Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?
CF White: Noise…music mainly, which helped when writing Seb in my latest book release as he’s an upcoming rock star, so it got me into his mindset a little. Plus, sometimes, I only get to write when my children are in the room, so it means I have the lovely background noise of Xbox or iPad games. Probably not the best parenting, but when you gotta write, you gotta write, right?
Studioenp: Em used to have that when writing. Kid noise lol. What’s your latest release?
CF White: I’ve just released Kick Off, book one in the District Line series. It’s about two contrasting guys living opposite ends of the District tube line in London, so one’s from the affluent West Kensington area and the other a real cockney east end lad, both with dreams of making it big as a rock star and a premiership footballer.
Studioenp: Cool! Contrast is right! How did the plot come about for it?
CF White: I wrote the three-book series a few years back online. I guess, in a strange kinda way, the plot came from Posh and Becks *insert embarrassed emoji*. Like, what if top football star like David Beckham actually fell in love with a man... Would he still be as big of a star as he is? So, I wrote about Jay, a cockney east end football geezer who ends up falling in love with a posh lad. Jay is from Plaistow in the east end and is trying to make it as a footballer after having been dropped from West Ham’s Football Academy after an “incident” on the pitch. He literally crashes into Sebastian, a posh lad from Kensington, who rebels against his upbringing by being an out-and-proud grunge, punk, rocker (so not quite Victoria...). The two couldn’t be more opposite, yet their desire to make it big in their chosen field is what connects them, but also gets in their way. The three books span their relationship from starting at the bottom of the ladder, to making it big and how that ultimately affects them both.
Studioenp: How fabulous. And lol at the Posh and Becks thing. How long did it take you to write it?
CF White: It took about six months to write all three books. But that was back when I was writing online on Wattpad. The books were eventually featured by the site and ended up doing very well, so I decided to take the leap to publish it in the “real world”. The edits to make it what it is now took much longer than anticipated. That was about four months hard slog, as I added extra chapters, deleted quite a bit, and rejiggled the plots. Needless to say, it’s been a real labour of love!
Studioenp: Glad that you got it published. What’s next on your writing list?
CF White: I’ve got so much on that list, I have no idea where to start *cue hysterical laughter*.
Currently, on the go, I have:
Won’t Hurt a Bit - the second book in my St. Cross Children’s Hospital series.
Love & Tea Bags - first book, May/December romantic comedy in my Pink Rock series.
Active Duty/Foreign Territory – two-book series, which is a spin-off from one of the characters featured in my Responsible Adult series, set in the British Army.
I’m sure there’s probably a few more, too....
Studioenp: Quite a few irons in the fire, then! Go you! Plotter or panster?
CF White: I was a complete panster. I normally have no idea what’s going to happen until I start typing. I may have an idea of the next chapter or an overall arc, but I don’t plan it or write it down anywhere, and just hope for the best!
But, recently, I’ve realised a little planning can help in the long run. Especially after all the rewriting I had to do on the District Line. So I’ve started jotting down notes but nothing more than that as otherwise I get a little bored before I’ve started.
Studioenp: Good idea. Best to have some things fresh and a surprise as you go along. What is your go-to form of procrastination?
CF White: Social media - a blessing and a curse. Also, believing that, right then, when I have free time to write with no children around, that I simply must message a writing buddy of mine, even though I see and talk to him on the daily, in order to send ridiculous, albeit hilarious, memes for the next two hours...
Studioenp: LOL. How many hours per week do you write?
CF White: In between carting children to school and groups, various appointments for the little one as he has a multitude of medical problems, and working part time, I don’t have an awful lot of time left. So writing becomes as and when I can scramble to a laptop. I’d guess around ten hours a week, but that’s probably ambitious. I wish it could be more.
Studioenp: Aww. What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?
CF White: I really want to write a historical romance. I’ve actually started one, set in Jersey during the German Occupation of World War Two. I’m so keen to write it, but as mentioned before, planning isn’t my strong point, and this one would require quite a lot of it. So it’ll be a slow process, but I will give it a bash.
Studioenp: Good for you! What’s the best book you’ve written?
CF White: What a question! It’s strange really, the best book I think I’ve written is the one most personal to me but yet had some of the worst, utterly painful, reviews. Misdemeanor was the first book in my Responsible Adult series, and my debut published novel. I threw my heart and soul into it. Mainly because I put a character in there who has the same rare disability as my son—Williams Syndrome. It was my way to raise awareness, as well as writing in a genre that I had grown to love. It’s about a nineteen-year-old tearaway who has to grow up fast when he becomes sole carer to his little brother. With a past life full of juvenile delinquency in a small town rife with idle gossip, Micky has to battle his way with learning how to be a responsible adult to keep his brother out of care, whilst also falling in love for the first time with another man. It’s real, raw, and gritty. It’s not light and fluffy (although, I’d like to think that it has its moments, as it can’t not with a character like little Flynn in it). But some readers had fundamental issues with it, and whilst I did not expect it to have some of the reactions that it did, I can’t deny anyone’s perceptions on it. It’s a real shame because I still believe this is a story that needed to be told over three books, and the end is so much more sweeter once the teeth gritting of the beginning has been endured.
But that’s just me, I know what I meant in how I wrote certain characters and situations. And it’s been a learning curve that not everyone will agree with how I did things. But those books will always be the ones closest to me, and the ones that needed to be written in the best way I could at the time.
Of course, my actual writing craft has improved since then, and other books will be seen to be better “written”. But Responsible Adult will stay number one in my heart forever.
Wow—that was a long reply! You still awake there?
Studioenp: Yes, wide awake! Well, it’s been a joy to have you here and finding out what you’re up to. You sound very busy, and your to-do list means you’ll be writing for a while yet, so we wish you well on your works in progress. Thanks for coming!