My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
Age three. I sat bolt upright in bed, with excitement, when I had the idea. (I had a strong sense of the dramatic, even then!)
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
Impossible to name just one: Tolstoy, Pasternak, (Arturo) Barea, Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Barbara Kingsolver, John Wyndham, Emile Zola, Richmal Crompton, Judith Kerr, Joan Robinson… and more.
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
A pantomime, when I was 13.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
Difficult… some comic sketches and stories, I think, but also the novel I am still working on. (Not yet sent out!)
Who or what inspires you to write?
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I don’t know if I do really. I like daydreaming in the bath – dancing, or being with friends. I’m always having to grab my pen though.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
There are grants out there. Working class people don’t even think of applying for these as a rule. My whole life has been spent battling to make time to write. I have always been able to sell my work (except when I try and write for women’s magazines, which I can’t do!) I come from an independent background, where you paid your own way – and it never even occurred to me to apply for a grant. Even though I have achieved a lot it is nothing to what I could have done, and I am just putting that grant application out now, in the hope that the second half of my life will allow me to write a lot more.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
I know that if I need to negotiate a contract for a play, or novel, WGGB will help me. They also run some excellent free workshops to help with the business side of writing, and I have greatly benefited from these.
Pippa Roberts writes plays and stories, many on scientific subjects. Her last play was performed in the Hull area, and her stories have been published in magazines and anthologies.