My Writing Day… Katherine Hetzel Writes for Children.

A cupcake and some Booktique samples

Author of Granny Rainbow (my kids love this book!), Katherine Hetzel gives a sneaky pic into her day…

My writing day never begins with writing. It starts with sandwich-making, teenager-encouraging, searches for PE kits or homework, and if I’m lucky, a slice of toast when the house empties around 8am…

Getting the words actually written is usually feast or famine with me. I’m not a very disciplined writer at all. I can’t do the ‘so many words a day’ or ‘sit and write between 10 and 12 kind of thing. Instead, I have a list of jobs that need to be done and once they’re out of the way ( those school shirts won’t iron themselves – and the loo cleaning fairy always gives my house a miss) I can finally allow myself some time to write. But even then, I might decide not to write. I’ve normally got some knitting on the go as well, or a book I’m reading, or some other artsy-craftsy thing I’m currently into. Or perhaps I’ll be working on a blog post or organising a book launch party or chase up some schools about author visits…Decisions, decisions!

When I AM in the mood to write, I’m usually in the lounge, sat at one end of the sofa with the laptop on my knees and music (varied, though Muse is my band of choice) on the Bosch. It’s the warmest room in the house, y’see, especially when the sun streams in through the French windows. I usually allow myself a couple of hours at a time, maybe more. I tend to write longhand when I’m at the ideas stage of a story, regardless of whether it’s a short or a novel (hence the piles of notebooks next to the sofa!) because  I find it helps me to think through the story. Only when I think I’m about there with an outline do I start typing up on the laptop, editing as I go.

My other favourite place to write – but only on term-time Tuesdays – is in the car. My children belong to a local orchestra, and rather than fight to get across town during rush hour twice in the space of an hour and half, I sit in the school’s car park and write. I can’t access the internet there so I get a heck of a lot done.

I have to stop writing when the kids come home or it’s time to cook – though dinner has been known to be late because ‘I just need to get to the end of this bit!’ And evenings are spent doing homework, (the kids, not me) so I have to give up the laptop in the name of research or on-line homework quizzes. Back to the paper and pen…

By bedtime, I’m usually thinking over some plot point, running things through my head to try to make things work. If I’m inspired, on goes my lava-lamp light so I can jot the idea down in a notebook kept beside the bed for just that eventuality.

In the morning, it starts all over again… and I might even get to use that bedtime idea.

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