Virgina Macgregor is an English teacher. What Milo saw is her first published novel. The book tells a story about Milo(9), a boy with an eye disease that cause his vison to fail. But that doesn’t holds him back. What Milo saw will make you laugh and definitly shed a tear. I would like to thank Virginia to take the time to do this interview with me.
Virgina Macgregor is een Engels docent. Wat Milo zag is haar eerste gepubliceerde verhaal. Het boek vertelt het verhaal van de 9 jarige Milo. Milo heeft een oogziekte waardoor zijn zicht verre van optimaal is. Maar dat houdt hem niet tegen. Wat milo zag maakt je aan het lachen, en laat je af toe ook een traantje wegpikken.
Eerder deze week kon je op Anneke Schrijft de boekreview van Wat Milo zag lezen. Mocht je het terug willen lezen klik dan hier. In de review vind je het antwoord op de vraag van de winactie! Benieuwd waar de schrijfster van dit boek, Virginia Macgregor de inspiratie voor dit boek vandaan haalde? Wat voor advies zij zou geven aan haar jongere ik? Of wat zij het moeilijkste vond aan het schrijven van Wat Milo zag? Afgelopen week nam Virginia de tijd om deze en andere vragen te beantwoorden. Ook maak je dit keer kans op een exemplaar van het boek Wat Milo zag te winnen! Wat je moet doen om kans te maken lees je verderop!
Virginia tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born in Germany, moved to Corsica, a small French island, when I was three and then came to England when I was nearly five. So English was my third language! It soon became my favourite though. I was brought up and went to university in Oxford and so was surrounded by dreaming spires and stories. I went on to be an English teacher in a number of English boarding schools but will be writing full time from September – very exciting! I’m also moving to New Hampshire in the US with my husband over the summer, so a new country, a new adventure and new inspiration for my writing.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I think that as soon as I understood that stories had writers behind them, I realised that writing must be the best job in the world. I entered lots of creative writing competitions at school and often wrote stories behind my maths textbook when the teacher wasn’t looking!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? And were did you get the idea for What Milo saw?
I’m a contemporary fiction writer so I draw my stories from everywhere – my writing brain is never switched off! I tackle important social issues in my fiction so the news is an important source of inspiration. It was the horrible nursing crisis in the UK that made me want to write about how older people are cared for in our society. Presenting it through the eyes of a child felt like the best way to do it: a gentler and funnier approach. Overheard conversations, meeting someone on a bus (Petros was drawn from an old, Greek man I met on a bus once who wore a yellow corduroy cap!), observations in coffee shops where I write – they all go into the writing pot!
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written quite a few books over the years but I see these as my practice books – they are in drawers and computer files and helped me to learn how to good stories. My first published novel is What Milo Saw, followed by The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells. I’ve just finished writing a third novel, Before I Was Yours, which will be out in 2017. I have also recently signed with a YA publisher and my first book for teenagers, Wishbones, will be out in March 2017. The YA novel is written int he same style and tone as my adult fiction but is aimed at teenagers and has a strong teenage voice. Oh…and my favourite? That’s like asking a mother to name her favourite child. I’ve put so much love and time into each one that it’s very difficult to answer that question. I also tend to feel most strongly about the current book I’m writing, so I’m really excited about Wishbones: I’ve always wanted to write for a younger audience as well as an adult one, and the themes I tackle in this novel are very personal to my own life.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
I wish I had that luxury! These days publishing deadlines are very tight so I just have to write and then hand it to my editor. Fortunately, there is usually a small gap between when I hand it in and when I get the manuscript back with comments and that space always helps me to se more clearly and to feel able to let go of bits that aren’t working so well.
What was the hardest thing about writing What Milo saw?
I wanted to do justice to the struggles that the characters were going through. A writer always draws a little from her own life but a great deal is down to research and the imagination. I wanted my readers to find my characters real and believable and to make sure that anyone reading the story who had gone through similar things, would feel that I had written with truth and sensitivity. Oh, and editing when I was very morning sick (I was pregnant with my little girl), was quite a challenge too!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself – and enjoy the process, even when the goal feels out of reach.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I still read paper and hard backs because I love to underline bits, to fold over pages, to make notes in margins and then to see the book I’ve read sitting on my shelf. But I do think that ebooks are brilliant, especially for travel and for people who struggle to read small print or to hold heavy books. I know that lots of my readers have read Milo and Norah on Kindle and it makes me just as happy as to know that they’ve read the words in print: it’s the stories that matter most!
Om kans te maken op een exemplaar van Wat Milo zag, klik –> hier !
Meedoen kan t/m 27 juni 2016