Speaker – Fiona Gibson, 10th April, 2013

Fiona Gibson’s writing is witty and clever and funny, and very refreshing. And Fiona Gibson in person is all those things.  We were treated to an evening of anecdotes and honest talk that gave some fascinating insights into the journeys of this novelist. With eight books behind her – or rather piled up about on the table before her, there was a wealth of experience to share.
We traced a path taking in Fiona’s early days as a teenage author on Jackie and Just 17, to her life-changing first novel. Called Babyface, it drew on her guilty pleasure of trotting her twin boys about as baby models.  Life changing, because it set Fiona on her course, seizing inspiration from the humorous opportunity offered by raising small children.
With titles like Wonderboy, Lucky girl, and Mummy said the F-word, Fiona fictionalizes sensitive home situations and draws on life events that ring true with her readers. Writing from life, picking at the truth of little everyday observations is what gives her work its spark.
Fiona shared her experience of the publishing process that takes her stories to their apparently seamless printed completion. Always the self-deprecating humour of her telling: “Thank you for this draft” being the unwelcome response of her editor to what the author feels must be the finished book.
It is of course useful to hear how others get on with daily grind of writing; for Fiona it is a target of 7 pages, 1500 words a day, trying not to be precious, to keep herself entertained.
“Facebook, Ebay and self-loathing” was how Fiona introduced the complexities of publicity for the contemporary novelist – including publishing e-editions, keeping up with Amazon reviews, and the intimate reader relationship offered by Twitter and Facebook.
Fiona answered our endless questions – and for those who wanted more, she invitingly left her email address  – hello@fionagibson.com
Elizabeth Dell

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