Hi Stephanie, could you please introduce yourself for the boys and girls back home?
I’m a 32-year-old writer, born in London and raised by a Creole Mauritian family. I write fiction, usually influenced by traditional fairy and folk tales, as well as all things supernatural and gothic.
You are a very soon to be published writer, but how did you get into writing?
I got into writing when I learned that it was possible to be a writer – so, very early in my childhood! I fell in love with every book I took out at the library each week at primary school, and then at ten years old I started writing ‘novels’. I told my mother then that I wanted to be an author. I was a shy and withdrawn child and writing suited me, I was happy to express myself that way. I began looking at the craft of it in my late teens and then truly pursued it as a career.
How has the Almasi League helped you?
The regular workshop practice with Almasi was fantastic, it’s so important to have a sharing space with other writers – a place to talk about writing and to discuss your thoughts and your process. It helped me find my focus and the feedback I received on my work was so beneficial. I grew confident during my time with Almasi and have made great connections – I felt so supported by Courttia (and still do), his dedication as a facilitator and mentor enhanced my dedication as a writer.
Salt published your first book, how did this come about?
My wonderful agent, Elise Dillsworth found me through my story excerpt published in Spread the Word’s diversity report: Writing the Future. She and I both believed that Salt would be a perfect fit for the collection and so she approached them with my work. They felt the same once they had read it – they ended up loving it as much as we hoped they would!
Tell us a little about your new book please!
The Other World, It Whispers is a short story collection consisting of nine fairy and folktales for adults. Each story addresses an issue within the realms of identity, desire, sexuality and oppression/freedom, from a transgender boy who calls out to mermaids in the hope they’ll turn him into a girl, to a man who has lost everything and turns to dark magic to make himself successful. My goal with this book is to crack open taboos and bring some attention to voices previously not heard – to highlight what is not always seen – as well as play with classic storytelling and myth.
What advice would you give any beginning writer?
Write about what you care about, and what you’re curious about – you’ll find your passion there and it’ll come through in your writing; you’ll strike your voice. Share your work and gather as much feedback as you can, then discern for yourself which direction you wish your work to take. Don’t give up! It’s so important to remain passionate in order to keep going, so stay inspired; read plenty and write often.