Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Interview with Author Margaret Egrot

Margaret Egrot
Coventry, UK

Margaret Egrot is based in Coventry, UK. She is the author of two YA books (And Alex Still Has Acne, and Girl Friends). Girl Friends was published in May 2016 and And Alex … in January 2015. And Alex has been on the Amazon best seller list more than once. Both stories deal with contemporary social issues – but there are a few laughs along the way, and the books have been well rated by adult readers as well as teenagers.

As well as these novels, Margaret has had several short stories intended for adults and new adult readers published. She mostly writes stories based in the present, though in her short story, Sleeping Beauty, she mixes contemporary with well know folk tales, and several of her short stories – Chains of Magic, Journey to the Fair Mountain, A Midsummer Day’s Dream, and The Ghost Queen – are based on female characters in Shakespeare plays. Many of her short stories have appeared in Solstice publishing anthologies, and are available as short story downloads from Amazon Books.
Margaret has also written a number of short plays for local amateur groups and rehearsed readings, and has just completed her first full length play. There are further details on these on her website: www.margaretegrotwriter.weebly.com

Margaret describes herself as boringly normal. She eats and drinks almost anything  - ‘though you can’t beat a cup of strong brew tea, milk no sugar,’ listens to any music so long as it has a good beat (but prefers complete silence when she is writing), and takes a polite, but rather uneducated, interest in most art. She enjoyed visiting the Art After California Light and Space exhibition at the local art gallery recently, and admires the work of the potter Grayson Perry.

The place she most likes visiting is Thailand as this is where her son and his wife live. Apart from this, the place she would most like to visit is Myanmar / Burma, which, seeing as it is the country right next to Thailand, sounds like a realistic possibility.

A perfect evening for Margaret is a trip with friends and family to the theatre, preferably to see a comedy such as One Man and Two Guvnors, followed by a glass, or several, of wine and a natter back at home (and of course a cup of tea).

Many of Margaret’s plots come from past work experiences, or individuals she met through work – all heavily disguised. She is also influenced by books and plays she has read. Her favourite author is Jane Austen, and she enjoys witty romances, detective novels and a range of non-fiction titles.

Her favourite book changes over time and is usually one she has recently read (she doesn’t, these days, persevere with anything she finds boring). 

Currently her recommended read is Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is high on her to be re-read list. Meanwhile she is reading David Nokes’s biography of Jane Austen, having just watched the new film Love and Friendship based on one of her novellas. This is a great film, by the way, and one she would like to see again shortly. The biography is a bit long winded, so she may not finish it.

Margaret says she would have a rather impoverished life if she had to rely on her income from writing. She has spent most of her adult life working with offenders, victims of crime, and troubled families. 

Now largely retired with a modest, but adequate, pension she is able to give more time to writing. At least writing regularly every day takes her mind off wondering why her royalties are so small.

Her advice to someone who wanted to be a writer is to just do it. Also to read widely, including trashy books that you throw down in disgust, convinced you can do better than that. You probably can.

Book and Social Media Links:

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Margaret-Egrot/1374506486178952

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meegrot

Website: www.margaretegrotwriter.weebly.com

Blog: www.writingandbreathing.wordpress.com 

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