Helen French

Helen French photo. Books.

Helen French

Do you have a favorite line or lines from your accepted pieces for The Ginger Collect?
“Corvid clouds soared overhead” – I couldn’t tell you why, though.

What season do you find you write the most in?
Autumn, probably. Winter is lovely but I’m less productive the closer it gets to Christmas and the season of mulled wine. Summer is all about sneezing for me, and spring… I guess spring is fine. But autumn makes me want to write at my keyboard while the skies darken and the leaves change colour. Autumn is awesome.

Who is your most influential writer? Who do you always go back to for inspiration?
I always struggle with this question. Ursula Le Guin, is my answer today, but it could be someone else tomorrow. Her influence on science fiction and fantasy alike is remarkable, and as someone who has always read across the whole speculative fiction genre, I really appreciate that. The Earthsea titles, The Lathe of Heaven and The Left Hand of Darkness are all books I see myself rereading regularly.

Do you keep any snacks around while you write? If so, what’s your favorite?
All the chocolate. Almonds are pretty nice too.

What inspired your pieces?
I used to drive through Stevenage every day on the way to work It’s a modern town (though it has an old centre), with lots of roundabouts. Fairly dull to drive through, but I’d see these crows gathering on the grass by the roads every day and couldn’t work out why. I set to wondering… what if they had a purpose? What if Stevenage was simply a place to gather and put their plans into action?

Do you find writing invigorating or exhausting?
Invigorating when I achieve something (The End, or just a good word count for the day). Exhausting when I’m in the middle of project and can’t see the way out yet.

What is your ideal writing environment?
A good solid block of time alone with my desk, my laptop and a magically refilling cup of tea.

Do you have any future writing plans?
Write more. Write better. Aside from that, I’ve written a lot of shorts this year, and would like to focus on more long-form writing in 2018.


You can read Helen French’s piece in Issue Four of The Ginger Collect: The Crows of Stevenage.

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