Meeting Clare Girvan – Hysteria 2015 Judge

Clare is primarily a playwright these days, but has won prizes in many short story competitions and had plays varying in length from one minute to full length performed in diverse venues around the country. She has also judged for Sentinel Literary Quarterly twice and Writers’ Village once, and regularly judges in the Exeter Writers annual competition.

clare girvanWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I’ve really struggled with this one.  My life and thoughts are mostly an open book, and if there is anything that people wouldn’t usually know, it’s because I don’t want them to know it.  I suppose I do have funny knees, and I can say the name of the long Welsh railway station.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes, very important.  They have to be exactly right, and I’ll often spend days considering whether a particular name is suitable and looking up cast lists in such things as Radio Times.  I have a book of names and their meanings and I also Google names from whatever year a character was born in so that they are age-appropriate.

Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?

There is nothing else I’d rather be than a writer, although when I was an art student, I had my heart set on being a theatrical designer.  I’m a better writer than I ever was a designer.

Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?

Yes.  I think certain genres are regarded as ‘lower’ than others.  For instance, Mills and Boon, Westerns, Crime, Sci-Fi and Fantasy tend to be seen as less literary.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

Yes.  I don’t know who I’m quoting, but I like this.  ‘To be published, you have to do what every writer in history has done.  You have to sit for thousands of hours and hundreds of days in solitude.  You have to read and write on a daily basis.  To write something good you have to want it so badly that nothing else matters.’

Finding Clare Girvan

You can also meet Clare on her website at: claregirvan.co.uk

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