Thursday, 17 September 2009

Quickfire Questions with... Irene Yates


Fifty words on me: It’s a love/hate relationship this writing thing. When you’re doing it, it’s a killer, all angst and sweat and toil. When you’re not doing it, it’s also a killer, words racing round and round in your head, ideas jumping at you, structures presenting themselves. I know that once you’ve got it, it’s like something’s got you by the throat, you just can’t get rid of it. Even when you fall out with it and say you’re never going to do it again it just creeps up on you and you’re doing it in your head without even realising it. I look at somebody and I’m writing their story in my head. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s real or if I’ve made it up!

My first sale was…
An article to Woman’s Own, for ever ago.

My family think my writing is…
Brilliant, especially my 13 year-old grandson, Jack, who wants to follow in my footsteps and is at the moment on Chapter 9 of his latest novel – I understand this is page 22! He says he wants to be the next Irene Yates but I’ve told he needs to be the first Jack Archer.
My husband wishes I’d hurry up and make it big so that he could retire. Huh.

The best/worst thing about writing short stories for magazines is…
Best is sales, worst is rejections! Very worst is finding something in a mag just like something you’ve just sent off so you just know yours will be rejected.

Long hand first or computer?
Oh, computer every time. Used to be typewriter, so computer is wonderful.

On completing a story I feel…
Nice warm feeling in my tum.

When I run out of ideas I …
Read, read, read: a load more magazines, old ones, new ones, newspapers, letters, books, who cares?

Ideas come to me when…
I’m awake or asleep or talking or listening or thinking about something else entirely.

My biggest tip for new women’s mag writers would be…
Never miss jotting ANY idea down, you never know when you will need it. Jotted down ideas come in more useful at more odd times on more scraps of paper than anything else ever.

3 authors – dead or alive I’d like to invite to dinner would be…
Arnold Bennett, Charles Dickens and Maeve Binchy. And please could I have Elizabeth Taylor as well (not the film star).

Favourite writing outfit?
The nearest thing to hand.

Favourite writing snack?
Crisps and mugs of tea.

Daily Mail or Guardian?
Guardian, definitely. This is a zero tolerance house for D.M.

Corrie or Eastenders?
Both of them but going back ten years at least.

Best woman’s magazine story I’ve read during the last three months is…
Wouldn’t be able to choose, love most of them.

9 comments:

Caroline R said...

Lovely answers, Irene, and good for Jack! I hope his book is a great success!

Samantha Tonge said...

Great answers, Irene and how lovely that you're inspiring your grandchildren!

Julie P said...

Hi, Irene. Great post! It's certainly a turning point in your writing career when you realise that more experienced and multi-published writers still get the occassional rejection. At the beginning I thought it was just me!

I hope Jack does very well and I hope he realises how lucky he is to have a gran like you!

I write everything down - ir drives my husband up the wall when I wake in the middle of the night and start scribbling!

Julie xx

CarolineG said...

Aw, what lovely answers Irene and I love the sound of your adorable grandson! Am also with you on the DM hatred [sorry Sam!]

Here's to lots more warm feelings in the tum.

Gillian McDade said...

Excellent answers, but I must confess I love the Daily Mail (slinks away....)

Geraldine Ryan said...

A great read, Irene! I laughed so much when I read the bit about your grandson!

With you on MB and ET and the Mail!

Elizabeth McKay said...

I know that feeling too, Irene, when you confidently post off what you feel is an 'exceptionally original story' only to read one on the same theme in the next edition of the magazine.

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all - thanks for all the posts on my quickfire answers. Just thought I'd let you all know Jack entered his first story comp last month and... didn't even get a mention. I thought he would be devestated especially as I'd told him to do it and all he said was, "Oh, well." Think he must have the true writer's bones, he will obviously just keep going...
Wishing you all JOY in your writing, keep the head down and the bum on the seat,
best, Irene

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all again - I am sure you all saw the deliberate mistake - devestate for devastate - whoops!
cheers, Irene