What was the inspiration for ‘Morning’?
My story was inspired by an elderly relative who was gradually finding it more difficult to cope, but still had moments when I could see hints of their younger self. I wrote it on a cruise ship and had set myself a target of a story a day. The results varied, but this one felt like it had a natural flow.
Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing, or somewhere in between?
I’d definitely say I’m a pantser, which means I often don’t know how the story will end and that can be nice. The closest I get to planning is when I know the first line and the last line, so I just need to work out the route between them.
How do you find the editing process once you’ve finished writing?
I am the world’s worst editor, but the best tip I got was to give it 24 hours before trying to edit; any sooner and you’re still too invested in your original draft.
Do you think someone has to feel emotions strongly or be highly empathic to be a writer?
I think it would be difficult to put across emotion if you don’t feel it. One sign that I have it right is if I get emotional when I read a piece back.
How many unfinished stories do you have?
Loads. I have one that deserves to be a full novel, another that’s going to be a set of short stories set on the London Underground and the first line of a children’s story: ‘Henry the Hippo was starting to worry about his weight.’
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I sometimes struggle to get ideas, but most of the time it’s just laziness. If I set aside a fixed time to write I can normally get something down.
Which book(s) inspired you to begin writing?
I’ve always loved reading and, for me, that led to a love of writing. As a child I loved the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Asimov short stories, but most of the pieces I write are a million miles from Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so now I’m probably more inspired by Alice Munro or Haruki Murakami.
‘Morning’ by Carolyn Barnard appears in Tall Tales & Short Stories Volume One.