Saturday 20 July 2019

Write side with writer Alison Jameson


Alison Jameson
Alison Jameson
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

Alison Jameson on her Enid Blyton inspiration, what annoys her in books, and interviewing growers of giant cabbages

Where and when do you like to write?

I share a study with my husband, but it has been turned into a man cave. I write whenever I can. I am very good at sticking on headphones and getting into the zone.

So do you listen to music while you are writing?

Yes, movie soundtracks are great because they are written to be evocative. I used to listen to Out of Africa until I got sick of it.

What inspired your latest novel, This Family of Things?

A number of years ago, we were sitting around our kitchen table in the countryside and a woman who was a complete stranger walked in. She had had a row with her husband in a car. I thought it would be interesting to have a story where a complete stranger arrives at someone's home.

If you weren't a writer what would you be?

I must have had 10 jobs. When I left university, I was a local reporter. I found myself interviewing people who had grown giant cabbages. I taught English, and I worked in advertising for 18 years.

Do you have a second job?

I work in the library in UCD. A lot of writers are now finding other jobs to supplement their earnings. It's good to get out as well. I find my brain is in a higher gear.

What annoys you in a book?

It annoys me to read a book that has not been properly edited. You go off a book very quickly if it is factually inaccurate. In fiction, if a story is rambling on, you think that it would move up a notch with a good editor.

I believe you were inspired by Enid Blyton as a child...

I have an early memory of having a paragraph read out by an impressed teacher when I was in second class. She didn't realise that I had copied it from an Enid Blyton story. That's how Bob Dylan started - a bit of plagiarism.

Don't think twice, it's all right.

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