Creative Thursday: Beatrice Collins
SSH: What was the last book or piece of writing that inspired you?
Beatrice: I read Jeanette Winterson’s book, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal on holiday and found it breathtakingly good. It’s a book about her life, her strange upbringing with her adoptive parents and finding her birth mother. It’s both hilariously funny and very sad, with moments of real insight. Her honesty in admitting difficult truths and in capturing so vividly the North in its recent, although seemingly very distant, past, is absolutely inspiring.
SSH: So where do you get your inspiration from?
Beatrice: I like digging up histories that haven’t been told before. I also like looking at other times from the point of view of women. It’s hard to work out where an idea comes from, though, sometimes a place, a comment, a sense that there is something out there worth exploring.
SSH:So where do you work?
I moved to the South Side a year ago and now have a small study with a view. In it are lots of books, a computer and a load of old paper that should be in the bin.
SSH: A lot of your work explores narratives - what is your favourite story and why?
Beatrice: I don’t really have a favourite story. Fiction does give you the chance to explore other worlds and make your characters make choices that I don’t have to. I like stories that make you laugh and cry.
SSH: Tell us about your mentoring and Creative Writing Classes
Beatrice: I mentor new writers both privately and for the Scottish Book Trust. I also run a creative writing class for adults at Albert Drive Studios.
SSH: What are you working on at the moment?
Beatrice: I’m working on a historical novel about the Eiffel tower.
SSH: What is important to you?
Beatrice: Obviously not money or I wouldn’t be a writer.
SSH: If you could change one thing in the Southside what would it be?
Beatrice: A really great cake shop would be nice. Also a swimming pool you could walk to.
SSH: Tell us about some of your recent projects
Beatrice: I've written a novel for children called The Pyrate Boy. It’s a fast paced adventure story set in the Caribbean and Scotland in the 1750s, which I’m talking to publishers about at the moment. I’ve also just finished a novel about the Spanish Civil War, which is in my agent’s hands. My Invisible Sister, a novel I wrote with my friend, Sara Pinto, has just been optioned by Disney to make a TV film. So there’s lots happening . . .
Beatrice: Write for yourself. Make yourself forget that anyone else is ever going to read it.
SSH:What do you have coming up?
Beatrice: More classes at Albert Drive and another trip to Paris to look at the catacombs, for research.
SSH:Tell us your favourite place in the Southside and why?
Beatrice: I love strolling through Pollokshields. The large houses, leafy parks and slightly faded grandeur make it hard to believe that it’s so close to the city centre.
Labels: Creative Thursday