I would like to welcome Philippa Jane Keyworth to speak with me today about her writing.
Philippa, why do you write?
Ooo, what a question. This is like asking how my brain works. It’s a little crazy and I can’t quite work it out.
Writing is a very unique thing, kind of like art is to a particular artist. I remember having real trouble comparing myself to other writers when I first started to actively pursue writing, and sometimes I catch myself doing it now, though not on the same level as before.
The way I write is rather haphazard, but not because I am a haphazard person, if you talk to my husband he’d tell you I’m a little too into my checklists, but with writing I just get so excited. When I get excited I get carried away, and suddenly I’m blazing along writing without a thought to grammar, correct spelling, plot-holes or realistic characterization. All I care about when I’m writing something new is what is happening and how it’s all going to end.
You see, I start off with just a scene in my head and it’s usually on repeat. It sometimes happens when I’m listening to a song. Until I get that scene down it’s going to plague me and when I do I find myself carrying straight on to the next scene. Then plot lines begin to sprout, running ahead of my writing and swerving to the left and right. I know roughly what’s going to happen at the end, I’ve already started writing the beginning; the fun part is not knowing how I’m going to connect the two.
Then as it gets towards the end my writing becomes even sparser as I run downhill in a sprint to the finish line and yes! I’m done.
Then, I spend time typing up anything I’ve written by hand (usually in front of a favorite TV program) and save it all and…leave it.
I probably leave a manuscript to simmer for about six months or more. And I don’t think about it until I feel the time is right and it’s been long enough. I then read through the manuscript to fall back in love with the characters and storyline, someone suggested me doing that, I can’t remember if it was June Hur or M. M. Bennetts.
Then come the edits. I do lots of drafts until it’s up to the standard that I consider ready for a publisher to see.
But that’s a very rough idea of how I write. I mean, I fit that in between jobs and university, and in reality, every story I’ve written has been different, some taking longer, some taking a relatively short time, some very difficult dealing with harder subjects to handle. It all depends and there really isn’t a box I can put myself into. I just plain don’t want to and neither should any author feel they have to!
How has writing impacted your life?
That’s a funny one. In some ways it really hasn’t, in other ways I guess it does. I mean, I don’t really consider the impact it has on my life as it is just part of it and has been ever since I was quite little.
The main thing, and one of the most amusing, is when I tell people I write stories. I don’t talk about it that much with people I don’t know very well, but if it does come up they usually either get very excited because they’re a reader or writer, or they have this hilarious confused expression before they move swiftly on to the next subject. Maybe this happens to other authors? I don’t know J
Writing is great fun, I expend loads of my feelings doing it, and I love talking to other writers. But one of the hardest things I find is balancing it with other things. Sometimes I think it’s such a good thing I have commitments besides writing and that I have a husband telling me I need to stop, otherwise I’d find myself a nice little cave somewhere and never come out. You’d find me years later hunched over a typewriter still tapping away.
What advice would you give to beginner writers?
I still feel like a bit of a beginner writer. I think there’s always things to learn. Then again, if I were to say anything I’d say firstly, just write, write, write. You can always improve your writing by writing more. Then I’d say read lots and get a book on grammar and punctuation if you want to think of showing that manuscript to others. Then find some friends you trust and whose opinions you value and have them read your work. And if you want to pursue publishing be persistent.
Finally, the biggy in my opinion, is learning to be humble. Your work is going to be really precious to you. It always will be as it’s a bit of an outpouring from your heart. But remember that although the main themes are that, the package of grammar, sentence structure and paragraphing aren’t always fundamental to what you’re trying to get across, and that if they are coaxed into submission, people will understand your work better. So be willing to better your work and listen to loving advice that comes from people you trust.
Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.
Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.
Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow’s Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago.
So, what are you waiting for? Get swept away into another time with characters you will learn to love, and experience the British Regency like never before.
Link to The Widow’s Redeemer: Amazon
Link to The Unexpected Earl: Amazon
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