Here we are, it’s the first author interview of 2018! The lovely Isabelle Kenyon will be starting things off by telling us about her writing, her influences and a project that she has been working on. Settle down, have a read and be inspired.
About the author
Isabelle Kenyon is currently a Guildford based poet and a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York. Isabelle is the author of This is not a Spectacle and Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered. Her poems have been published in many poetry anthologies, such as Anti – Heroin Chic, Bewildering Stories, Literary Yard and The Inkyneedles anthology. She has won prizes in competitions such as the Great British Write Off, the Wirral festival of Music, Speech and Drama, the Festival of Firsts, and the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama.
Describe your ideal writing atmosphere.
I think I have two! I love a busy train as that gives me a lot of character studies to write about…And I also love a quiet bedroom snuggled up under my covers.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?
My Granny Olga inspired me to start – with short comical stories that made her laugh! She always encouraged me and I’ve continued writing ever since, probably for about 7 or 8 years.
Describe your writing style.
I think my poetry can be quite narrative led and descriptive. I like to experiment with opposites and to create vibrant imagery.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
What kind of story that hasn’t been written yet do you want to read?
That’s difficult because I’ve read some amazing books, and I have a diverse taste in what I pick up to read! I don’t think I’ve read a book where an introvert is happy and no one tries to change them, so maybe that plot should be written!
Name any authors or books that have had an impact on your writing.
When I was growing up I adored ‘Inkheart’ by Cornelia Funke – I could picture the magical world perfectly from the description and I think she is still an author I look up to! I adore Sylvia Plath’s poetry and the way she uses weaves nature so intimately into her work, so I’d say she is an influence.
Describe the moment you truly felt like an author.
Probably the moment that someone said to me (about my first chapbook, This is not a Spectacle), ‘I wish it was longer’ (thank you Leila!) because I realised people both enjoyed reading my work and wanted to read MORE and that inspired me to write an extended edition.
What book by another author do you wish you’d written?
Harry Potter. Golddust.
What is the best thing about writing/being a writer?
Being able to see my words on a page and know that I’ve close to captured how I felt in that moment.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I would say that you are an author as soon as you publish your work online, anywhere, and that you should feel confident in your talent and abilities! People will want to read what you have written.
Tell the story behind your latest book, why did you write it?
So the extended edition of This is not a Spectacle is a social commentary and a insight in the lives of those who have touched me. I think at times it is an expression of anger from those in society who least want to be stared at – for example the homeless on our streets. I wrote it because it demanded to be written – it reflects my raw emotion.
Most inspiring quote?
‘The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt’ – Sylvia Plath
Which author (living or dead) would you like to have dinner with?
Probably J K Rowling! I love how outspoken and fun she seems across social media.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
I think we should bring Willy Wonka to life, so that we can all have some magical chocolate.
How do you beat writers block?
I go on a walk usually, and take photos – I’ll write what inspires me about those photos and create descriptions from it.
Give yourself some writing advice.
Do some more editing! Quality not quantity.
What are your plans for the future? What writing projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a poetry anthology called ‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ which is a project for the charity MIND.
The extended version of This is not a Spectacle explores human curiosity towards strangers and investigates where curiosity becomes fascination with another’s grief or misfortune from afar. The poems range from my experiences of a car accident, my own fascination of others and strangers’ impressions of me. It is an expression of anger from those who least want to be stared at and be put on display.
Buy This is not a Spectacle:
Amazon: All works on Kindle and in print