We’re introducing you to people who are part of the Betterwrite world. Welcome to MORWENNA BLACKWOOD.
Morwenna, what’s your connection with Betterwrite?
Long story short, I did a course with the author Jenny Kane, who introduced me to Alison Knight, who is an editor with Betterwrite, who did a terrific job editing my first novel! It’s called The (D)Evolution of Us.
Tell us about your work.
It’s a psych noir, set in Devon at the turn of the twenty-first century, and the plot revolves around a violent death. It’s about lies and betrayal, and questions whether anyone really knows anyone at all.
What are you working on at the moment?
A novel which runs alongside The (D)Evolution of Us, called Glasshouse.
What do you like about your work?
People’s stories are all connected. I love exploring cause and effect, and the perception of different characters.
What don’t you like?
There are so many potential novels in my head that come from this story, I wish I’d started years ago!
Have you got a personal bugbear?
The mats that go around toilets.
What has pleased you in your work?
Being able to be in someone else’s head for a while. Exploring perspectives is fun, but it also allows you to make choices you wouldn’t make in your own life. It’s freedom, really, and gives you insight into life.
What didn’t please you?
Sometimes, going to dark places can be upsetting.
What amused you?
The fact that once I’d set my mind to it, I could actually write a novel! I didn’t have the courage to go for it until recently – hence my favourite quote, below, from Muse...
Whose writing do you enjoy?
Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Kerouac, Daphne du Maurier, William Burroughs, Dan Brown, Scarlett Thomas, Clare Mackintosh, John Updike … how long have you got?!
What do you like about this author’s writing?
Aside from the concept and the plot, I love the location descriptions; especially that first part where Harker is travelling through the forested mountains in the coach. The main thing for me, though, is that I’ve read it a hundred times, and I still have to close all the windows and keep a clove of garlic in my pocket for days afterwards!
Give us a quote.
“...feeling as though my own brain were unhinged ... I turn to my diary for repose.”
What’s your favourite word in English?
Could I have four, please? Myxomatosis, ostensibly, rainbow, kettle.
Any other quotes that are special for you?
“Don’t waste your time, or time will waste you.” It’s a lyric from ‘Knights of Cydonia’, by Muse.
Throughout my life, my Dad has always told me “You’ve just got to get on with it.” I used to think he was being really harsh, but he’s absolutely right!
Apart from your work, what plans or ambitions have you got?
I love Jack Kerouac’s work, and as soon as I put down On The Road, I was determined to drive across the USA. That was twenty-odd years ago, and I WILL do it!
How will you do that?
Save up, and take a sabbatical from my day job!
What have you learned about life?
That it’s all about cycles and balance.
What have you learned about people?
Everyone is capable of doing beautiful and terrible things, but the definition of ‘beautiful’ and ‘terrible’ is entirely subjective.
Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I’ve actually forgotten how to ride a bike! When I get on one nowadays, I can’t balance, and fall off!
Finish with a story, true or false, with beginning, middle and end, up to 30, 60 or 120 words.
“You have to come and meet my mate’s boyfriend – he’s in a band, and they’re going to be massive!”
“We’re 16, Lucy – everyone’s boyfriend is in a band,” Alice muttered, but she trailed behind her only friend at college, to the common room.
Through the cigarette fog, and the crowd, Alice saw a lanky, blond lad, drumming a beat with his fingers on his Coke can. He was laughing. Alice wished she was dead.
“Hi!” said James. “Want an autograph, before I’m famous?”
He high-fived Alice, then grabbed her hand and shook it.
A drop of blood trickled down Alice’s arm, out from her jumper, and splashed onto James’s white trainers.
“Oh, my God,” he whispered. “You do it too?” (120)