Pen Hildreth was born in the North East of England, grew up in Australia and New Zealand and now lives in a cottage in the wilds of the Northumbrian North Pennines. Pen attended Newcastle University graduating in 2009 with an MA in Creative Writing. In 2011 she won the Northern Star writing competition and in 2012 won a Northern Writers' Award from New Writing North with her children’s book, The Book of Lost Legends.
Pen Hildreth in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?I started writing coherent stories as a child in New Zealand, but didn't begin to write with the intention of becoming a published author until 2009.
What do you love about short stories?I like the way a short story can sweep you away to another world, hold you there for a short time and leave you with something that will stay with you forever.
Do you write in other forms?Currently I am working on a series of novels for children.
What distracts you from writing?Adult responsibilities - someone just let me be a child again!
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Art, history and music. I used to work as an illustrator so I can't resist doing drawings of the things I'm writing. I also like to create art using photography, drawings and textures with Photoshop - that is how I created my book covers. Music is important when I'm writing. I make playlists to go with the mood of whatever I'm working on; anything from Mozart to Prodigy.
What is your favourite book?Wuthering Heights
Who are your favourite writers?Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick
Where is your dream location?The 18th Century
What one item would you put into Room 101?Injustice
Do you have any advice for new writers?When a story comes to you, resist the urge to edit as you write, just spew out. Break all the rules until you get to the end, then go back and edit. It's like tipping the contents of a jewellery box on the table, picking out the rubbish and leaving behind the gems.
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