judyfinniganWe are so excited about Judy’s fantastic new novel I Do Not Sleep (see our review in this week’s issue of Woman).

We asked Judy to tell us about what books she loves, what inspires her writing and her tips for budding authors…

Did you write stories when you were a child?

Yes – I came in the top three of a short story competition in the Sunday Express. I can’t remember anything about it now other than it was something about a pony!

What books and authors did you read when you were young?

I loved the Anne of Green Gables stories, Little Women, and Angela Brazil’s boarding school romps.

What helps you come up with plotlines? (eg, hot bath, long walks)

Sitting and thinking in a quiet place, jotting down ideas when they occur – it’s so easy to forget little bursts of inspiration.  Chatting with Richard – we both talk over the plotlines for our books together and it really helps.

What is your writing routine?

I need a very quiet room with no distractions. I sometimes write in bed, too, but mostly on the dining room table with all my notes and reference books around me – never knowingly without a Thesaurus – and the door into the hall firmly closed.

What tips would you give to aspiring writers?

Have faith in your own inner voice.  Write exactly in the style YOU want. Don’t try to copy others; be yourself. Don’t be afraid to go back and change things, but don’t obsess about what you’ve written, either – keep moving forward. And more than anything – GET STARTED. Procrastination is the thief of good writing!

Do you have an idea for your next novel?

None whatsoever.

Do you have a favourite classic novel?

Jane Eyre.

What novels are you reading at the moment?

Along with Richard, the long list for our summer reads 2015. The standard is, as ever, awesomely high.  It’s going to be really tough to choose the final eight that make it on to our dedicated bookstands in WHSmith.

What’s your favourite literary quote?

‘Reader, I married him.’