The Creative Writing Interviews form a series of interviews with contributors to our Creative Writing Studies list. Find out about their work and approach towards writing.
Frances Haynes writes: Gill James writes novels and short stories for children and young adults, and short stories and flash fiction for adults. She lectures at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester. You can find her books here and her blogs at http://potatoesinspring.blogspot.com/ and http://creative-writingteacher.blogspot.com/
Gill is also a contributor to our forthcoming publication, Teaching Creative Writing.
Gill, what do you write?
I write prose fiction, in the form of short stories or novels. Often I use a future, historical or alternative reality setting. I also write some non-fiction and I frequently blog.
Whom do you write for?
I write mainly for young adults, though also for children and adults. I guess I often write for the young adult in me.
What achievement are you most proud of as a writer?
I’m very proud of having a short story in Frances Lincoln’s Lines in the Sand where I rub shoulders with Michael Morpurgo, Mary Hoffman, Carol Ann Duffy and many other writers I admire and respect..
I’m equally proud of having edited Hipp-O-Dee-Doo-Dah, for which Michael Morpurgo wrote the introduction, Anthony Browne provided the cover and I had to edit two Blue Peter Award winners.
I’m delighted too that my PhD novel was published along with its sequel.
What involvement do you have / have you had with creative writing as a university/college subject/discipline?
I’m currently a full-time lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Salford on the BA and MA programmes. I have also taught at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Wales, Bangor.
As a mature student I gained an MA in Writing for Children (Winchester 2000) and a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing (Bangor 2007).
What is your ambition as a writer?
I want my work to be as respected as much as Louisa May Alcott’s, Charles Dickens’ and Philip Pullman’s.