Mystery, murder and manners spring to mind when I think of the lovely Robin Stevens; writing murder mysteries (of the politest kind) that is. Robin had a love of writing from being a little girl and is now well known by children (and adults! I recently devoured A Murder Most Unladylike) for her highly acclaimed crime fiction books.
Robin regularly visits schools, events and workshops to talk about her love of writing and it’s clear that she, like us has a real passion for inspiring young writers. Now she’s joined forces with us to support our Mighty Write competition so I caught up with Robin (@redbreastedbird) to discuss all things mighty about writing.
Anna: Did you always love writing?
Robin: Always! In fact, I remember loving to tell stories before I could even write. It’s how I make sense of the world, I think.
AW: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to write?
RS: When I write my Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, I know I want to see if I can trick my readers and create a water-tight and believable mystery. But I think I also want to create characters who seem realistic, who behave the way the people I see around me do. It all springs from the same impulse – to tell a really good story!
AW: Pobble motivates young writers by sharing their writing with the world, how would you encourage young writers to keep going?
RS: I think it’s important to write for yourself, rather than for anyone else. People may not get what you’re doing, but that’s not important. If you love what you’re writing, then you should never give up! It’s also really important to remember that writing is like any other skill – you get better at it every time you practice. I get better every time I write, and each draft of each story gets better too. You’re not going to write something perfect the first time you sit down, and you shouldn’t expect to!
AW: The theme for Pobble’s Mighty Write is “If I ruled the world”, what one thing would you do if you ruled the world?
RS: I’d love a world where women made up 50% of movie and book heroes and 50% of politicians. If I could make that happen, I’d feel like I’d done a pretty good job!
AW: What advice could you give to our competition entrants to help them write a winning piece?
RS: This is quite similar to my answer to your third question, because I think that it’s really the only advice that matters: enjoy yourselves! If you are having fun with your story, it will shine through, and your readers will enjoy themselves too. Good luck!