This month at The Riff Raff we have Charlotte Bowyer joining us - the 17 year old sensation who started writing her debut novel, His Frozen Fingertips, at just 15 years of age - putting the rest of us to shame!
Charlotte describes herself as a firm believer in freedom of expression and diversity, she attends Pride in London on an annual basis, and is a vocal feminist. She believes in the blurring of labels to encompass all types of relationships, and the human right to love indiscriminately. His Frozen Fingertips is a reflection of these beliefs.
Here's the blurb...
When he is diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition at the age of seventeen, Asa is certain that his adventures have come to an end. He is alone, having been abandoned by parents who never wanted him and a village that couldn’t raise him. However, as the bells start to ring, those are the least of his problems. The evil sorcerer Erebus has the land of Eodem under his control. Thrust into a world of distrust and aggression, Asa can rely on just one person: his friend Averett. The wall that divides Eodem seems to be an unobtainable goal, and danger is always one step ahead.
Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.
I had been playing around with different book ideas for some time but the first flash of inspiration came when I was fifteen-years-old and on holiday in Cornwall. Our house had no WiFi so my laptop was useless and I was incredibly bored. One day, when I had run out of books to read, I opened Microsoft Word and decided that I was going to write an epic LGBT+ adventure story – and over the next year I somehow managed to finish it!
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?
I wish that I had known that planning is vital to a good book, if I had then I would have spent longer on it beforehand and saved myself a lot of stress later on in the process.
What’s your go-to procrastination method?
Messing around on Tumblr and YouTube in the ‘search for inspiration’ until I realise that I have no time left for actual writing!
What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing your book?
I don’t know about tantrums, but I had a lot of breakdowns when dealing with the stress of GCSE work and writing. Sometimes I let my schoolwork slip a bit but my teachers and parents were not happy about that so I tried to balance writing and work equally. It turned out alright in the end, but I wouldn’t want to relive the stress of that year.
>> Read more My First Time interviews here
Best thing about writing your book?
The satisfaction that came from setting myself a goal and achieving it.
And the worst?
The moment during the first edit when I realised that my first draft was still miles away from being anywhere near publishable. I nearly gave up then and there when I saw all of the plot holes and weak writing.
Go-to writing snacks?
Anything and everything that is in the fridge.
Who or what inspires you to write?
The idea of change inspires me to write, the fact that a book written by one person can influence people from all over the world.
The book that changed you?
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I am a bit of a classics nerd and I enjoy both its context in the Iliad and its unforgettably vivid prose.
Your pump up song?
It’s a bit 2013 but my ringtone is still ‘Pompeii’ by Bastille.
If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer dead or alive, who would it be?
John Keats because even though he is dead, his writing is so beautifully alive. It would be interesting to speak to a young writer who managed to write such iconic poetry amidst the terrible circumstances of illness and loss that Keats had to suffer through.
One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get a book published?
You get better with every word you write, be it fanfiction, angst poetry, or Tumblr posts. Don’t let other people’s opinions affect your growth as an author.
Charlotte is joining us at The Riff Raff on August 10th - come hear her read! You can snap up your tickets here.