Author Interview: Poppy Dale

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Be sure to check out The End and the Beginning!

  1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

Noooo, I adore them all. I love reading paperbacks (so easy in the bath), but so far have only published an eBook. Once I’ve found a “forever home” I hope to begin collecting gorgeous hardbacks. And I’ve recently got super into audiobooks – the audiobook of Mariana Zapata’s The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is getting me THROUGH this month.

2. Pick a genre, any genre!

Literary fiction is my joy – is it a genre? IDK, but I just like to see regular people make stupid decisions. 

3. What is the first book you remember reading?

The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter. The adventures of a portly little pig and how he escapes danger and meets his soulmate! It’s literally my perfect romantic story. 

4. What book shaped your childhood most? 

Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh. Still waiting on my magic broom and talking cat … 

5. When did you first start writing?

I cannot remember not writing – I was thrilled to inherit a typewriter at 7 so I could write poetry about bunnies and foxes – but I began writing real novellas when I was 12. 

6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

I’ve always been driven to create stories, I’ve always had characters in my head and wanted to follow them … I still do! 

7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

Unpublished as of yet, but my proudest achievement is my novel, Little Bird. It is an around 240k words novel about people in their late teens and early 20s navigating creative passion, love – both romantic and platonic – autism and life! 

8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

I’m not even sure which book was my first, but you can be sure I won’t inflict it on the world! 

9. How many books/collections have you published so far?

Only the one book thus far, but hoping to get lots more out next year.  

10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

Literary fiction and contemporary queer romance are my wheelhouse, but I’m noodling around with some light fantasy! Maybe a wee bit of sci-fi at some point?? 

11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head? 

I tend to write first and research after, tweaking things that are obviously wrong. 

12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?

Death before planning!  

13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I originally was all for traditional publishing. I went to university for writing degrees and the push is very much traditional. But my heart was never in submitting, even though I got some really lovely and inspiring rejections. I did try on and off for about six years (mostly off) but when I decided to self-publish my debut, something just clicked. It was fun, I love it! The creative control is huge, and I get to write and publish with my partner.  I would never say never to trad publishing, but right now I’m happy being indie. 

14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Moominvalley. The answer is always Moominvalley.

15. Do you currently have a WIP?

I have … too many. Yikes. 

16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

I think my favourite character is an exceptionally tall, chubby, pale blonde Swedish boy with chronic health issues who life has been far too cruel to. I don’t know if I’ll ever put his story out into the world, but he’s my absolute heartsong – I have his initial tattooed on my back. 

17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus? 

The previously mentioned Little Bird, which I’m now editing for the … seventh time. Always has been, always will be, and it’s part of a larger series that is truly a world. I pretty much decided eight years ago that I could write other things, but this book series would be what my life was for – and I was not wrong! 

18. Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship! 

In my published book, Seeing Blind, I adored the romance between my little loves Jamie and Lev, but what always enchants me the most is sibling relationships? I hope that those feel just as real and heartfelt as the romance does! But whatever the relationship (romantic or platonic), it always comes down to someone seeing the other person completely and loving them or learning to love them as they are. 

19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song. 

Always! It’s nearly impossible for me to write fiction without music. There is always a part in every WIP where I turn on Bon Iver’s “Beth/Rest” and have a good writing cry! 

20. Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

Ah, it’s another little author dream of mine to have someone else create art for my characters! I always do a little moodboard for my books, and mess about with mock covers for ages before settling on one. 

21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

This sounds weird but – you don’t have to be a huge reader to want to be a writer. I love reading, but often struggle to set time aside for it. In university, I was told “why would you want to be a writer if you don’t read all the time?” Sometimes, you don’t WANT to be a writer. You just ARE one, you just have the drive. And that’s all you need, even if you read two books a year, and hop from WIP to WIP forever. It’s a heart thing. 

22. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I entered a little local bookstore contest when I was 15 and won it! It was to write a 150 word story based on the title “Free At Last”. I only had to take the story into the bookstore (printed out … in Comic Sans, why!), so it was very low pressure. I won a book token and bought Tales of the City. But I’m not really competitive, so I think that’s the only time I entered anything. 

23. Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers? 

These are the ones who I will read anything by them:

Sally Rooney 
Natasha Pulley 
Micah Nemerever
Tove Jansson
Alice Oseman  
Carmen Maria Machado 

24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Website | Seeing Blind | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

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