Novel Points of View is introducing a few changes for 2016. We want to say goodbye and many thanks to Jenny Harper and Mary Smith, and a big hello and welcome to new members Rae Cowie (writer), Jennie Bohnet (writer) and Neil Donald (photographer). We’re really looking forward to having new voices – and amazing photographs – in the weeks and months ahead.
To get things rolling we have asked each of our new members to give us three words or phrases that best describe their creativity. And also to tell us a little bit about themselves. Over to you, Rae…
Hello and a thousand thanks to the Novel Points of View team for inviting me to join their not-so-secret gang.
This is the perfect time of year for setting those New Year writing goals and thinking about how best to describe my creativity was just the push I needed to return to the typeface after the sloth of the festive season.
So what do I write? - Contemporary women’s fiction stuffed full of family drama with a tender sprinkling of romance.
And how best to describe my creativity? - Well I’m a bit of a chameleon when it comes to inspiration, as that magical ‘what if?’ question can be sparked by places, photographs, objects, song lyrics…anything really.
However, like most writers I’m drawn to write about what interests me and travel has always been a firm passion of mine. Part of the joy of writing, for me, is researching other cultures, finding out what makes people and places tick. My current work-in-progress, Leaving Baku, is set in Azerbaijan (to the east of Turkey, cradled by the Caspian sea). It’s the story of a young, local widow, Samira, and the relationship she develops with a Western oilman, against her family’s wishes.
Which brings me to my second phrase - family and relationships. Having been lucky enough, along with my three siblings, to be brought up in a picturesque fishing village, where community spirit was strong, perhaps it was envitable that as a writer the importance of family and friendship would feature strongly in my writing. However, just as in real life, the road any family follows is far from smooth and part of the fun in fiction writing is throwing boulders in characters paths – testing those relationships to the limit.
My final phrase links both travel and family/relationships, as I love to write of individuals who are struggling to find their place in the world, searching for where they belong, finding friendship and romance in unexpected places.
Whilst enjoying travel, I also love home which nestles in a tiny hamlet in rural NE Scotland, overlooking the fertile Ythan estuary, where geese come and go with the seasons. As well as my imaginary characters, I also have my ever-patient husband and two lively teenage sons to keep me company. I bake to relax - think lemon drizzle cake or red velvet muffins - not exactly to Bake Off standard but good enough for my family to appreciate. Then, to work off those calories, I walk and cycle the farm roads and dirt tracks, which crisscross the surrounding fields...perhaps not quite so often as I should!
And so, in joining the wonderfully talented Novel Points of View team, I feel I’m travelling to an exciting new land, with lots to discover and enjoy – here’s to friendships, old and new, in 2016!