Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
Since leaving Exeter University, I have written two bestselling noir thrillers, published by darkstroke, and have recently submitted the third in the series, under the pseudonym, Morwenna Blackwood. In addition, I’ve written a short story for a charity anthology called Dark Paris, which will be released on New Year’s Eve. I’m currently writing a spin-off series of novels, a children’s book, a crime thriller, and various short stories. I’m inspired at the moment, and it’s brilliant!
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I’ve only ever wanted to be a writer, and taking my MA in Creative Writing helped me to achieve this. I love exploring the inextricability of stories – my novels stand alone, but the characters and events interconnect – and am fascinated by people’s motives for the things they do, in particular, what makes them cross a line. Mental health is a primary theme in my work, and if I can help a reader, or at least provoke thought, then I’m happy. Unlike many authors, I really enjoy the editing process, too!
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
I absolutely loved my degree! The highlight for me was writing the poetry element for assessment – I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy that part of the course, and was more than pleasantly surprised!
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
The enthusiasm of the lecturers. It was infectious.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
As a mature student, I needed to be able to study part-time and near to my house and place of work. I knew Exeter had a great creative writing course, so it was perfect.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Being exposed to works of literature I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to read, is always a good thing, as is writing out of my comfort zone – poetry and screenplay for example. Also, when I did my first degree in Manchester, no one had a laptop or a mobile phone, and the internet wasn’t really a thing, so doing presentations and just accessing the library gave me invaluable skills, and the confidence to approach agents and publishers.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Degrees benefit you in many ways, but ultimately, YOU have to make things happen. Enjoy and make the best of your time at University, but never stop writing and reading, and really get to know the industry before you hit ‘send’ or ‘publish’!
What are your plans for the future?
Aside from finishing the projects I’ve started, I intend to keep pushing myself with my writing and experiment with different genres.