Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interview with June Tate

A warm welcome to, June Tate, who was born in Southampton into a seafaring family. She followed the family tradition and went to sea, working for seven years as a hairdresser on the Queen Mary, and then the Mauritania.

A creative writing night school class started June’s writing career. She wrote articles and short stories before moving onto novels.

June, you write wonderful family sagas and have enjoyed a very successful career, can you tell us how it all began? How did you get your first break?

I wrote five Mills and Boon novels which were rejected, then I wrote a saga and as a member of the RNA, I met Judith Murdoch an agent and asked her to read my manuscript. She liked it and submitted the final copy to two publishers who held an auction between them. Headline became my publisher.

How do you set about your research? Do you interview people for their memories, or rely chiefly on books?

I am obsessed about accurate research and have shelves packed with reference books. I also trawl the internet and talk to anyone who may be able to help me.

Tell us about your office and the favourite things in it. Do you have a view or do you work facing a wall?

My third bedroom is now my office. I have a huge table facing a wall, away from the window which faces the garden. Above my computer is a large black and white picture of the Queen Mary, which my daughter Maxine gave to me. It holds so many happy memories of my youth and when I had a waist line!

Do you edit and revise as you write, or after you have completed the first draft? Which method works best for you?

When I write I am constantly editing. I read through my novel at three different stages, and edit again, so much so, that the final draft requires very little, apart from the fine polishing.

What tips would you give an aspiring writer on dealing with rejections?

I would say learn from every one. If the editors have made suggestions, take them on board. If not ask yourself how can I improve this piece of work. Don't take it personally!

If you could know the future, what would you wish for?

Entirely personal. Health and financial security for both my girls. With this any curve life throws is easier to deal with.

Do you have an exercise routine to help you avoid writers’ back problems, and does it work?

As for exercise. I don't! However I am going to join a fitness class for the over 50's to rectify this.

What should every good writer avoid?

A good writer should avoid repetition and above all avoid boring your reader. Instead surprise them, intrigue them and make them want to turn the next page.

Where would you most like to escape to and write?

I need to write in my office. This is my work place. Anywhere else would be too distracting.

Apart from writing, of which accomplishment are you most proud?

Apart from the birth of my two daughters, being a hairdresser on the Queen Mary where I met many Hollywood movie starts and VIP's.

Thank you very much for talking to us June and we wish you every success with your latest novel 'Their Guilty Pleasures'.

To find out more about June’s work visit her website at www.junetate.info


Henriette said...

Lovely interview, June, and I was very interested to hear about your experiences as a staff member on the Queen Mary. I once toyed with the idea myself, of working on board a ferry, but unfortunately I don't deal so well with high seas!

Lizzie Lamb said...

I really enjoyed reading this June. Its always interesting for a NWS member to learn how a published author achieved the path to publication. [Can you leave a trail of bread crumbs next time ?] When I'm writing I try to think what I would like to happen next as a reader and what turns me off a novel - generally over long descriptions and lack of humour. Like you, I find it hard to write when I'm away from my desk in my study where there are few distractions. Good luck with your new novel.

Angela Britnell said...

June, It's always interesting to hear another writer's story. I too have to write in my office I'm not a coffee shop novelist!

Beth Elliott said...

Your career on board ship must have given you lots of interesting ideas to put into stories, June. So many people and exciting places as well.
I hope your new novel does well.

Susan Bergen said...

Have you ever thought about writing a non-fiction account of life on-board the Queen Mary? It sounds fascinating.

Lyn McCulloch said...

Hi June, Lovely interview. My first husband was a Merchant Navy Officer and I sailed with him for years. Loved it and still addicted to the sea. x