Interview with Geraldine Humphries

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Researching and imagining myself as characters in that era, which in my case is early Victorian, especially the Crimean War. Some people think I'm old enough to remember first hand - I sometimes feel that old!
What are you working on next?
While working on 'Blood on their Petticoats, I learned a lot about the women whose soldier husbands went off to the Crimea. I started with them readying themselves, then the trauma of the draw on the dock to see if they could board - only six women per one hundred men. Their journey to Varna, and then on to the Crimea, where they trekked across to Sevastopol and Balaclava. I have tried to weave my fictional characters stories into the war time-line.I have a working title, not very original, 'MUD on their Petticoats', can't think of any other title at present, but it does sum up that time in history. It is very slow going because of the research. I cross reference everything through diaries and letters from that age. I also have a supernatural Victorian/modern day story started,
What is your writing process?
I work very slowly, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, then double check and edit, and edit, etc . I really do envy those who can write a story without all the faffing.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm old, I like the 19th century writers, but I think Wilkie Collins is my favourite.
When did you first start writing?
I didn't start writing until I was in my fifties. My first story went into the local free newspaper, my second into an anthology for new writers, my third won a smallish competition, and my fourth became a runner-up in a larger competition.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My cats. When you get to my age, which is 73, there's no reason to rush, except THEY get impatient. I have been a chairperson.secretary of a writing group for nine years, and that has always given me plenty to do, administering the website, www.castlewritersdudley.co.uk, working on anthologies, proofreading, etc., although I am stepping down in a couple of weeks, so the cats are going to have to be more patient!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was absolutely useless at writing stories at school, but when I decided I wanted to write, which was in my fifties, I saw an advert in the local free newspaper for a Victorian Christmas story, I thought, 'I can do that', and I did, and it went in on that Christmas Eve, and I received a £3 gift token, I really felt like a writer - of course, reading it since, oh dear!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I've mentioned before the writing group, but as I'm now a little decrepit, I watch a lot of sport on the television - thank goodness for Eurosport! I'm not a team-game person, I love individual sports, as I was a swimmer and then an international fencer back in the age of the dinosaur.
How do you approach cover design?
With a great deal of trepidation. I've only had three, two I did myself for Smashwords - the first one I didn't like, the other was done by the publisher of my paperback. I wanted something similar but couldn't get it to work whatever program I used, so I made it as simple as possible, and I quite like it.
Published 2014-08-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Blood On Their Petticoats
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,960. Language: British English. Published: July 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Educational
For Isobel Spry the war in the Crimea meant one thing at first – her lover Edmund was a surgeon there, working in the hospitals, operating on soldiers back from the battlefields. Having had a little experience in nursing, she decides to accompany and assist Florence Nightingale in tending to the sick and wounded. But what she finds there is far beyond what her genteel sensibilities could imagine.