GOOD READS INTERVIEW
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Nancy Guild-Bendall The best thing about any passion you have is the intensity of the feeling you get from it and the connection you can make with your readers. I see my visual art and my word art as a legacy I am creating that exceeds my body now and my lifetime into the future. "Art is big, and it enlarges us."
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Nancy Guild-Bendall All my writing is driven by my visual art. My latest book was inspired by a painting I did a few years ago that I kept fantasizing about. I kept dreaming of visiting the world in the painting until I awoke one day with the elements of the painting forming a story in my mind. So I put a 'narrator' into the painting — someone who might have come across this scene. Who was she, how did she get there, who does she meet in the painting, what’s her story, why did she come, what was the conflict, etc.? Then I worked out how this one scene would fit into a larger story. This led to a brief outline where I began to answers these questions and more — I didn’t flesh out the whole story but enough to be going on with. When I started writing (while my enthusiasm was still a full volume), I trusted that every day I woke up, the next chapter would be in my head — and it was. My only problem was slowing myself down, the ideas were gushing forth too quickly and I would awake in the night with the urge to continue. The process was magical, life was charged with excitement the entire time. In the writing process, I was surprised myself by what happened next. It was like I was reading it and writing it at the same time.
Once finished, I polished it for months and months! That’s the professionalism and the twiddly bits.
My process is different from most authors I feel sure, especially with respect to the pairing of visual and word art. But the KEY to writing in my view is the same for all writers, that is, not doubting that the story is there and that you can and should tell it — not suppressing yourself with feelings of inadequacy.
How do you get inspired to write?
Nancy Guild-Bendall I paint, I read the works of others.
What are you currently working on?
Nancy Guild-Bendall I’m currently promoting my latest novel, 'Nethermost Regained'. Because marketing is a necessary evil, and boring to do, I’m trying to keep the fun in it by being as creative as I can with components of the marketing packet. So I offset all the business stuff with painting and writing smaller stuff. Also I’ve got an image of a book planted in my brain that I dream about from time to time. The new book will begin with a painting, this much I know.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Nancy Guild-Bendall Keep writing all the time, whether it’s a book, or a journal or a letter. Write to enjoy the words smithing. Play with words all the time. And don’t define yourself in terms of the success of the numbers of people who read your books. That’s just marketing and it’s the hardest thing for an artist/author to do. Try to reach one person first. Then another...
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Nancy Guild-Bendall First of all, I don’t panic and I don’t try to force ideas, plot or inspiration. It depends what I’m writing, but if I’m in the middle of writing a book, I continue writing anyway and allow the words to flow through 'on their own'. If I’m trying for an idea for a book and one is not coming I let it go and wait for the day when the germ of an idea starts to germinate in one of my paintings. With this painting in mind, I write a first chapter. If I like it, I start fleshing out the possibilities in an outline.