Q: How did you get started writing?
A: It started as a test when my child was doing a practice SAT in school. She had to write a story in 45mins and that didn’t seem very long, so when she went to practise I told her I’d write one too. That became my first picture book.
Q: What made you decide to write in the genre you chose?
A: I’ve always loved fantasy and aspects of that used to make its way into little things or stories I’d make up my children. For example: The reason there’s knots in your hair is because the knot monster has been chewing toffees and then put his sticky fingers in your hair. It helped a friend of my daughter who used to hate having her hair brushed. Whilst my son was having tests in the hospital I wove a story of a dragon, the nurse was impressed, my son fainted, not quite the outcome I was hoping for. Fantasy can let you escape into an entirely different realm or be present in this one but with stranger creatures or abilities. Your imagination can be let loose in a way it can’t in conventional genres (although I hasten to add I read a lot of those too, and have even written an adult Christmas romance) and I like that I’m not tied in that respect.
Q: What are some of the steps you take to ready yourself to write?
A: There aren’t any. I write on my sofa, in bed, in a café, the hairdressers, or the garden. As long as I have my notebook I’ll scribble some lines. I don’t (as you can tell) have a dedicated writing room, if I do get one, it’ll have fairy lights, inspirational quotes, as well as any trinkets, feathers, or items that I find inspiring. I don’t know if it’ll help me become more productive but it would be nice to have somewhere to store my books and notepads so there’s more space in the rest of the house.
Q: Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to walk both for the exercise and mental health benefits. It’s great when I get chance to visit a garden or stately home especially if the roses are out although my nose gets tired from sniffing all the flowers. Reading is obviously a given. I can read a book in a day or afternoon if it’s smaller. I also do cross stitch; I’m a lot slower at that. It takes me a long time to finish a canvas. And I sew. During the pandemic I made a lot of face masks. I’ve made a couple of cloth bags and have recently sewn feathers to a top to look like angel wings for a charity race I’m taking part in.
Q: What is your all-time favorite book? Movie?
A: As such there isn’t a favourite book, however I have 7 copies of Pride & Prejudice plus a copy of it on story CD which I turn to when I want some comfort or something familiar to read, so that may actually be the answer to your question. Your next question would probably be why 7 copies? – I know it’s the question my husband voices frequently. The answer is because I keep finding them in such nice bindings or covers. Some of them come as part of complete sets – which are either given to me or in one case bequeathed – so not entirely my fault, however I can’t resist looking for them when I’m in second-hand shops.
As for a movie, it might have to be The Princess Bride. I love that film and it’s one of the few films where I actually prefer the screen version to the book, which is generally something that’s unheard of.
Q: When you read for yourself, what is your favorite genre?
A: As previously alluded to it can be varied. I do read fantasy. I love Christmas stories although they can be a little generic, as can women’s fiction but I read a lot of that. I read some crime, more likely to be Agatha Christie and the 1930’s written or inspired by rather than modern because that can be a little too graphic for my taste. I do try and read the classics just because I’ve never read them or to find out why they have such a reputation. I failed in my attempt with Robinson Crusoe but I will try again another time. The only thing I don’t read is horror because I’d never sleep.
Q: After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? How do you unwind?
A: I have some go-to episodes on Netflix that I put on after dinner with my husband or I might read. I go to bed quite early and either watch a documentary that I find interesting, even if the subject matter is one I don’t really understand or might read some more. After that I’ll quite often put a story CD on. I do find that sometimes it lulls to me sleep and I wake up a little later sitting bolt upright in bed, not always very comfortable once I wake up.
Q: At what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy?
A: My children trigger that joy. So start when I found myself pregnant with them and go forward to all the years since – bypassing any stress or arguments which are just part of life.
Q: How can our readers connect with you?
A: The easiest is probably social media.
Or through my website which is: https://mariegodley.wixsite.com/author
Or you can find me on https://shepherd.com/best-books/fantasy-journeys-of-self-discovery where you can read my top 5 picks for books of self discovery in fantasy.
Thanks for having me here. I enjoyed answering the interesting questions.