Book Savvy Spotlight on Polly Morten
I trained in science, worked as a college lecturer, ran a beauty salon, lived on a sheep farm, ran local and national dressage competitions, dressage judge, competed in one day eventing, show jumping and dressage. I'm currently working at a local Stately Home, and training and working my two Labradors. I'm married with no children.
Q2. Give us, if you would, 'Gift Horse' in a nutshell, for those who haven't yet had a chance to read it.
An amusing weave of different people's lives, all brought together by a professional or personal interest in horses.
Q3. Give us a sense of how this novel came together, if you would. Where did you begin, and how did you shape the narrative to create the final version of the story?
I began by going to a creative writing group, never having written anything since school. It appeared to be so difficult to get a novel published that I decided to see if I could - I have always liked a challenge.
Q4. When and where did you do most of your writing?
The book was written on the hoof, so to speak. I carried a notebook around with me, jotted down ideas, and then put it together later. It actually started in the middle, and then I wrote the beginning and end later.
Q5. Any particular writing tips you'd like to share?
Write about what you know. If you have no first-hand experience, make very sure that you get the details right, particularly technical stuff.
Q6. What's your library like? What sorts of books would we find on your shelves?
Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, well written detective fiction, Erica James, Katy Flynn, Dick Francis, well written Historical novels, J. D. Rowling, Medieval history, a few biographies - Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte etc.
Q7. If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite three fictional characters from 'Gift Horse' who would you invite, and why?
I don't like any of them enough to give them dinner!
Q8. What are your interests when you are not writing?
Dog training, local and medieval history, gardening, reading and walking.
Q9. What is the first thing you did to promote your book once the publisher accepted your manuscript?
I told as many people as possible!
Q10. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
Taking copies round to all the competitions and clubs at which I judged and competed.
Q11. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
Offline. Reviews in local press, county magazines and national horse publications were the best.
Q12. Are you concerned about the effect of e-publishing on traditional books?
Q13. How do you see your writing future, any more books in the pipeline?
I have half a book in the pipeline, but can't see it's completion in the foreseeable future!
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