Guest Feature – Angela Fish

Today I’m delighted to introduce author, Angela Fish, to Patricia’s Pen. Angela has popped over to chat about her writing journey. Without further ado it’s over to Angela.

My Writing Journey

Angela Fish

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog today to share my writing motivation and journey with you.

As a baby and young child I was badly asthmatic and I needed to be kept as quiet as possible! My mother read to me constantly and by the time I was four, I was able to read simple words. Once I could manage on my own I would read everything I could lay my hands on. At age seven I began writing simple rhyming poetry (possible influenced by my Rupert the Bear Annuals!) then short stories, usually full of clever kids undertaking seemingly impossible tasks, and I also tried writing a few plays. One of my teachers was kind enough to allow some of my friends and I to perform a play for the rest of the class. I remember a lot of running around!

From eleven to eighteen, my main creative outpourings were largely reserved for English essays but I never lost my love of reading. After that, life took over and there was little time for writing. I used to make up stories for my boys when they were younger, but only remember writing down one or two, and never really considered publication.

Fast forward some years and I decided to enter university as a mature student, studying Humanities with Creative Writing. This was where I developed my interest in human psychology, of myths and legends from around the world, and I also began writing poetry, almost exclusively. I then completed an MPhil Literature focussing on Images of Welsh Women in the Fiction of Welsh Women Writers 1850-1950. After that I joined the university teaching staff and later specialised in intergenerational work, so my main writing was academic, with some literary articles, as well as poetry. I had a number of magazine/journal articles and poems published but I just couldn’t/wouldn’t commit to writing anything of length.

Fast forward another fifteen years and I took early retirement which allowed me the time to join a number of interest groups such as Family History and Creative Writing, where I returned to writing  prose and also found my feet in the world of Flash Fiction. The Fractured Globe started life as a short story, in response to a writers’ prompt. Several of my group suggested that I write a second story from another character’s point-of-view – not of the same situation, but something to complement  the first. After that I decided to compile a series of stories that would interlink but when I tried writing the third character’s piece, it just didn’t work, so I abandoned it as I had been offered publication for a children’s book.

That book turned into a series of three, followed by a picture book so The Globe didn’t receive any attention for a long time. I had the idea to pull apart the short stories and to try to reform them as a novel. I received some positive feedback at a conference, from a literary agent and a publisher, so went ahead. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but once my characters were properly formed they wouldn’t let me give up and I knew I had to finish it. It’s a fairly dark tale which reflects my interest in nature/nurture, and is told through the lives of two single mums. If pressed, I’d probably liken it to a cross between Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the film, Sliding Doors. Another influence from some time back was the powerful docudrama, Cathy Come Home, which has stayed with me for many years. I was delighted when DarkStroke Books accepted the novel in August 2020 and it was published in December of that year.

While I tend to write in fits and starts, once a storyline or certain characters have ensnared me, I have to complete that particular journey. I’ve recently submitted another children’s book to a publisher and at the moment I’m undecided whether to continue writing for children, or to develop another novel which I sketched out while I was sitting around in court (as a juror, I hasten to add!) I’m sure the answer will present itself soon.

About Angela Fish

Angela has lived all of her life in Wales and has worked in Medical Research, Electrical Engineering, and Education.  The Fractured Globe is her first novel. She has previously had four children’s books published, as well as poetry, critical, and academic work.

Angela loves books and cats, probably in equal measure. She also shamelessly eavesdrops, particularly on public transport, or in queues – for research purposes only, of course.

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