I continued my irregular series, Wednesday night, by attending Sandhurst Library's author event with writer Salley Vickers - which was quite a good night. I jumped on her (not in the literal sense) as soon as she arrived, taking her to the loudest part of the library to conduct my brief interview for Litopia's Podcast, and my NAW course (I need evidence for my Professional Development module - I think a one-to-one masterclass with a successful author has to be better than having to drive all the way up to Birmingham for one of their prearranged masterclasses, at least upon my weariness).
Whilst she chewed on her evening snack and sipped tea, trying to forget her M4 journey, and getting lost in the rabbit-warren's of Sandhurst, I gradually dropped my questions in. I have to say, she was a really nice lady, easy to talk to, and only too happy to discuss the finer points of writing that she doesn't usually get to talk about (author events are 99% decked out in readers, who are more interested in character and plot... I wanted something more).
In the early moments before I shoved my dictaphone beneath her nose I bored her with where I was in my own writing, the NAW course and my wife's degree in English and Classics (Salley's studied and taught English too; my wife is annoyed that she couldn't make it because the two of them could have chuntered on about Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles until the cows came home). I told her that I'd been attempting to write a novel on child abuse, and there she stopped me - and this is perhaps the most pertinent point of the evening for me - and said that a writer should never attempt to cover an already existing topic, certainly not child abuse with the current trend of non-fiction child abuse books in the market. Point well taken; I'd best stick to the Young Adult book then.
You can read the evening's write-up (which includes my 13 minute on-to-one interview): Salley Vickers night