Interview with Gloria Dean

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Probably one of the Noddy stories, I found them exciting, a little scary. I loved the illustrations and adored his car. Also it still has an impact on me now, because one of the books no longer seems to exist, and no one but me seems to remember it. So I am determined to find it. It was a somewhat harrowing story, with Noddy being mugged, but when I find it, I will prove I wasn't imagining it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dirk Bogarde, Virginia Wolfe, Iris Murdoch.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I will try to pick a few from so many, Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Wolfe, because it brings about different emotions every time you read it. Dirk Bogarde’s Autobiography, because of the visual impact and poignancy in the writing. Long walk from Harrod’s, again by Dirk Bogarde, simply to enjoy the beautiful and moving writing of this man. The Alfred Munning’s trilogy…An Artist’s life, the Second burst and the Finish, because of the fascinating recounts, well written, sensitive, emotive and compelling. I have to add Dudley and the Strawberry Shake, by Peter Cross and Judy Taylor, because it brought tears of laughter to my small son and I, time after time, after time. The memories of which will never fade.
What is your writing process?
I don’t think I am very good at planning a story in any precise way. I normally think of a character first and develop their personality, this usually starts because I have seen an animal or person that has caught my imagination somewhere, resulting in me telling a story ad lib about them. I do know the beginning and the ending though. Everything in between happens as I write.
What motivated you to become an author?
I have always wanted to write and illustrate stories.
Greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh, so many things, I love the whole creative process and how characters develop, and how stories often take their own lead.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on my Grandparents farm in North Norfolk. I began writing and painting there and would wander for miles with pad and pencil writing about and sketching the animals and things I saw along the way, mainly animals. I go back to that time often, especially for inspiration regarding the countryside that my characters live in.
Describe your desk
I keep my desk very tidy, even when working, clutter disturbs me, and I cannot work until everything is cleared away and in order. I have a stack of ornate faux book storage files and decorative boxes, a plain bamboo pen box., My laptop, the printer, numerous manilla notebooks, sketchbooks and diary always at my right hand.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Harvey Harvest Mouse goes House Hunting, a children’s story in rhyme, it is still in the process of being illustrated, and I have added two more adventures to the series since.
What are you working on next?
My next two books, Chloe the Calico Cat and Spuddy Dog due to be released soon. I am also working on a new Al story and a novel.
How do you approach cover design?
I like to take one striking image from the book that best represents the essence of the story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Macbook Pro.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The day, there is always something new awaiting, and often a little dachshund who won’t let me stay there.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Creating in all it’s many forms, relaxing in my lovely home, practising and teaching Tai Chi.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I spent quite a lot of time watching a little fat gecko who was full of character. You can read the full story on my 'blog': http://www.gloriadean.com/blog/how-i-met-al-the-little-gecko-who-wants-to-paint
Published 2014-11-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.