My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
Always! However, men and children somehow managed to scupper dreams of becoming a serious writer until I reached half-term: the age of 40. I had always written secretly but never dared to believe my words were good enough for others to read or that they would have any impact on the world – I was altruistic in those days. The daughter of a musician, with siblings in theatre and music, I thought working in the arts was normal. When I had wiped the wet from behind my ears, I saw that for a woman to succeed was not going to be easy – this was 1989. Ever the optimist, I ploughed on and am still ploughing.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
All the women who have put pen to paper and got paid for it.
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
My first article (1995) about my work with carers, published in Contemporary Theatre Review.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
The Lost Child – an award-winning film I wrote and directed, originally commissioned by Lancashire Social Services for the ACPC in 2004. Just released on YouTube.
Who or what inspires you to write?
Anything and everything.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
Caring for my husband who had a stroke in 2017, I don’t have much time to switch off from anything. I have written and published five novels in the last five years, so novel writing has been for me, a lifeline and a way to learn a new craft. Still learning.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep going, never give up, believe in your abilities and that you can improve. Don’t be crushed by not getting an agent or a publisher, or thinking everyone else is doing so much better than you. Writing is hard work and you have to be prepared to fail but also be sure you can succeed.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
I believe in unions, especially in the arts where it’s so easy to fall prey to unscrupulous people. I also think WGGB do a great job. I have used their services in the past and am still so grateful for their help and support.
Lyn Ferrand founded Turning Point Theatre Company and co-founded Buzzword Interactive Films. Working in association with a variety of voluntary and statutory agencies over a period of 15 years she was commissioned to write and direct plays and films that looked at diverse health and social issues. Lyn worked with director and humanist Augusto Boal. She wrote forum theatre plays and worked as a forum theatre practitioner for many different clients in the field of health and social care. Since 2015 she has published five novels and is working on a memoir. Find out more on her website.