Freight Train, fiction, Issue 19, June 1, 2012
Birthdate? 22nd February 1987
When did you start writing? My earliest memory of writing is from when I was five or six. I wrote a short story for school about a burglar, as part of an exercise in not over-using the word "and". My teacher read it out to the class and I haven't stopped writing since.
When and what and where did you first get published? This will be my first publication.
What themes do you like to write about? I enjoy putting everyday stories (like a first day at school or celebrating a birthday) into fantasy worlds. I find stories become a lot more interesting when they take place somewhere other than here. Besides that, I’m not really sure. Relationships within families often occur in my stories, particularly between siblings. I like to look at how the stories I tell affect the relationships between people who’ve known each other all their lives.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? My favourite book, since reading it as a child, is Ian Serraillier’s The Silver Sword (aka Escape from Warsaw in the US). It’s about determination in the face of adversity and in that way always provides me with the inspiration to keep writing and never to give up on my characters. They need the kind of ending the children in that story had. It too is about family. When I was a little older, I read Robin Jarvis and Alan Garner, and I love the way they incorporate fantasy into the real world, and their use of mythology. I imagine they inspired me to write fantasy, as everything I wrote before that was heavily influenced by Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome. My love of adventure just migrated into imagined worlds.
I also read Charles Dickens, who illustrates the creation of interesting characters beautifully, and Ursula le Guin, who makes the development of new worlds look so effortless. I try to do both and would be happy if I mange only half as well.
Louise Hughes is a writer of speculative fiction and graduate of the University of St. Andrews, with a Masters in Ancient History. She currently resides in North East England, where she grew up, but is formulating plans for getting back to Scotland. In the meantime, she spends her time exploring the Highlands and the Dales, drinking tea and attending Doctor Who conventions. She is also a member of The Herscher Project, an online international writing group.