Tuesday 1 November 2022

Notes from Peppy Barlow

 We have recently published Peppy's book Invisible on Thursdays. Today she tell us about her writing life and about the book.  

1.      What do you write? Why this in particular? 

I mainly write plays and film scripts.  Invisible on Thursdays could work very well as a film script.


1.      What got you started on writing in the first place?

I have always been steeped in stories.  My father was a writer. My mother read to me as a child every night for at least an hour and my father and I went to the cinema twice a week and he was full of stories of his life in India an the war..  So when my grandmother gave me a typewriter when I was about six I knew what it was for.

1.      Do you have a particular routine? 

If I’m working on something I probably write everyday but who knows  how or when the next piece of work will present itself.  I have a great belief that stories know how to arrive and when to end.  


 D    Do you have a dedicated working space?

 I have a study which looks out over the garden.  It is full of paper versions of my plays, film scripts, family history and CDs of music I play when I’m working.  Pete Seeger on at the moment.


W When did you decide you could call yourself a writer? Do you do that in fact?

I have been a writer all my working life.   After I left university I became an educational journalist and worked in London and Dublin.  I started writing plays and film scripts when I was living on top of the Downs in Kent with my two year old son.  It was a way of making sense of my life.  This is where I met Persephone – my companion in Invisible on Thursdays.  This is where we set out from to go to Crete.

How supportive are your friends and family? Do they understand what you're doing?

  None of their business although of course they know what I do and quite often seem to enjoy the results – especially the plays.


    What are you most proud of in your writing?

     Whatever piece I’ve just completed.  Most recently Woven Theatre Company, of which I am a founder member, toured a play called Gainsborough and the Modern Woman which I wrote with Sally Wilden.  We’re both very proud of that.


1.      How do you get on with editing and research?

Research is often of my family and relationships or topics drawn from history.  Plays get edited as they are being developed and rehearsed.


Do you have any goals for the future?

 Keep going.


1.      Which writers have inspired you?

That chap Shakespeare was quite good I thought, and Samuel Becket and Yeats and anyone who writes without pretensions.


Invisible on Thursdays

This book is written from life so more about reflection than research.

It is a journey I took with a friend – both esoteric and actual.  I have included extracts from my plays and poems at the top of each chapter  and, along the bottom, the last letter my sister wrote to my mother when she was travelling in the Middle East.  It is a shape rather than a conventional book.

You can buy the book on Amazon and Kindle as well as some bookshops.

There will be a launch and a signing by myself and Nicki Holt who provided the image for the cover, at The Longshed in Woodbridge Suffolk.  Don’t have a date yet.  The Longshed Bookshop will also sell the book as I am a local author.  I already have a connection here as The Longshed houses a full sized replica of the Sutton Hoo Treasure Ship.  As author of the Sutton Hoo Mob produced by Eastern Angles Theatre Company I feel a particular connection.



1 comment:

Doug Jacquier said...

Always good to hear how other writers approach their work. Onwards and upwards. :-)