an interview with Marion Husband
Marion Husband is a local writer who is onto her fourth novel in three years.
The story so far…
After having my stories published by Diamond Twig and completing an MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria University, Mudfog published a series of my poems a pamphlet titled Service.
In March 2005 I was awarded the Northern Writers’ Andrea Badenoch Award through New Writing North, and in July, Accent Press published my first novel The Boy I Love. Its sequel Paper Moon was published in March 2006. My third novel Say You Love Me was published in January 2007 and I’m working on a fourth, contracted novel that hopefully will be published in September 2007.
What inspires you to write?
I was inspired to write from a very young age when I realised how exciting stories were and realising I wanted to emulate the story tellers I loved best. Nowadays I think it is my own ambition that drives me to write, along with my love of writing - it's a great escape.
Marion on Teesside's literary scene
There are great poets like Bob Beagrie, Andy Willoughby, Andy Croft, Gordon Hodgeon and Maureen Almond, and publishers like Mudfog, Smokestack and Kenaz are all producing great writing from Teessiders.
Who do you rate locally?
Maureen Almond from Yarm is an inspiration because she works so hard to promote her poetry and has achieved a great deal.
Bob Beagrie, who was my first tutor when I went to Creative Writing classes - he inspired me a great deal and is full of enthusiasm and energy - his readings are fantastic.
How easy do you find it to be disciplined with your writing practice?
Quite easy in that I treat it as a job - I start to write around 10am and work through to lunch, then write in the afternoon for a couple of hours, and sometimes at night, depending on how it is going.
At the moment I'm writing my 4th novel to a deadline and I'm averaging around 2000 words a day.
I would aim for at least 1000 words a day when I'm working on the first draft of a novel, but 1000 words is a bad day's work for me, often I hit around 2500 words.
To write a novel you have to be disciplined, and even when it's going badly you have to keep on and not be disheartened, finish your 80-100,000 words and then edit and re-write until it's the best you can make it.
Did you ever think you'd get published?
At times absolutely not and at other times absolutely yes - I have great self belief followed by great spells of self-doubt, even now with books on Waterstone's shelves and good reviews.
My first novel was quite controversial because it is about a gay love affair and lots of agents said that it would never be published because of this - too tricky a subject to market from a first time novelist.
However my publisher liked it and took a chance and that novel The Boy I Love became a bestseller.
Workshops, Working with Communities or Writing Alone? – what do you like doing the most?
I love meeting readers and getting feedback, and speaking to audiences about my work - I do quite a lot of this, especially when I'm promoting a novel (which is almost all the time).
I enjoy teaching very much - I have taught creative writing to adults for some years now and I teach a correspondence course in creative writing for the Open College of the Arts, but writing at home alone gives me a huge sense of achievement - especially when I write The End on the final page after 90,000 words.
What are your future ambitions as a Writer?
To keep on getting novels published - because even now I know my next novel could be rejected. - and for those novels to sell in such numbers that I make a reasonable living, and that they're noticed by reviewers, although that might be less important if I develop a large, loyal readership.
Pat Barker, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters, George Orwell, Stan Barstow.
My taste in music is very varied any thing from Jimmy Hendrix to Barry White, I like songs with great lyrics or drum beat, though. (Adam Ant's Ant Music is great to dance around the kitchen to), and I also love all the Impressionists especially Picasso, Monet and Manet.
If I didn't write for a living...
Oh I would be a very sad bunny doing administration work in banks or offices - which is what I used to do, very badly!
Oh - should I say my well adjusted children Kay and Greg, aged 19 and 20? Or my long happy marriage to John (22 years in June 2007)? I should, but those are achievements that aren't entirely (or at all) down to me.
My writing is wholly my responsibility, however, and any praise I've had for my work I think is a huge achievement, I believe.