company magazine.
- What inspires you the most when writing?
I would say that music is my main muse. It has always played a part in my life, always being played at home. I was a rock chick of the late 1960s and 70s, my first husband a DJ, and in later years I fell in love with classical music. It’s a great mood enhancer and whenever I’m writing, music is always playing in the background. A single melody or lyric can throw up all sorts of ideas. In all of my books, music is bound into the plot.
- How much does real life inspire or shape your writing?
A great deal. In my novel Every Step of the Way the people and locations are very much taken from my childhood in West London. I find people’s background and history fascinating, their lives a rich tapestry which gets interwoven, often subconsciously, into my work. Whilst none of my characters has been an actual portrayal of a particular person, certainly their mannerisms and traits have shaped and formed characters within the books. Places, too, are important: be it a particular location, a house, an island – all these inspire and form an important part.
Things that have happened in my own life also play an integral part. I think most writers would agree with that adage “write what you know”, thus when you have actually experienced something firsthand, had that particularly feeling or emotion, you write with greater clarity. It helps to bring it all alive. It is also cathartic. There is on the backburner of my writing cooker a part biographical story waiting to be written. It needs to be written if only to enable me to put that particular part of my life to bed and lay the ghosts finally to rest.
- The dreaded writer’s block, have you been struck with it or blissfully spared?
Indeed I have hit that solid brick wall. Often. Well, I used to, but not now. Over the years I’ve been writing I have found ways to clamber over it. I find I get it more in painting now. I’m an artist, and whilst often I know what I am going to paint, sometimes I just stare at a blank canvas not knowing. The secret is, as it is in writing, to get something down on the page no matter what. That is why I started to write a blog. It gets the creative juices flowing again, like a heavy rainstorm after a period of drought till it all comes tumbling out in a great waterfall of words until you are wading through a quackmire you have to reach in and pull what is worth saving.
- Have you ever switched genres, or considered doing so?
I write across several genres, partly through choice, partly through a fortunate series of incidents. I read many different book genres by many different writers but one of my favourites is Barbara Erskine. I love books that step out of the box of everyday life and venture into the world of fantasy and imagination, hence the writing of a timeslip. It’s still rough around the edges but it’s getting there.
There’s little doubt Every Step of the Way, a family saga as well as piece of social history , was influenced by a love of Cathrine Cookson stories and led to my being shortlisted for the Harry Bowling prize. But I don’t want to be just a saga writer. Being intrigued by the paranormal, ghosts and hauntings, one particular TV programme a few years ago shaped the plot for my paranormal, hopefully to be published later this year.
I know it’s said a reader will pounce on any book by a particular writer because they know the type of story they are going to get, but I like to think that isn’t always the case, certainly not for me. Perhaps I am different, but I want to be known as the author who switches genres because she has such a vivid imagination (as my mother used to say). Authors who get pigeon-holed in one genre often find after a while they run out of ideas, of plots and characters. By writing in different genres I know I’m never going to run out of steam, only time.
Every Step of the Way, published April 2012: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Kit+domino&x=0&y=0