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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Chrissy Ward shares the inspiration behind her new book, The Profile Picture, and her creative writing process.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Chrissy Ward about her life and career, the inspiration behind her debut book, The Profile Picture, and her creative writing process.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m retired now, but I’ve enjoyed a varied career path, for the most part working in our family engineering business and hospitality business. Generally, I wouldn’t describe myself as a sports person, but I have completed The Moon Walk, 26 miles in the dead of night…it wasn’t easy. I love to travel and experience different cultures, I hate cooking, but love eating. Food is high on my list of best loved topics.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
Writing a book wasn’t something I’d considered before or planned; it was just a crazy idea that was really borne out of boredom during the covid pandemic. I read an article by Anne Hegarty (The Governess from ITV The Chase) where she says that everybody has at least one book in them. I just decided there and then to give it a try.
When did you take a step to start writing?
My journey, like I said, really began during the covid pandemic, when lockdown provided the free time, I wouldn’t necessarily otherwise enjoyed.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I began my writing process in May 2020 and The Profile Picture was finally released on April 20th 2023.
What made you want to write The Profile Picture?
In the first instance, to see if I could write a book. As I progressed, I became completely immersed in the whole procedure, creating the plot and the characters, I absolutely loved it.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Profile Picture?
For me, the biggest challenge was keeping the story line on track. I had so many ideas floating around inside my head, I literally, had notes all over the house.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Once again, the antagonist is a mix of some very troubled characters I have come across.
What is the inciting incident of The Profile Picture?
This would have to be where the protagonist engages for the first time in the world of social media and finds as a result her whole world turned on its axle.
What is the main conflict of The Profile Picture?
The main conflict is how assumption mixed with poor communication can cause havoc and change the course of your life forever.
Did you plot The Profile Picture in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I plotted the whole story from beginning to end.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Profile Picture need?
My publisher, Clink Street, completed the editing process and I was very happy there were no major changes advised.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Create a strong plot line and a relatable cast of characters.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I don’t want to say too much about my next book, suffice it to say it is nearly finished.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes, I’m very proud and it was most certainly worth the effort.
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