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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2017 > SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT

SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT

Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson, tjackson@warnersgroup.co.uk

Memory, guilt, and hope

‘By genre it’s a psychological thriller, but it was only when I’d almost finished writing my novel Where There Is Darkness, which is partly set in the 1980s, that I realised it was really a story about memory,’ writes subscriber Richard Waters.

‘The novel’s protagonist is haunted by a guilty secret from his past, and the gradual descent through the layers of his memory and the drama that is unleashed when his past finally catches up with him form the central narrative. But also, the act of writing the book was itself a process of unpicking my own memories of a faroff time and place.

‘I grew up in Birmingham but have lived in Sydney, Australia, for over twenty years. Somehow, the longer I have stayed away, the more powerful my memories of 1980s urban Britain have grown. Eventually I had to get something down on paper, and a chance encounter with an old acquaintance who turned out to be harbouring a very nasty secret provided the catalyst for my story, which alternates between Birmingham in November 1981 and modern day Australia.

Where There Is Darkness is not a political novel. But the early Thatcher years – a time characterised by violence, social unrest and youth disenfranchisement – provided the perfect background in which to set the crimes of my protagonist, as well as prompting the novel’s title.

‘A one-time chartered surveyor, I migrated to Australia in 1996 and became a freelance travel writer and marketing copywriter. But for years, writing fiction felt like something I had no right to do; something “other people” did. That finally changed when I was accepted onto the MA Creative Writing Programme at the University of Technology Sydney, the output of which, six years later, was my novel.

‘A combination of impatience and rejections from the first few publishers I approached led me to self-publish Where There Is Darkness in print and ebook. But only now am I realising that writing the book was the easy part: the world of selfpublishing is a whole new challenge, but a fun one.’

Website: www.richardwaters.com

Playing out

‘Although I write poetry and prose my greatest love is theatre and many of my one act plays are available on Amazon and at www.scripts4stage.com,’ writes subscriber Bev Clark.

‘In 2015 I was delighted to win the Roister Doister one act play competition for young people. The Black Eyes is a spooky, urban myth using elements of physical theatre and was an award winner at national drama festivals in 2016, available on Amazon and from www.roisterdoister.com

‘In 2016 RIP Mr Shakespeare, a clown-theatre cavalcade of the Bard’s characters, co-written with Keith Hill for the RSC open stages won a vast collection of awards and continues to be performed.

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About Writing Magazine

What are the five secrets of writing a bestseller? And how do you grow your little seeds into big ideas? Find out how, in this month's issue of Writing Magazine. In our inspiring star interview, bestselling author Laura Barnett and leading singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams talk about their exciting creative collaboration, and describe how saying 'yes' to working outside your comfort zone can lead to extraordinary creative results. Keep up to date with the latest publishing opportunities and writing competitions in Writers' News!

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