Tuesday 19 March 2013

Writer - Carol Purves

I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Carol Purves.  Enjoy.

Carol Purves

Hello Carol, can you please introduce yourself?
I am Carol Purves and I live in Carlisle, Cumbria.
How long have you been writing?  
About 17 years.
What first got you interested in writing?  
I retired early because of ill health and started by writing letters to friends when I had the strength and then letter to magazines.
Do you attend a writing group?
I run the Carlisle Christian Writers group and belong to the Cumbria Writing Group connected to the Association of Christian Writers.
What genre(s)/types of things do you write?
Besides articles and short stories, I have had published three books of Christian Biographies.
Are there any genres that you don’t enjoy writing?  Why?  
Sci Fi because I don’t understand it.
Can you please tell us a bit more about your publications?   
Three books with Day One Publications, Rylands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ  www.dayone.co.uk   Chinese Whispers, the life of Gladys Aylward, From Prussia with Love, the life story of George Muller, Travel with Frances Ridley Havergal.  Also written for The Lady, People’s Friend and others.
Would you consider self-publishing/e-publishing?  Are you interested in eBooks, or do you prefer the old fashioned paper-made books?  
Have done.  Old fashioned paper books, I have had one e-book published but not many sales with it.
Who/what influences your writing?  Where do you get your inspiration from?  
Oh gosh, everywhere.  I have too many.
How do you come up with your characters’ names and personalities?  
What is your writing routine?  
Mostly 8 -9 in the morning because after that life gets in the way, but I can write all night if a have a deadline.
Do you start out with a complete idea for your stories, or do you just start writing and hope for the best?  
Complete ideas because the final sentence is very important.
Do you have an editing process?  Do you have someone else read over your work?  Do you read your work aloud to yourself in front of the mirror?  
No-one else, but do read aloud.  Daren’t look in the mirror.
What is your writing environment like?
Computer, tidy, silence plus birdsong.  Inside.  Occasionally in cafes or anywhere.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?  
Enjoy most things about it rejects.
Have you ever attended an open mic night for spoken word performers as either an observer or performer?  
I give many talks each year.
Have you ever entered any writing competitions?  Have you ever won?  
Yes and yes
How important is it for you to share your writing?  
Because often it is my Christian faith.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to writing?  
Don’t give up
What advice could you give to a new writer?  
Don’t give up
Would you rather write a masterpiece and only sell a handful of copies, or produce a badly written book and sell millions?  
I want all my writing to be the best that it can be.
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?  
Walking, gardening and church (though that’s not a hobby, it is a way of life’)
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?  
What I do write.
What types of things do you read?  Do you think your writing reflects your book tastes?  
Biographies of course, adventure stories and one women’s magazine.  I read plenty.
Do you judge books by their covers?  How important is cover art to you as a reader and a writer?  
Sometimes, but the title is the most important.
Where can we find you on the internet?  
What are you working on at the moment?  
The life story of Mary Slessor. And a few other things.
Would you be able to provide a short piece of your work?
The red of the rust blended with the red of the blood that was dripping down the handle of the axe, over the fist that held it and down to mingle with the dirt on the ground.
Gladys stared into the demented eyes of the axe man.  If ever she needed the protection of her God, it was now.
‘Help me, help me now’.  Her unspoken prayer shot up to heaven, she held out a shaky hand, her dark brown eyes still fixed firmly on the man
‘Give – it – to – me’.
In a quiet authoritative voice she spoke the words slowly and clearly in her best Mandarin.
She waited.  The prisoners huddled round the walls waited.  The governor and officials outside the locked door waited.  Even the birds seemed to hush their song and the wind paused on its journey across the mountains.  Would the axe man obey the simple order or would he add Gladys to his victims.

The opening paragraphs of Chinese Whispers.

© Carol Purves
Thank you very much Carol. 


  1. I'm enjoying these interviews and your blog entries in general. I'm so glad you commented on my blog leading me to find yours!

    1. Thank you very much :) I'm just hoping the A-Z challenge will encourage me to write more varied blog posts.