Next up in the Author In The Zone series is Marit Meredith.
Marit Meredith was born and brought up in Norway, but travelled to London in 1972 on what was supposed to be what we now call a 'gap year.' She met her future husband weeks into her stay and married three months later. She settled into family life (six daughters, and now eight grandchildren, too) in a lovely little Welsh village where the Bard himself is supposed to have been inspired to write Midsummer Night Dream.
Hi Marit. Welcome to the series. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I could put a sentence together on the page. My essays were always read out in school – but of course, that was all in Norwegian. I started writing articles and readers’ letters in English, in my early twenties and it evolved from there.
Tell us a little about your publishing endeavours?
I have had comments, articles, poems, true-life stories and short stories published, as well as having work published in anthologies: Against The Clock by Grail Writers (in aid of the Alzheimer Society), MS Talent: Volume 1 (in aid of the MS cause), 43 ‘L’ Plates by Fygleaves and recently in the SlingInk anthology Anti-clockwise.
I published ‘Another Haircut?’ after challenging fellow writers to write on the subject, in aid of the Children’s Chronic Arthritis Society (through Lulu), and last year – after another challenge, I published 24 Stories for Advent (Lulu again), in aid of Save the Children.
I also self published a short story collection, ‘Tea Time Morsels’, and have several projects on the go, the most important being the Children’s Stories Anthology challenge ‘Shambelurkling and Other Stories’ which I aim to have published in time for Christmas. The recipient of the royalties will be The National Autistic Society (NAS) EarlyBird Plus Programme.
Have you had any dealing with mainstream publishers?
I have sent manuscripts off to mainstream publishers in the past, but after a few rejections I decided to look at smaller publishers. One Indie publisher was going to publish my ‘Rheumatically Challenged’ ms, but decided that the readership was not big enough (the ms is currently with another publisher). From smaller publishers to self publishing seemed a very small step to take.
You run an eZine. Tell us a little about it?
The Apprentice Writer, the website I run with my daughter Kristina, and that's where we run our eZine, The Pages. We started the magazine 2 years ago offering a platform for novice writers and the more experienced writers alike, and it’s going strong. It can be hard work, but it is definitely a labour of love.
Do you have a writing process?
I don’t suppose I have a process as such. Ideas float round in my mind, begging to be written, and whenever I get a chance, I sit down and just write. I have tried mapping out in advance when writing fiction, but it doesn’t work for me. My characters dictate, if you like. Writing non-fiction is a bit different, as there are various areas to cover, but all I do is writing down suggested chapter.
What are you working on right now?
Works in progress includes a completed novel where Alzheimer's wreaks havoc with family life and memories, and 'Diary by a Would-Be-Protagonist', where the character explores everything between heaven and earth and has an on-going tussle with my alter ego (Anna Reiers). It is still up on Authonomy. It was doing very well, but I just couldn't give the time I needed to comment on other writers' work, so have left it alone for the past year or so.
Your charity work via your books is obviously important to you. What made you decide to align some of your work to various charities?
I believe in giving - or ‘paying forward’, if you like. There are always someone one worse off than ourselves, and if I can help in a small way, I will. It actually started years ago when I wanted to give money to help a charity working in the Sudan (Médecins Sans Frontiéres) , but I was broke. Instead I wrote a short story and sent it to a magazine with the request that if they decided to use it, they pay the fee straight to the charity. They did, using it for a double spread call for help for The Sudan, hopefully making even more money for them. The story, ‘Sudanese Cries’, is included in my collection.
Where do you see publishing in the years to come?
I hope that the book will survive in all its guises, but I think that eBooks and Audio Books will become more and more popular, while hoping that the traditional books will survive, too. Unfortunately I can imagine a world where all publishing is digital, but I don’t want to see it happen.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Write from the heart and don’t let anything discourage you. There are lots of good books out there to help you in the early days, but it’s your own voice that is important. Start small, set yourself challenges, just to get into the flow. Flash fiction is a good primer. …and keep reading!
Marit, thank you for your time and wisdom.
For more information on Marit's writing and books visit here.
Marit can also be found on Blogger where she writes an occasional writing blog and a blog on gluten free diets.