Interview with Ceri Norman

Jun 3rd, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

Ceri Norman is the author of Faerie Stones. Here’s a few questions that give some insights into her life as a writer…

What was your first book?
Celtic Maidens, a Supernatural Thriller set in the Preseli Mountains of Wales. The idea for it came to me while I was standing in the ancient stone circle of Gors Fawr a stone’s throw away from where many of the Stonehenge Bluestones came from and once the idea was there I just had to write it!

What makes you stand out as an author?
My love of folklore, legends, sacred sites and the ancient Deities and Beings which I weave into all that I write, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?
The research for my next writing session, pottering in the garden, spending too much time on Social Media, or I also create Pagan and Nature inspired jewellery, pendulums and prayer beads for my Etsy store – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CauldronCraftsUK

Who or what inspires you?
Myths, magic, ancient monuments and the Old Deities of the World. I’m also always encouraged and inspired by all those authors before me and since who have been brave and dedicated enough to pen a book.

Who are your books for?
Everyone with an interest in folklore, folk legends, the supernatural or Faeries.

If you could write full time, would you?
No. I really like to work with my hands as well as my brain. Each is a form of escapism from the other that allows me to then go back to the other fresh and fulfilled.

How long does it take you to create a book?
With non-fiction it’s between six months and eighteen months depending on the length while for fiction it’s usually about eighteen months to two years.

Do you plan meticulously before you start, or go with the inspiration of the moment, or some combination thereof?
An idea will hit me like a thunderbolt of inspiration and from that point the project has to be done at some point sooner rather than later. The idea can literally burn inside my brain like the ‘fire in the head’ that the ancient Irish poet Amergin described. I usually plan out a framework and then go from there allowing the inspiration to guide me.

What gets you exited about a project?
The chance to share often little known stories, folklore and ways of working with a wider audience who can then take that information and run with it to empower themselves.

Do you like working collaboratively?
Very much so. Being an author can get quite lonely, so a chance to work with, share with and learn from others is a wonderful opportunity.

What do you want to be remembered for?
Inspiring others and empowering them.

Describe your reading habits.
I read widely, both fiction and non-fiction. I regularly raid bookshops and libraries and simply can’t get enough of books in any form. Some of what I adore reading is pretty obscure stuff that’s hard to find while some are old favourites that I’ve had since childhood like The Mabinogion and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given about writing?
I once worked in a library and a famous author told everyone at a book talk “not to bother with writing as that was only for the professionals” like her. I strongly disagreed with her then and I still do now. Writing is for everyone who fancies having a go.

We all like a positive review, but is there anything else in a review that you could get excited about?
Anything constructive that can help me improve my writing skills or enable me to better connect with readers. I genuinely want people to love and be inspired by my work so anything that helps me to become better at that is a plus.

What annoys you?
Selfish people and wasps.

What makes you happy?
My husband and my friends. Hearing that something I have written has helped or inspired someone. Having an impish sense of humour. Being alive. A brand new day. A good book. The shining full moon on a starlit night. A great review. The buzz of a passing Bumblebee. A colourful flower. A beautiful work of art. It’s often the little things that make me happy – I’m really easy to please it seems.

What do you worry about?
Everything. I am a real worrier.

Hardbacks, paperbacks or ebooks?
Depends on my mood and where I am when I am trying to read them. For research books, especially those I use a great deal, I do love to delve into hardback versions. That said if a book is a really large tome I prefer them as eBooks for the sake of comfort as I have very small hands. For fiction I do love the small and feel of a paperback.

How do you feel about illustrations in books for adults?
I love them, especially if they help fire up the imagination or explain something from the text. If I was ever supposed to have grown out of loving images in books, it’s not happened yet, and I hope it never does.

Do you review books? What kinds of things do you look for in a book?
Yes, I know the value of reviews and feedback from getting them myself and I do feel it’s nice to give something back to others too. I look for knowledge of the subject or engagement with the subject, if the person enjoyed writing the work and how much it engages me as the reader. New approaches, new perspectives, new or well researched information and new ideas will always draw me in.

What author stereotypes are true for you?
I’m often half hunched over the computer tapping away with a big mug of tea rather than the stereotypical coffee somewhere close by (which I may or may not get around to drinking before it gets cold). I do crave seclusion much of the time and am very shy. I am also super serious which is really ironic when you consider that I spend a lot of time writing about fun-loving Faeries.

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