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Spotlight On Writers
- Where, do you hail from?
I live in Bristol, south-west England.
- What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I have the best of both worlds in Bristol; I live close to the city whilst being able to get out into the countryside quickly. Bristol has an attractive harbourside and is beside the river Avon, so I always feel like I am close to water. The city has a strong cultural hub with arts, literary events and theatre featuring strongly. It is an easy city to live in with children as there is always plenty to do.
- What turns you on creatively?
General conversation and newspaper or magazine articles are my main catalysts. Even when I try to switch off, I can't help tuning into other people's conversations wondering if there's a story in there that I could leave my imagination to explore. Just a word or two can be enough for a short story or a character's back story to begin developing in my imagination. Articles are great for sparking interest in something new or something I don't know much about. I like reading pieces that challenge my thinking, even if acknowledging the challenge can make me feel a bit uncomfortable at first.
- What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I am generally more interested in the meaning of words than how they look or sound. I love it when another language has a word that doesn't really have a direct translation in English. Last summer, Robert Macfarlane's word of the day was 'Fernweh' from the German, meaning 'far-sickness'. The opposite of being home-sick, it describes the painful longing to be elsewhere, and the desire to travel. Once I had heard this word, I looked into the translation of other German words that might conjure up beautiful images. I stumbled upon 'Kopfkino'; a word that translates literally as 'head cinema'. Kopfkino describes the way that we imagine how a scenario might unfold, in either a realistic or unrealistic way. I really liked this concept and definitely have a head cinema of my own.
- What is your pet peeve?
I am an organised person and hate being late. If I make a plan, I stick to it. This can be regarding how much writing I want to get done that day, the number of jobs I need to tick off my to-do list, or ensuring I honour plans with friends. I am therefore easily frustrated by last-minute changes to plans, being let down, or not accomplishing what I set out to achieve.
- What defines Hannah England?
I have a fascination with understanding our world, but that is not necessarily reflected in an urge to travel or physically experience new places. I am very sociable but definitely an introvert, and don't always find it easy to settle in new places. I find small experiences just as rewarding as big ones and like being able to reflect on what I have seen. Sometimes this comes out in my writing, and at other times I like to share my thoughts with others. My love of reading has allowed me to travel to places I have never seen, and times that I have not lived in. Often stories stay with me for a long time as if they have become part of my own memories. I do not show my emotions outwardly, but am privately quite an emotional person. I find it easy to understand how others might be feeling, and have a compulsion to say yes to all requests for help. This is both a virtue and my downfall.