A little introduction:
Hi. I mainly write magical realist, dystopian and surrealist fiction. My stories are dark but quirky, laced with humour and hope. I’ve been published in lots of magazines and prize anthologies, including The Guardian, Shooterlit, and Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, and Snapshots of the Apocalypse (2022) is my first collection of short stories. I also write non-fiction and essays on speculative fiction like this and do interviews with other writers for 3AM Magazine.
When did your love of books begin?
As a child, I adored the quirkier books, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl. I was fortunate that my parents both read to me from a young age and encouraged me to read stories for myself too.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
Only in my 40s. It came late! I started writing fiction after I became chronically ill. Before that, my interest was much more in non-fiction.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
It took some time to get a book accepted for publication, although I’d previously had stories published in magazines and anthologies. My publisher, Isabelle Kenyon, has been fantastic to work with, efficient and enthusiastic.
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
Keep writing and learn to edit. If a book gets rejected a number of times, perhaps put it aside for a bit and then edit it again, with a fresh eye. Taking good quality crit on the chin is helpful too. If feeling unmotivated or rejected… eat chocolate and then write again. It is a hugely competitive field so try not to take knock backs too personally.
Tell us about your book/books:
Snapshots of the Apocalypse, my short story collection, isn’t as bleak as it sounds. In these dark, quirky stories, I create off-kilter worlds which hopefully illuminate our own. Here, a winged being yearns to be an archaeologist. Readers are sucked into a post-apocalyptic London where the different rains are named after former politicians. An enchanted garden grows in a rented flat. It is magical realism meets dystopia, with a refreshing twist. The writer Irenosen Okojie has called it, ‘An iridescent, compelling collection. Darkly magical in all the right ways.’
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
It’s supportive and fun. I belonged to a wonderful local writers’ group, whom I’m indebted to for my development as a writer. We always had parrots join us in our sessions as Dot, who hosted it, owns lots of them (the birds were always more interested in the biscuits). I also attend virtually a town writing group, which is entertaining and interesting. The online writing community on Twitter is good too.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Please leave reviews of books you like on Amazon or Goodreads as that really helps authors. 🙏
Where can people connect with you?
My blog is https://whimsylph.wordpress.com. I’m @Sylphsea on Twitter
My first collection of short stories, Snapshots of the Apocalypse, is out with Fly on the Wall Press