Anthology launch – An Interview with Rosemary Alves-Veira

Boston Tea Party, Barstaple

It’s official – the highly awaited North Devon anthology at last has a launch date.

I can announce, the much anticipated collaboration of local writers will available to purchase on Thursday 8 October 2015. That evening, Boston Tea Party will hold a public launch party; book lovers are invited to meet the authors and listen to snippets of the treasures buried within the pages.

I proudly present the beautiful front cover design of… Seaglass.

Front cover design My Vicky Mac
As the launch-date approaches, I catch up with successful writer, Rosemary Alves-Veira.

1. Congratulations, Rosemary; your submission has been accepted for publication in the up-coming North Devon anthology! How do you feel about seeing your work in print?

Just seeing my name in the list of acceptances was well up on my list of ‘Happy Moments.’ Being in print will be Mardi Gras: Do not be fooled by calm exterior. Each little success in writing reminds me of the encouragement and know-how provided by Rebecca Alexander and the WIP (Work in Progress) group.

I share your feelings, Rosemary. There is certainly excitement in camp as the launch draws near.

2. What can you tell us about your pieces of writing? What can readers expect from your piece?

In a word, ‘Change.’ For me, change is the element that keeps life on its toes. I can recommend it. Any situation can change, suddenly, or over time. Change allows the next step, in literature and in life. We get stuck without it. In writing I like my changes to be extraordinary, entertaining; the ultimate solution. Humour is never very far away.
You certainly achieve that in what I know of your writing, Rosemary.

3. What motivated you to write your successful pieces? Where did your ideas stem from?

Someone had sent me a picture of New York skyscrapers. I wondered what might happen if… But you’ll have to read the story to find out, if what? As for humorous verse, it allows me to comment without banging on about stuff. Everything has a funny side. I like your outlook, Rosemary.

4. At the launch, writers will be invited to read an extract of their piece aloud. How do you feel about performing your work to an audience?

I expect I could do that. I can be persuaded (bribed) with offers of Pimms, chocolate frogs, a lift home… (I expect a few of us will be joining you in a tipple or two of Pimms on the eighth. Spirits may be running high as we celebrate the launch!)

I have to read my work as though it had nothing to do with me, or I may digress with alternative possibilities. ‘What if..?’ tends to travel with me. (I can certainly relate to the ‘What if..?’ notion in writing.)
Rosemary takes inspiration from Ian McEwan

But yes, I would be happy to read an extract. (We have that in writing now, Rosemary...!)

5. Tell us about your writing to date. What sort of things do you write or have you written in the past?

Looking back, much of that I write has an element of fantasy. I like the freedom of that genre. Although I cannot now say whether that was my original intention, or if it evolved from my view of life. In the seventies, in Australia, I put together a magazine for a local church. This meant a lot of photo-copying, but as editor I got to write an article each month, and do the art work. Later, I wrote some stories which seemed very out-dated when I came across them (recently). I have always loved both reading and writing, and always kept a journal, corresponded, and now at last I have the time to scribble some new ideas.

6. Do you have any current writing projects? What are you working on at the moment?

Well… I am at present focussing on a trio of short stories with a theme of revenge. Vengeance with humour can be deadly, you know… My inner writer tends to hibernate through holiday periods. I watch with longing programs about faraway islands, deserts, lighthouses, but I do love to see my grandchildren. We have a big tribal gathering on my birthday each summer, with before and after effects. That’s my excuse, anyway. Life has a habit of getting in the way of writing, for all of us, I think, Rosemary.

7. If a reader wanted to see more of your work, where might they find it? Do you have a blog or a website showcasing your writing?

No, I am sorry to say the idea of either creates resistance in me at the level where I barricade against other monsters of the deeps. I know it is a modern method of informing the reader, and publishers, but at this stage, risking the age-dating, it is not for me.
(There’s nothing wrong in being traditional, Rosemary!) However, Broadsheet (Exeter) published one of my poems in their first issue, and a story for the Barnstaple library’s ecology-themed competition achieved third place. So there is hope yet! (Well done, Rosemary!)

8. Which writers inspire you? What do you like to read? 
The works of Stephen King don Rosemary's bookshelves

These are huge questions. Actually, though, they are one, because I would not enjoy their books if they did not inspire. I will simply list the present Who’s Who of my shelves. The first and foremost are: Ian McEwan; Donna Tartt; Stephen King; Graham Joyce; Pascal Garnier, John le Carre; Philippa Gregory – and after these, a host of others, both fiction (long and short) and non-fiction - so helpful in research! My gratitude has a long reach; all are included.

9. Do you have any writing habits? Do you write at a particular time of the day or week? Will this success perhaps encourage you to increase your writing frequency?

The only habits I can identify are my rules for writing the short story: 1. Decide the theme. 2. Map it out. 3. When useful words/phrases come to ming, WRITE THEM DOWN. 4. Get into the story before you attempt to write it, and 5. Let nothing and no-one distract you once have begun the writing. Some sound advice, Rosemary.

10. Finally, Rebecca Alexander says this opportunity could help writers create a ‘publishing record. It’s like a writer’s CV; it says that they have produced a piece of work that was good enough to be selected from a large field of entries.’ Where do you hope this platform may lead for your writing? What are your writing aspirations?

Any writing aspirations surfacing in me move toward competitions as a starter. What I enjoy is the process of building the story on the page. A publishing record would be wonderful! And on that happy note, I shall end with thanks to everyone involved in the production of the North Devon anthology. Cheers.

Huge congratulations again on your success, Rosemary! May this achievement lead you on to many more opportunities. Many thanks for your time – it has been a pleasure talking to you and we look forward to seeing your writing in the anthology, very soon!

You can read Rosemary’s work -along with the work of Aidan James, Sue Smith, Colin Smith, Ben Blake and many more wonderful local writers- in Seaglass, available to purchase online from 
Amazon or Lulu from 8 October.

Local book-lovers are invited to the launch party of Seaglass at Boston Tea Party on Thursday 8 October from 7pm. Tickets will be £3 on the door. See the writers in action and delve into the hidden gems of the North Devon anthology.