Monday, 25 June 2012

Time for reflection

Many thanks to great blogger, novelist and short story writer, Rosemary Gemmell (, for this Be Inspired award! Rosemary has given me an opportunity to reflect on my most recent novel as I await the publication of the third one ('Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion') in the Bute series. So here goes with Rosemary's questions!

What gave you the idea for your book, 'Last Ferry to Bute'?

My first Bute novel 'The House at Ettrick Bay' was very successful and I wanted to write a follow up.On one of my many trips to the Isle of Bute the thought came to me - what would happen if someone died on the ferry? And suppose it was a murder? It took off from there.

How long did it take to write overall?

About a year in total. I write quickly, then spend a lot of time on edits.Sometimes I wish I could write more slowly and then the editing process would be less painful. I've tried that,but it doesn't work for me!

What kept you going when you were half way through?

A lot of people had been asking when the next book was coming out and the knowledge there would be an audience for the new book helped keep me on track.

Are any of your characters based on real people, even though you have to say they aren’t?

That's a very difficult question. As a writer I suppose I subsume certain traits within my characters,but no, none of the characters is based on a real person.
At least I hope not! I wouldn't like to think I was quite as nosey as my main character, Alison Cameron.

Would you write in a different genre next time, or do you always stick with what you know?

I have other novels written, two of which are much more in the genre of general fiction. I hope to spend some time on them soon,but there's another Bute novel rumbling round in my head at the moment and I'm trying to postpone starting it.

Do you prefer writing a novel, or short stories?

I much prefer novels -I enjoy the opportunity to develop a plot and to get to know the characters well although I do write short stories and have had a number published.

Do you use everyday happenings in your writing?

The basic premise of the Bute novels is that Alison Cameron, the main character, is a very ordinary person who becomes involved in extraordinary events.

And the future?

As long as people want to read the Bute novels, I'll keep writing them! But I would like to see how I might fare in a different genre.

Thank you for the chance to reflect a little on my writing,Rosemary!


  1. Interesting that you write quickly, then spend a lot of time editing, Myra. I do the opposite. I've tried your way - but it doesn't work for me!

  2. I suppose that's what makes being a writer so interesting,Joan!We are all different.

  3. Great to read your answers, Myra - and keep those Bute novels coming!

  4. It was interesting to read about your writing, Myra! I think I tend to write quite fast but I do like to try to read over the previous chapter in detail before moving on so I'm not left with a massive edit at the end

    1. I do wish I could write more slowly,Vikki,but I'm afraid I'll lose the momentum!

  5. I too tend to write quickly for first draftbut then I take ages to edit!! I feel I'll lose the thread of my thoughts if I slow.