Interview with Margot Bish

What are you working on next?
I have three short cat stories that I would like to publish as one book for 5-7 year olds. It is on hold while I get better at drawing cats from the side, but also because it is difficult to get published or put on as an e-book. However, I enjoy a challenge so will keep working on this until success is achieved
Who are your favorite authors?
There is quite a wide range: Terry Pratchett, Dick Francis, Dennis Bagley, Agatha Christie (even when I reread them, I still get the murderer wrong), Arthur Ransome, Ann Cleeve and Judith Kerr, Susan Hill, Daphne Du Maurier, Susan Cooper and Alan Garner. I could probably write another page, but this will do for now
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Bubble, my cat, leaps on me demanding breakfast at 5am every morning. Admittedly, we sometimes get back into bed for a snuggle once the food is dealt with. A blue sky and beautiful sunrise over the ridge line - my bedroom faces southeast is great encouragement to get out there with a camera, but also my gardening work is exciting and satisfying, and in the Summer starts at 6.30am and goes on until 6.30pm
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Gardening in some fantastically beautiful gardens, or sailing or walking. I used to cycle a lot but as I get round my gardening customers by bicycle it is nice to walk when I get the chance.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
To be honest, I prefer paper books which can be read in bed
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote loads at school. One was called "Cut off by the tide" and involved a boy discovering a magical cave when he couldn't get back the way he came. I also filled a whole exercise book with a story about a bunch of nails and screws that escape from an attic and go to live in a forest because they do not realise that the dreaded fingers do not eat nails, only attach them to walls etc. The happy ending is them proudly holding a child's picture up on a wall and being proud of their responsibility. I was 12 when I wrote that
What is your writing process?
A lot of my writing seems to go to my fingers without passing through my conscious brain. When the idea comes, it just has to be written. The concentration comes when the first draft is done and I need to improve the similes, metaphors, conversation etc
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think it was "I am a bunny" and I loved the simplicity of the rabbit's year - a season on each double page. I can still remember the pictures and the last line "In Winter, I curl up in my hollow tree and sleep until Spring" - totally inaccurate of course!
How do you approach cover design?
My publishers do most of the suggesting here although I want it to portray the more exciting parts of the story inside
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Masquerade by Terry Pratchett - because he gets me to laugh at the stupidities of the human race - especially the nations that are supposed to be civilised. Mog's First Christmas because the story is simple , realistic and has a happy ending, We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea - because it suggests that the world of adventure is within reach and the pride shown by father for son gives me a warm glow, Decider by Dick Francis - a flowing story where good conquers evil by use of brain rather than muscle, Acorn Winter or Dolphin Sunrise - Elizabeth Webster has a beautiful way of helping people deal with death - I normally have a good cry and feel better for it
What do you read for pleasure?
I am making my way through the crime section of the library at the moment because it exercises my brain but Dick Francis and Terry Pratchett get picked off the shelf for a reread on a regular basis
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Not very experienced at this. I just prefer a paper edition (sorry)
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Walking around saying to people "Do you want to look at my book?"
I'm trying to contact schools, but only one school has so far bothered to respond which I've found disappointing
The local paper did a great article but only two people actually responded to it
I'm now trying ebay and my own website but no luck so far. Maybe facebook will help?
Describe your desk
No desk, laptop on my knee wherever the sun will shine on me and not dazzle the screen!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Reigate Surrey, moved to Wick in Wales when I was 2, then Chester when I was three and back to Farnham, Surrey when I was 14. A Difficult Age is based on my moving house at 14, which I hated. My first sail was on the River Dee at Chester aged 6, which was the beginning of my sailing experiences leading to teaching sailing from the age of 22.... and this is where the second book comes in.......When I moved aged 14, I also kept in touch with my old best mate from Chester and we regularly sent each other stories and pictures about a village we made up in America called Solbaiile. The stories went from its discovery in the 1700's to daily life in the late 1800's. Quite an epic!
When did you first start writing?
Aged seven but I never got anything published until my thirties when a few poems were published over a five year period
What's the story behind your latest book?
I had a great childhood which included sailing with my Dad from age 6 - 18. I feel sad when I see so many children missing out on the great outdoors. I'm hoping that reading my book will encourage youngsters to give the big outside a try
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'll tell you later
Published 2014-12-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Through The Storm
You set the price! Words: 17,320. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
An adventure story for 9-12 year olds. Ross is on his first holiday without his parents, when a sudden storm separates him and his friends from their sailing instructor and tests their powers of initiative to the limit while they wait to be rescued. This tale is the modern answer to Swallows and Amazons and The Famous Five.
A Difficult Age
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 16,970. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Joe's decision to join a gang to make friends leads him into big trouble, smuggling and murder. You need to read it to find out if Joe can make the right decisions to keep his gang friends safe but see an end to the cruel and villainous scheme he has witnessed This thriller is aimed at teenagers but is also proving popular with adults looking for a short read - about 2.5 hours