Writing Superheroes: Carol Hedges

Super Grandma winds her way up the stairs to fuel her superpowers with coffee and cake! Read on and find out more…

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According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!

Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.

 

Thank you in advance for letting me crash your blog!

 

 If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?

My origins go waay waay back to when I was 9 years old. I won a coy of Jane Eyre for writing a book review. Not only did the winning give me the idea that I could write, but the prize was the beginning of my love of Victorian fiction. I do have a drawer with some early efforts at writing…and a pile of rejection letters, some of them deeply ironic, given the success and prizes I have won. No, you can’t see them, though I do bring them out and read them at book talks ~ just to show people that you shouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

 

carol-hedges-pictureAll superheroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.

I am also ‘Super Grandma’ …. minder of small 2 year old granddaughter. I’ve been looking after her 2 days a week since she was a year old. We play, we go on swings, we read books, we crayon, we make our own sandwiches, we ride buses. Nobody knows who we really are…..

 

Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?

I have 3 partners in crime: the first is my husband, who reads and edits my books. He does charts to check all the characters have viable stories and nobody gets stranded mid book. My second partner is my son-in-law. He goes through the text, looking far any mistakes that may have been missed. He misses NOTHING! The third partner is my cover designer David. He is a local graphic artist, and has done all my covers, building them into a recognizable series.

 

Where do you get your superpowers from? 

My superpowers come from COFFEE …which I drink in a large pink spotty mug (has to be) and CAKE ~ Victoria sponge, of course…have to be cake-specific. Occasionally I import a third superpower: Prosecco ~ this is usually after a day minding my granddaughter.

 

Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?

Come with me…up the creaky stairs…to the Writing Room. It is situated at the back o the house and contains my desk, with precious objects like my beanbag lobster called Thermidor, my china ducks and my HUMUNGOUS pile of notes. Here, I spend a lot of my time staring out of the window and occasionally making up stuff. I emerge at intervals to make coffee and find cake. Somehow, books emerge. Don’t ask me how it happens.

 

What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?

I do a lot of walking. If I get to a stuck bit in the plot, I take it for a walk ~ somehow it always oils the plot wheels. Gym? Sorry, don’t do that. I have been known to jump to conclusions ~ does that count as exercise?

 

Granted, you probably don’t’ get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?

A black Steampunk leather jacket, necklace with skulls on it, long black velvet skirt, red lace vest and black boots …actually, this is EXACTLY what I wear to give book talks!

 

What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced in your writing?

I think just keeping the writing going. I am now on the 5th book in the series that wasn’t ever meant to be a series. It is easy to think: I’ll never write another book again….and then…I do.

 

What was the supervillain that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?

I had a serious split form the small publisher who’d previously published the books, and had suddenly to take control and get all 3 uploaded in a few weeks. It was a learning curve of monumental proportions and I almost decided not to keep writing. But I kept going.

 

What important lessons have you learned along the way?

There are people who will support you, and people who will knock you down. It’s important to believe in yourself FIRST otherwise you will constantly be affected by what others think.

 

What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?

Acquiring loads of lovely mates via Twitter and other social media sites. Most are NOT writers, so couldn’t care less that I do this dark thing in a lonely attic room involving a laptop and a pile of overdue library books. They keep me grounded and stop me thinking too highly of myself.

 

If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?

I think I wouldn’t stress so much about having to have an agent or a publisher. It is quite possible to write books and be published and sell successfully without them. I have had them.  They had their uses, but they are not the be-all and end-all to publication.

 

What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.

Place backside on chair. Place fingers on keyboard. Write.

 

Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.

New book, Murder & Mayhem is the 4th in the Victorian Detectives series. It will be published mid-September as book and ebook on Amazon .com and .co.uk. There are mad Anarchists, unscrupulous young men, 2 sweet young ladies and of course, murder galore! All taking place on the mysterious gas-lit streets of 1860s London. Wow! I must read it myself!

 

What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?

Next year, all my Spy Girl teen reads are being re-issued, including the never-published 5th one! New editions, new covers, available in the US for the first time! I am SO excited!

 

 You can find this superhero online at:

Website~Amazon~AmazonUK~~Twitter @carolJhedges 


 

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1 comment

    • Linda Zupancic on September 11, 2016 at 9:30 am
    • Reply

    Thankyou for sharing your journey, encouraging! From another grandma, a writer in process

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