BHASVIC & Bethan make contact

Year 13 Creative Writing students at BHASVIC with their copies of My Policeman by Bethan Roberts

A group of Year 13 students from BHASVIC have kicked off their correspondence with Bethan Roberts with some really thoughtful and interesting questions – we share some of these below, with Bethan’s responses;

M asked Bethan a series of great questions, starting with What inspires you the most?

Bethan replied: The truthful answer is that anything can be inspirational — your reading, what you watch on YouTube, your home town, your dinner, your friends, your family, the music you listen to, the weather, clothes, those little birds that sing every morning that you don’t yet know the names of… I don’t really know where my ideas come from, but I think all writers are fascinated by the world around them. It’s about listening, noticing, and tuning in to whatever it is that makes you wonder. 

M: How did you decide on the names for your characters? Are they names of people you know personally or did they come to you at some point?

B: As for the names of characters — these can come from anywhere. In My Policeman I think I probably stole some out of newspaper reports from the period I was writing about. If I’m stuck, I often think back to the names of all the children in my primary school (that’s where the name Patrick came from). 

M: How did you become an author?

B: How I became a writer is a long story, but the short answer is that I’d always wanted to be a writer but never had the confidence to take it very seriously until I studied for a Creative Writing MA at the University of Chichester. There I met other writers (I hadn’t known any before), and people who liked reading my work. I then managed to complete a first novel, and when I’d done that I found an agent, who (eventually) found me a publisher. This whole process took years.

M: And finally, last but not least, how many edits did it take before you had the completed version of My Policeman?

B: My Policeman went through a lot of drafts. I’m constantly re-drafting my work. My first drafts are always pretty rubbish. It’s only when I go back and re-write that things begin to come together. Sometimes this takes only two or three goes, other times it’s many more than that. 

Thanks BHASVIC & Bethan for the great questions and replies, and we look forward to seeing what you get up to next!

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