Interview with Freya Barrington

When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a teenager. Mainly, I wrote poetry because I liked the way words sounded when they rhymed - I enjoyed their rhythm. My favourite poem is "The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare as has a feeling of mystery. My favourite children's poem is "The Dormouse and the Doctor" by AA Milne, which I feel is an excellent moral tale about minding one's own business and leaving well alone.
What is the story behind your book titled Known to Social Services?
The story behind my book is that social work is one of the most negatively portrayed professions in society. As a child protection social worker, I wanted to highlight the difficulties faced by social workers in their day-to-day lives. I wanted the general public to become aware of the reality of the harsh job they do, so I created the fictional character of social worker, Diane Foster. Then I wrote a fictional narrative about Diane and the caseload of children she is responsible for protecting.
What motivated you to become an author?
My motivation as an author sprang from my desire to increase awareness for the general public about the true nature of the job of a social worker. I was somewhat weary of the negative portrayal of social workers in the media and wanted to offer an authentic view of the role of a child protection social worker and the real dilemmas faced.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I write for pleasure - it gives me a channel to express my innermost feelings. My greatest joy, however, comes from the positive responses of people who read my work. To hear colleagues and students of social work, as well as the general public, affirm my work is the best outcome I could ever hope for.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on the sequel to "Known to Social Services." This book will follow some of the same characters, but will be set in another country and address another, very real and troubling issue. I do not wish to give too much information away at this point, but I am hoping that people will find it similarly gripping and engaging.
What is your writing process?
I have to be inspired to write. My best time for writing is often in the early hours of the morning when most "normal" people are in bed. I enjoy the solitude and quiet of the hours between midnight and 6.00am, and my best writing is done at that time. When I write, the story almost tells itself. I begin a new storyline and find that it develops as I am writing. My husband, Steve, is also very inspirational: he has provided me with more than one good twist to my stories.
Where did you grow up? How did that influence your writing?
I grew up in Lancashire, England. I feel that my writing was inspired by an early love of reading. As a child, I would spend all my allowance on books. I remember very well going to the local newsagents with my allowance and spending it all on an Enid Blyton book, progressing to Roald Dahl and beyond. As I got older, my first "grown-up" book was Wilbur Smith's "Eagle in the Sky."
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a naturally busy person who loves life. I do not like to be idle, so I am inspired each day to find new challenges - whether that is to write a new blog post, or perhaps a new idea for a storyline in my latest book, or even simply working on promoting my current book. I am never still.
How do you spend your time when you are not writing?
When not writing, I spend time with my husband and greatest supporter, Steve. We might go for a quiet lunch somewhere on the island of Gozo (Maltese Islands) where I am currenly living, enjoying the local cuisine and taking in the stunning views and scenery. Alternatively, we both enjoy spending time with our good friends also in Gozo. I am an avid birdwatcher, so will often find a tranquil spot to see if I can observe any migratory birds. I also enjoy walking and find many beautiful places where to do so. I love traveling. This summer will find Steve and I in France for several months as we expand our horizons. We also enjoy music, theatre and a good movie.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I recall making up was not one that I wrote, but one that I simply made up for my children when they were really young. It was about a rabbit, a badger and a wizard. I loved reading to them at bedtime, especially the stories of AA Milne or Beatrix Potter.
What do you read for pleasure?
For my own pleasure, I enjoy a wide variety of literature. I am a fan of Dan Brown, Phillipa Gregory, Khaled Hosseini, James Morgan Ayres and Kate Atkinson. I also love the classics such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Dickens. My favourite book of all time, however, is :The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy. This book won the 1998 Man Booker Prize for fiction and it is, quite simply, the most moving book I have ever read. I read it at least once a year and cry every time.
Published 2015-03-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Caught in Traffick
Price: $11.99 USD. Words: 92,870. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2016 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Social Work
'Caught in Traffick' is the sequel to 'Known to Social Services', and continues the story of social worker Diane Foster. Set mainly in Thailand; Diane and her partner Ethan are on a working holiday, blissfully unaware of the dangers lurking against the beautiful backdrop of white beaches and glorious monuments. With gripping twists and turns, hair-raising rescue attempts & heart breaking tragedies
Gozo: Is the Grass Greener?
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 76,520. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health
"Gozo: Is the Grass Greener?" is the story of the bestselling author, Freya Barrington, and her husband, Steve, when they moved from the UK to live on the small, Mediterranean island of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago.
Known to Social Services
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 72,420. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2015 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Social Work, Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Abuse / general
Written from life experience and ringing with authenticity, Known to Social Services follows Diane Foster, a dedicated social worker, into the grim, grey world of the Deacon Hill estate in Millbrook and the tormented lives of its inhabitants.