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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Margaret Porter

author Margaret Porter and an image of her book A Change of Location

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? In an increasingly–as it too often seems to me–complex, complicated, and in many ways divisive world, literature has enormous positive powers. It enlightens, informs, entertains, explains, illuminates. It encourages thought in the writer and the reader. Prompts discussion that can break down barriers. As a career writer, I cherish my “special power” and those who share it.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? R & R. Research (for the work in progress, or a future book) and Reading. The process of investigation is a proven way of driving me back to the manuscript to incorporate whatever I’ve discovered. Reading books by other authors is similarly inspiring–it excites me, and restores my determination to carry on with my own work.

What is your favorite time to write? Whenever words ready flow and characters are active. Generally, after the first cup of morning caffeine, whether hot tea or coffee. I write throughout the day, intermittently, taking breaks for exercise or gardening or walking the dog or chatting with my husband. As I approach deadline, I’ll write into evening.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write whatever most excites and inspires you. Which is the same as saying, don’t follow ever-changing market trends or bestseller lists. Enthusiasm for every component of a literary work–genre, style, subject, event, character/s, setting, etc.–is absolute crucial to the creative process and the writer’s satisfaction.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m exciting about the expanding opportunities and choices for reaching the readership. Traditional publishing survives and digital publishing has expanded an author’s reach. Now other forms of publishing–hybrid and independent–enable writers to maintain more control over the production process and to present their work to the public, often within a somewhat shorter time frame than in the past. And countless trees are being saved by our ability to exchange digital files with our editors and agents and advance readers, instead of relying on paper and printers…which inevitably choke at the worst possible moment!

Margaret Porter’s A Change of Location is out now ‎with Gallica Press.