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Shona Charlton

London, United Kingdom


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For ten years I was lost in the wilderness of the media
world, making countless films and TV programmes and
creating designs to laud the deeds of others. But all this
while, I was also writing - scripts, screenplays, promos,
poems. And - in fits and starts - my two novels. Now, I
am somewhat settled (or so I am told) and the questions I
have avoided have come back to haunt me and ruin my
coffee breaks.

So, I came back to writing because it draws out the truth
from within.

I can offer you the answers to these questions:

1. Why Should You Write ?

Don’t answer that, ask instead…
How best to have a dialogue with yourself.
Myself, I find design and illustration therapeutic - but up
to a point.

2. Does your best work have to be a child of misery ?

Imagine the unthinkable - that all the people and objects
of love and security, that you have grown used to thinking
will be around forever, are taken away. A Break-up, the
end of a relationship with that arrogant badge of Forever,
is bad. But if, after the initial humiliation and
bewilderment, you realise you were a pawn or a rook
when the game being played was Skittles, the pain turns
to rage. Rage is not a reliable muse.

Imagine the unbearable – losing someone to... ( I still
cannot take its name, I find myself inventing fantastic
theories of the afterlife and ancestral spirits watching over
the living and sometimes have this frightening certainty
that all the people I love are still among us, in a form we
cannot perceive) - as if all the love and all the
relationships you grow up with are just so much sand in
your hands, trickling away. When this insight hits you at
four in the morning, you awake breathless, thirsty leaving
you a flayed ghost facing the bitterest cold of any winter
in your life...

Then you grasp, clawing frantically at the last of the
elementary particles that constitute existence, in order to
collide them into creating light.

For it is frightening - this cold, dark, silence within you.
When you reach out for a purpose to hold on to, you find
no straws to clutch. There’s nothing in there.

So. No. Your best work is not born of misery - having
spent one year incapacitated by an automobile accident
and spinal surgery, living on mind-numbing painkillers - I
can assure you of this. I got my mind back, and my Muse.
Only when I was happy again.

Life, in the living of it has the responsibility of it.

Interests: Children's Fiction, Children's Book Illustration, Film & Cultural Theory, Media, Cinema, Chick-lit

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • Men Making Men - An Anthology of Essays on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein