So, my name’s Lucy and I write fantasy. I also have a habit of penning comical Christmas poems about my family, but luckily they’re not something you’ll ever stumble across….
I live in south west England on the hilly, red shores of the Jurassic Coast. It’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the country, steeped in myth and folklore. And so unsurprisingly, it’s a perfect place in which to make up stories.
In the vein of most writers, I’ve been making up stories for a long time. I grew up in the tamer neighbourhood of the Thames Valley, where I used to think I’d be an actor. I attended theatre school for six years, worked professionally on stage and screen and took an awful lot of dancing exams. That changed when I hit 15. I was writing a novel (like most normal teenagers), and quite randomly thought: wouldn’t it be cool to do this all the time?
I’ve always loved books, perhaps because my parents read so much to us as children. Dad favoured classics like The Day of the Triffids and Hothouse, which – though possibly a bit advanced for under 10s – exposed us both to a multitude of words. (Yes, my sister’s a writer too). But the books that really stayed with me were J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
I am irrevocably drawn to fantasy. As an unsociable teenage misfit, I read mountains of it. Growing up, some of my favourite writers were Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan, Patricia A. McKillip, Ursula Le Guin, David Eddings and Alan Garner. J. K. Rowling holds a special place in my heart for all those summer evenings I spent re-reading Harry Potter, wishing for adventures at Hogwarts.
That first novel still exists on my hard drive, quietly embarrassing me, but despite its flaws, I’m glad I wrote it. Working on the principle that if you’ve done something once, you can do it again, I studied creative writing at university for four years in the hope that I’d be better prepared the second time around. Creating something as vast and complex as a novel is fun, terrifying, exciting, torturous and pretty much every emotion in between.