Login   Sign Up 


Margaret Graham Interview

Posted on 14 December 2004. © Copyright 2004-2022 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

WriteWords talks to Margaret Graham- novelist, writer-in-residence and co-ordinator of the Yeovil Literary Prize,

Tell us something about your background.

Iíve written 12 novels with several bestsellers amongst them, for publishers such as Random House and Heinemann. Numerous short stories and features for magazines and anthologies, a community play, and the acclaimed writerís handbook, Writing Awake the Dreamweaver. At the moment Iím working on another novel and the second in the Dreamweaver series, the Writerís Springboard.

I have taught creative writing for many years, in the UK and internationally.

Iím Writer in Residence in Yeovil, Somerset, and co-administrator of the exciting Yeovil Literary Prize 2005.

How did you start writing?

I was driven! By a crying baby, my fourth. I just needed a bit of peace, time to myself, and decided to write a book. Donít ask me why. It was to be a record of my motherís life, but of course we donít really know the ins and outs of anyone elseís life, so it soon became fiction. Amazingly it was taken by Heinemann. Be careful with titles. This one I called Only the Wind is Free, and some kind gent at a big library talk in the Midlands stood up and asked if it could be found on the indigestion category.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Nikki Gemmell, for her spare intense prose and no bullshit attitude. Alan Paton, for his Cry, the Beloved Country, because it moved me, and his writing is superb. James Lee Burke, for the atmosphere he creates. And so it goes on. I have eclectic tastes as you can see.

How did you get your first agent/ commission/ publisher

I just bought The Writers and Artists Year Book and started at A. After 4 years I had reached H. I tried Hamish Hamilton who nearly took it, and suggested I get an agent. The MD suggested his own, and she placed it straight away at Heinemann. Itís a question of being in the right place at the right time.

Before that Iíd been one of the Best Entries in a writing comp for the m.s. which helped my CV.

What's the worst thing about writing?

The hours at a computer, and the isolation. The thought of the number of words one has still to write.

And the best?

The research, the travel and places one has to go. The touring to push the book when youíre let out of the room. The pleasure of seeing your little germ of an idea develop and become a living breathing world, with great characters, who end up making some sense of things, when actually, real life seems to stop us doing that with our own lives Ė too often.

Do you read your work to audiences? Tell us what kind of response you get

I do, sometimes, if Iím doing an after dinner talk or something like that. I do it more when teaching. More to show them the first draft, and then how I worked on it to Ďstay in the momentí and bring it to life in a scene. The first draft is too often TELL not SHOW. This is what is most difficult for students to grasp, as indeed it was for me. The need to create scenes, to stay in the moment, rather than tell the situation.

What was your breakthrough moment?

Being placed in the competition. It gave me confidence.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

twister at 13:56 on 14 December 2004  Report this post
Thank you Margaret for a very informative interview and your mention of James Lee Burke, who in my mind is the greatest exponent of atmosphere and emotion that I have ever read. A true genius.

Account Closed at 16:51 on 14 December 2004  Report this post
I found this really interesting. I especially liked the 'stay in the moment' technique. The Yeovil Literary Prize sounds great - I'm definately going to enter at least two of the categories. Thank you Margaret - now I'm off to have a look at your website.


old friend at 15:30 on 15 December 2004  Report this post
Good interview with a down-to-earth Writer who also appears to be a very nice lady.


Johnson321 at 12:49 on 02 May 2022  Report this post
There has been a huge rise in people asking if they should hire a resume writer, but very little information on what is actually involved. Now you can get best resume writing service to learn tips about the education. Below I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to using a resume writing services. Easily find a professional resume writing service to maintain your job search perfectly.

Lolita54 at 11:06 on 28 May 2022  Report this post
Margaret Graham was a highly intelligent and successful woman who was also very kind and compassionate. She was known for her strong work ethic and was always willing to help others. One of my friend told me this https://masterbundles.com/stock-content/vector/animal-svg/peacock-svg/ source to download animal templates. Margaret was also a very loyal friend and would always be there for her loved ones.

ThomasSanchez at 07:57 on 03 June 2022  Report this post
Margaret Graham is an expert in internet marketing for small businesses. She works as a consultant with Google, Bing, and Facebook. She's also CEO of Business and former DreamSuite CEO. Must you check this Diamond Wishbone Rings and get more helpful tips about rings. We talk about what it's like being a woman in the tech industry, how she learned to code and program at age 11, why she got into the industry and her advice for entrepreneur's pursuing their dreams.

Degroat789 at 12:26 on 15 June 2022  Report this post
TODAY, I am excited to be interviewing Margaret Graham. She is an author, blogger and social media analyst who calls herself the ďhappy expertĒ because she helps people get happy. You can check this Methyl-Life PRO and get more information for Methyl-Life PRO. Her blog explores positivity, mindfulness and self-improvement.

ThomasSanchez at 15:30 on 16 July 2022  Report this post
Margaret Graham is an award-winning interior designer and founder of the multi-disciplinary firm, MOMBA. Need to check this Operational Resilience and get more tips about safety ricks.†The South Florida-based business created by Margaret was started in 2008 and has a team of experienced designers offering their skills to clients on a specialized basis.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .