Friday, March 11, 2011

Author Insides - Francesca Borrelli

Francesca Borelli is a contemporary poet and artist. She was born in Milton Keynes to an Irish mother and Italian father and read English language and Media at the University of Brighton. Having also studied fine art, she has an extensive portfolio of paintings and one day hopes to own a gallery on the southern coast of England. Her poetry is modern in style and is mostly autobiographical, influenced by her diverse background and interests. She has been published in Monkey Kettle, a UK based literary magazine, and is aiming to have all her anthologies published in their entirety.

Francesca's poem, "Collecting Rob," appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of The Battered Suitcase

Francesca, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Several years ago I enrolled on a creative writing course. It was a great feeling to be part of a group, all with the same aspiration but such different styles. You realize how powerful written language is and if you have the ability to use it well, you should pursue it.

Why do you write?

We experience so much from day to day, scenarios, people and places that could so easily be forgotten. For me, if I pass someone on the street that interests or intrigues me, I can write a poem about them. They’ll never know it exists, but when I read it back I can picture that person and how I felt at the time-photographs don’t always achieve that.

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?

I knew it would be difficult. I can go two or three weeks without producing anything, but then write five poems in one afternoon. If you expect to write something every day, it won’t always be the best quality.

What do you think makes a good story?

The structure always determines a stories success, leading the reader at the right pace is a true talent. Showing the reader rather than telling them is also a key factor, some writers over describe but it’s good to let the reader do a lot of the work, that’s what reading is for.

What's your favorite genre to read?

I enjoy poetry obviously and also thrillers. Mary Higgins Clark captures my attention. I also love light-hearted books- Marian Keyes gets me through my holidays.

Who is your favorite author or poet?

My favourite poet is Wendy Cope. Satirical writing is extremely hard to pull off but she does it effortlessly. Maggie O’Farrell’s ‘After you’d gone’ is an amazing book; I love her description and the layers she creates.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?

‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ by Wendy Cope opened my mind up to poetry. She proves it doesn’t have to follow the stereotypes of nature and love. Poetry can be about anything, it’s a very versatile form.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?

‘Tully’ by Paulina Simons is an unbelievable book. It is so intense and emotionally draining but I could read it over and over again; an amazing plot.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

I tend to write a lot on train journeys- moving at such a fast pace must kick my brain into gear! The streets of Brighton always spark ideas; everywhere you turn there are different colours, textures and smells (plus the sea air is always beneficial).

What does your family think of your writing?

They must find it unusual when they read my work as I’m not a very open person and writing is a very personal process. They aren’t my most frequent readers, maybe because a lot of my poems feature them!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I’m not a full time writer, so in between work I write as much as possible. I write about things that happen in my life so if all I did was write I’d have no content!

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?

In my last house I had a huge bay window that my desk sat in. That’s where I would do all my editing. Now that I’ve moved I’m yet to find a more suitable place. Other than that I don’t have many quirks, apart from a good pen, my usual note pad and lots of tea.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Trying not to repeat myself. It’s important to keep things fresh for both yourself and your readers.

What are your current projects?

I’ve almost finished my second book entitled ‘Beyond September’. It’s slightly darker than my first but still includes a lot of autobiographical poetry. I’ve been working on it for over a year now but it’s nearly there.

What are you planning for future projects?

I would love to write a short collection about a relationship. Whether fictional or non-fictional-I haven’t decided yet.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read what you write. It’s amazing how reading other peoples work can determine your own style because you identify the aspects you like and dislike which ultimately shapes what you do when writing yourself. Also remember that editors are just people. If they don’t like a piece, it’s just one opinion out of billions-believe in what you write.

Where else can we find your work?

I’ve been published in ‘Monkey Kettle’, a UK based literary magazine and am waiting to hear back from several other publications.

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