Interview with Bea Turvey

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's that word 'inspire' that makes me pause. Nothing inspires me to leave my bed, but many things make me need to leave it, like going to the loo or having to eat; a few things make me want to leave it, such as spending time with my family or wanting to write down my thoughts; some things force me to leave, like my duty and obligation to ensure the house is clean, the pets and children looked after, the bills paid (ie going to work). Need/Want/force, but inspire? Nope. The opposite if anything.
Describe your desk
My desk is actually my dining table (boo hoo) and, when it is my desk, it is covered in all the slips of paper where I've jotted down little phrases or lines. I have a laptop, my writing book, my jotter, a pencil and a fountain pen. Up until my most recent book, I would write the book in its entirety in longhand (using pencil) before typing it onto the computer.
Sometimes, my desk is non existent and I scribble away in by book while sitting in my chair - the one you see in the profile picture. Words flow more easily for me that way.
One day, I tell myself, you'll have a whole room to yourself, with shelves of interesting things that spark the imagination, photos and magazine clippings on the walls and a door to keep everyone out.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as a child but stopped when I got to secondary school because my first English teacher was horrible and very demoralising.
Don't ever let anyone stopped your creativity. The only way to get better at anything is to keep doing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wrote a book and had friends (who like the same style of books as I do) read it. They gave me some feedback, I made changes, edited as much as I was able and sent if off to various publishers. They in turn came back with comments like: 'too many characters'; 'not enough characters'; 'needs to be steamier'; 'needs more dialogue'; too much dialogue', 'too long'; 'too short', etc.
I realised that every publisher is looking for something different and, while they are the experts, I can't please all of them; if I went with one particular publisher I would be constrained and have to rewrite to follow their rules, which not only might alienate some readers, but my creative flow would be stymied.
Then, I was picked up by a publisher who like my book and I went with them and they were the ones who promo-ed the idea of Indie publishing, so here I am. Happy to write, with my editor keeping it tight.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Expression. All creative people are like slowly filling balloons. We absorb everything we see, hear and think and within us create a whole new world; if we don't have the opportunity to release those thoughts and ideas, we may just explode in unsavoury ways.
The joy is in feeling the words and the way they create a whole way of thinking and feeling outside of the way you felt and thought before you read them, the same way a piece of music will fill you with ecstasies or agonies or make you cry, the way a painting will make you blink and gasp, a sculpture will make you want to touch, etc.
I do not write with the intention of making anyone feel anything. That is not my aim. I need only to express. But the truth of all creative enterprise is that the creative process is merely half of the equation. The end product needs someone to read/feel/touch/see for it to be complete.
Writing makes me feel things as much as reading does.
Who are your favorite authors?
That is such a tough question. Like reading and writing, my favourite at the time is all dependent on my mood, but I have a few books I will continually dip in and out of, if that helps. They are:
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde (what a wit)
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (my life is pretty great)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (romance in a nutshell)
Animal Farm by George Orwell (vegetarian politics and pig-headed, greedy politicians)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (something to get you thinking)
A History of the World in 100 Object by Neil MacGregor (trying to find something that beats the 'pencil')
Oxford English Dictionary (I will soak up these words until my sponge-like soul is dripping)

I'm not kidding about that last one. It would be one of my luxuries to take onto a desert island. With enough words, you can create vast universes with your mind. Your body may starve, but your soul will be fulfilled.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Like anyone else, I suppose: work, clean the house, sort out children and pets... Yawn.
Then there's the fun side of spending 'quality' time with family and friends (not doing any of the above).
if what you're really asking is, what do I enjoy doing in my free time, it would be: cycle, swim, walk, go to the theatre or cinema, visit museums and art shows, go to the pub and do lots of silly things with the kids. I have a long bucket list which includes the likes of paragliding, free-falling, bungee jumping and petting elephants, but those are for after (when the kids no longer need us and work is not an issue); my husband's already told me he'll stay on the ground taking photos and looking after the beer.
Yesterday evening I went to the cinema with a friend to watch Fifty Shades and I drank choco-nana shakes laced with vodka. That was fun.
What is your writing process?
Ooh, this is a good one and many 'writing' experts will tell you plotting is essential. Others will say you have to have the characters down pat before you begin, to the last mole. Yet others will say you must have a beginning, a conflict and a resolution.
Me? I put pencil to paper and am as surprised as the reader at what comes out. My characters flow onto the page, plots emerge, conflicts occur and it all meshes together a month or so later. I don't create a plot-web and flesh it out, I start at the beginning and write until I get to the end. In re-reading the story, I have to expand and contract certain areas, but on the whole it is like unravelling a spool of thread. I can only hope it will turn out to be golden, rather than cheap cotton.
How do you approach cover design?
It's galling to admit that I don't really approach cover design. Someone has to throw me into it, fully clothed, kicking and screaming - I behave like a reluctant child being forced into climbing the high rope in PE. I'm rubbish at it, have no sense of creative style, no artistic flair and my aim is to finish two minutes ago, which is why the cover for my book, Banished was dull and boring until my daughter snatched it off me and reinvented it.
My medium is words, not pictures.
What's the story behind your latest book?
That's a tough question as I have several books on the go. I write as I read - more than one book at a time. It really depends on the mood I'm in, so, in this instance, I'll tell you about the book I was working on last night.
It is about a girl who lost her mum when she was very small and went to live in a boarding school where she was bullied. before you go thinking 'Little Princess', let me warn you there is no rescue from a family friend. She learns to cope and the book drops us into her life as a young adult, when she almost dies and meets the love of her life, all within the same evening. That one evening is the beginning, for it gets her rethinking her priorities.
Writing this is as tough as creating the blurb for a book, encapsulating the idea without giving too much away. Was it Mark Twain who wrote, I don't have time to write short stories?
Published 2017-02-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

What U Lookin At?
Price: Free! Words: 1,370. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
(4.00 from 1 review)
Short story about bullying, bullies and how it takes a certain mind to turn a life around...or maybe not. The first story in my 'A Nod To The Past' series.
Molly's Needs
Price: Free! Words: 1,680. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
(5.00 from 1 review)
A short story about abandonment and choices. Whether it is the wrong or right choice, it will inevitably have an impact on someone else.
The Red Shoes
Price: Free! Words: 1,200. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(3.67 from 3 reviews)
Final words are just that. Final. A short story about regret.