This week, I’m in conversation with prize-winning fantasy author Elizabeth Hopkinson. Elizabeth is a writer of fairy tales and her latest project is an anthology called Asexual Fairy Tales. She previously joined me on the Thursday Throng in 2013 with her first novel, Silver Hands.
Elizabeth is from Bradford, West Yorkshire (UK), home of the Bronte sisters and the Cottingley Fairies. She loves the 18th century, Japan, mocha, and finding the magical in the ordinary.
Elizabeth’s short fiction has appeared in numerous publications, and she has won prizes including the James White Award, Fairytalez Best New Tale Award, and Liars’ League/National Gallery Short Story.
In the interview we talk about the confidence needed to take your writing to the next level by contemplating the mainstream and the problems of defining an audience. The nature of the writing life is that there are often multiple projects going on and Elizabeth talks about her ongoing portfolio where small successes with shorter forms of writing can make it easier to then carry on with the bigger projects.
She sees herself as a short story writer who also writes novels finding short stories easier to write. This is because novel writing requires more planning to make sure plot-lines, characters and locations are consistent, and it’s important that even when writing fiction it’s believable. She likens it to the difference between driving a mini and an articulated lorry as it’s really easy to veer off-course with a much larger vehicle.
Elizabeth has been particularly successful at crowdfunding for her two fairy tale anthologies and her best recommendation is to use Twitter to actively engage with a very specific community who are most likely to both pay attention and then amplify the messages to their connected networks. She also reached out to leading organisations such as AVEN and the BBC, when she was invited onto the local station who were doing an event called ‘we are Bradford‘.
You can catch up with Elizabeth on her website http://www.elizabethhopkinson.uk where you can buy her latest book Asexual Fairy Tales. You can also meet her on her favourite social media site, Twitter.
Listen to the audio podcast
Watch the video interview with Elizabeth
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