IndieView with Rosemary Hayward, author of Margaret Leaving

Not that the book is erudite or difficult, but I think you need to read all of it, and be prepared work at it, before you can appreciate it. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it? Have a website and a Facebook presence. After the first draft is written I write an outline, in order to keep things straight and coherent. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Both. In Santa Cruz, California and Seville, Spain. It is very important that the writer stays true to the character they have created and Jenny North is a person who was taught, by her parents and by the society she grew up in, to keep her feelings to herself: not to be expressive, not to be “lovey-dovey” and most definitely not to lose her temper.  
Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Byatt and Kate Atkinson are some of the Brits. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? What do I know? I have worked on Margaret Leaving for many years. Margaret Leaving is a mystery plot. A good mystery is one that keeps the reader, or watcher, thinking until the end. I revived it after meeting Shelly King (the author of The Moment of Everything) upon my return to California in 2000. They also must have interesting characters and interesting interaction between the characters. Get your copy of   Margaret Leaving from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Jenny’s father claims he knows no more about where she has gone, or why than Jenny does. Who knows what they do in their other life. That’s where I started. Rosemary Hayward leads you into the changing world of late twentieth England, as seen through the eyes of a serious minded and intelligent heroine who doesn’t always behave so very heroically. The search for Margaret takes Jenny from Oxford to Paris and from 1967 back to the Second World War. Do you have a target reader? That might sound pompous. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? I was inspired, initially, by wanting to get into the head of a militant suffragette. So, I started with a bookish 17 year-old who realizes she could possibly go to the best university in the world, because I was once that girl. Have other people critique your work. I can’t start writing the scene until it is visually and audibly present in my head. For example, the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in the first decade of the twentieth century is the inspiration for my next book. Morse is a prime example of the sort of mystery writing that has influenced me directly when it comes to plotting. Then I read and write and rewrite again. Ironically, I struggled most with the very thing I started with, showing the emotions and thoughts of my principal character. I use British words even if my American readers won’t understand them, and I use long words and long sentences. And I believe it is a good book, worthy of being read by a wider audience. When it comes to the intersection with recorded history, I have based some characters on actual historical figures I found in my research, and portrayed real events in which they were involved. From then on I worked on the novel, work-shopped it, and learned how to write. I need to be inspired by a topic. Jenny lives the next fifteen years of her life vacillating between desperately wanting Margaret and desperately wanting to get her out of her life forever. Inventing new characters. I have a plan and I think it is a realistic one considering there is only me to activate it. Why did Margaret go? Characters can never be purely fictitious. She was essential to getting the novel into the final “ready to greet the world” state and particularly helpful in the matter of getting the chapters organized in a way that grounds the reader in time and space. The mystery of Margaret’s past that runs Jenny’s life affects all these other lives too. Margaret walked out of Jenny North’s life on Friday, June 16th 1967. I’m sure there are others but you don’t really want my entire bookshelf. Now I have three women and a major women’s issue that faces each of them in their own day, an issue that can be looked at from more than one side. I’ve just checked my little bookshelf here in Seville and it includes Chris Cleave, Iain Pears and Sebastain Faulks. The concept of what authorial voice is, not the way they do it. Get the book into local bookstores. What would you like readers to know about you. Did you hire a professional editor? And then I made something happen to her that threatened that possibility, because I once knew someone who gave up a place at Oxford because his parents died and he fought social services for custody of his younger brothers and sisters. Margaret Leaving is about Jenny North’s search for answers about her stepmother, Margaret. You are unlikely to make your fortune. However, influence is a more subtle thing than imitation. It’s noticeable on thinking about this how few male authors I have included. I deliberately chose a British designer, since this is a British book, written in British English and set in England. But there is not a lot of time and money behind me. I am an accountant and tax preparer, and was once a teacher of accounting and taxation. How long did it take you to write it? Where did you get the idea from? About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? In 1995, when I was living in California for a year, without a work permit. Margaret leaves the family home when Jenny is seventeen years old. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? I think I take authorial voice from them. And I don’t go easy on the language. Get some reviews. You still have to write to the standards of the traditional published market, if not to its tastes. Yes, roughly 75, both American and British. We all know how important it is for writers to read. And she discovers why all is not as it seemed. They all write about what matters, deep in the human heart. I started with emotion. I wanted to get it into the hands of my friends, if nobody else. Yes, and I took her suggestions to heart, although I didn’t act on all of them. Yes and no. Do you outline? I want to write the sort of books I want to read. They must necessarily be based on the author’s internal experience of her own thoughts and emotions and on her observation of other people. S. What emotion have I felt that I can easily give to a character? I love writing the first scenes with a new character, giving them faces, gestures and things to say. The cover design is by Peter O’Connor of Bespoke Book Covers of the UK. It is deliberately complex and multi-layered. However, none of my characters mirror a person I know. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? When you have written, make sure it is the best you can write. In the meantime, she has a life to lead: a father, friends, lovers and colleagues. Along the way Jenny learns who her relatives are, and who her friends are. So, what are her internal thoughts and feelings? Do you listen to music while you write? I have never consciously tried to write in the style of another author. This is harder than it sounds, because many emotions are too connected to harsh experiences for a beginning fiction writer to tackle. I mostly watch them on television. Nobody I know has been “put in my book”. Next I give them a plot. I read a lot of classical literature: Dickens is wonderful for social indignation and outrageous characters, Austen for irony, Elliot for soul searching, and Tolstoy knows how to conjure up a scene better than any other author I know. I write and rewrite as I go along. I think of the plot as a framework to hang everything else on, so to that extent there is an initial outline. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? There are many ideas in Margaret Leaving. Rosemary Hayward – 20 June 2017
The Back Flap
The past is never past. And remember you are doing it for the sake of art. Then I invent characters. The militant branch of the British suffragette movement is lauded as heroic now but if those women did some of the things they did then now, and with the organization they created, we would call them domestic terrorists. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? I need peace and quiet to write. It’s a matter of integrity, of being true to myself. It’s magical realism, intense introspection and comedy. Margaret told nobody where she was going or why. Over and over. At seventeen years old, Jenny expected to go to college to study history, not to have her life haunted by the mystery of her stepmother’s past. Write first. So, I wanted to give people the chance to do that work, to stretch themselves a bit, because I like books that make me do that. Use a literary editor and an independent proofreader, think very carefully about which self-publishing method suits you and your book and only do your own cover if you are also a cover designer. In the Hertfordshire countryside, about halfway between the English towns of Luton and St. I like mysteries but rarely read them. Could I get from the beginning to the end and fill out the middle? I wanted to see if I could create characters and a plot. Publish online. And she didn’t think she would spend fifteen years trying to find out who Margaret really was and why she left. When did you start writing the book? Books I bought to read on planes, all historical novels. Arrange some publicity events. End of Interview:
For more from Rosemary, visit her website or like her page on Facebook. A historian should know that. They must necessarily be based on the author’s internal experience of her own thoughts and emotions and on her observation of other people. If I think about male authors I come up with Neil Gaiman, Louis de Bernières, Terry Pratchett , Umberto Eco, Douglas Adams, John Fowles and Gabriel García Márquez. I dream up a scene in my head, write it down, dream up the next scene, and so on. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? What came easily? I also read a lot of modern female authors: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, and Joan Didion are some of my American favorites, and Zadie Smith,   Monica Ali, Hilary Mantel, A. However, none of my characters mirror a person I know. What are you working on now? Not getting any interest from the traditional market combined with the increased opportunities for self-publishing. The photograph is by Cristina Expósito Escalona, my multi-talented daughter-in-law. About You
Where did you grow up? Get the word out to my friends and acquaintances. It has something to say. I try to write like that. No. It doesn’t fit easily into a genre and it doesn’t have a classical “grab you in the first chapter, root for her however unpleasant she is” heroine. Albans. I think I answered this above. I don’t want to write that, but I love to read it. Characters can never be purely fictitious. Sorry. A novel with the working title Crocus Fields that involves the interlocked stories of three women, one in the present day, one in the nineteen-seventies and one in the first decade of the twentieth century. So I am going to answer that question as “What was the thought that first got words onto the screen?” I had not written fiction since high school but I had half a lifetime of reading it under my belt. About the book
What is the book about? Where do you live now? Then I write. So, please don’t underestimate your tax preparer. Or only myself. So, I like the way these particular men write historical fiction, I guess: highly plotted, true to the period, with a message, and no indulgence in sex and violence even when writing about sex and violence. No. Nobody I know has been “put in my book”. After I returned to the UK, and my job as a lecturer in a further education college, the book, which was then called Present Imperfect, was put aside. She suggested I attend a writing conference with her and I was overwhelmed by the sheer pleasure of having other writers taking my work seriously. It took me many rewrites before I got there and I have a character a lot of readers find it hard to get to know and like, but I think I have the real Jenny North.