My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
At a very young age I enjoyed the process of storytelling and weaving together the different elements. I got a buzz out of it, that’s all there is to say really. But I first realised I wanted to make a living out of it when someone said it came naturally and that people began to relate to it. Without sounding too hammy, that’s when you realise it’s in the blood.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
Currently, the work of Simon Stephens is always thrilling me. He speaks to me as someone who knows the time that we live and can see right through it. His work continues to excite, captivate, challenge and unsettle. A martyr of the contemporary British voice.
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
A one-act play entitled Great Mundane which appeared at the annual Drama Association of Wales’ annual one-act play festival. It was a short two-hander set in a funeral parlour concerned with a world where death has ceased to exist. Thank goodness I’ve changed my writing habits since then. I did win the Adjudicators Award though… and I don’t think I would have gained the momentum or the confidence if I hadn’t written it.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
I’ve just finished a draft of a new play called Lovely, which will be having a rehearsed reading in Cardiff this summer, and it seems to be that the more recent works become the one’s I am the most proud of because I am still developing as a writer. My work gets better every time.
Who or what inspires you to write?
Everything and anything. And it’s true. Anything can be made from everything you experience.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I don’t. But that’s the beauty of writing. It’s something that stays with you.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write what you know… it all comes from the heart. Don’t try and fake it.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
It was time for me to start reaching out into the writing community and engage with those who are also writing around me. I wanted to get a sense of absolutely everything that was going on in the writing scene and to begin taking myself seriously.
Christopher T. Harris’ more recent works include: Winona (2015) UK tour, The Good Living Guide for Travellers to Mars (2015), a play for children in association with Torfaen Borough Council, and a rehearsed reading of a new play Lovely at The Other Room Theatre in Cardiff.