Collaborative Writing Challenge

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

Author Spotlight: 
December 2015 
Moya Rooke

Every month I like to shine the spotlight on one of our participating writers. This month I am pleased to introduce Moya Rooke, who has been involved with CWC since the very beginning. Moya's starter chapter 'Ambition' was voted for and has just recently been published. I hope she won't mind me saying, but Moya is also our oldest writer to date! Learn more about Moya from the short interview below. 

1. What made you start writing?

My Brother in Law asked me to write to my sister because she was having a pacemaker fitted. I didn't want her to feel worried or depressed so I tried to take her mind off things by writing humorously about our childhood experiences.

2. Do you use good old fashioned pen and paper or your computer? 

I now cannot read my writing because I have Parkinson's so I do everything on computer.

3. How did you feel when your writing was first acknowledged?

Ecstatic and amazed!

4. What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am writing, producing and directing my third stage show for the Parkinson's Players, a drama group I was asked to form. I intend to stage the 2016 show during Parkinson's Awareness week in April.

5. How did you find writing a chapter for CWC, was it what you expected?

That is a difficult question to answer. I don't think I had any real expectations I just thought it sounded an interesting thing to be involved with. As for writing a chapter, yes, I did find that quite daunting for the first project because each writer only had summaries of previous chapters so not much to go on, and therefore, had no idea where the story was leading or indeed where it had been but that was what made it interesting. With the second project, as I wrote the first chapter, it was much less daunting because I didn't have to work on just the summaries of other writers so I never felt the same constraints as I did for the first project.

6. Where is your favorite place to write, and why?

My favourite place is a spare bedroom at the front of the house as that is where my computer is.   It's my favourite place because I cannot use a laptop and I don't think I will be able to use my computer for much longer, but my nephew has very kindly bought me a voice recognition system, which, hopefully, I will one day be able to fathom.

7. What do you consider your best work to date? Tell us a little about it?   

Funnily enough, I think it was my first piece, a play about an incident from my childhood which, I think is interesting with a feel good factor.

8. How did it feel when your starter chapter 'Ambition', was selected by your fellow writers? Can you believe the book is finished and published already?

When Ambition was chosen I felt elated, particularly when I saw that those doing the choosing were mostly published writers with so much more experience than myself although I was pleased it appealed to less experienced writers too because it might encourage them to submit. Yes, I can believe the book is finished and published already because the team who runs CWC and the writers are always dedicated to the cause of collaborative writing and are prepared to do everything to keep a project on target. 


9. If you could give just one piece of advice to upcoming writers, what would it be?

Stick at it. If it was easy everyone would be doing it so it would have no value.  

10. What is your preferred Genre to read and write?

My preferred genre to read is very different from what I like to write. I like to read serious works such as David Hume's Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning The Principles of Morals or Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, but I prefer to write humorous poems, scripts or prose that I hope will amuse.

11. Inspiration point: Write 100 - 300 words of fiction using this randomly generated word -  Amazing.

The Troubled Heart!

We had only been married three years and we had no children so I was able to visit whenever I was off work.  However, this particular Saturday I was surprised to find a man laying flowers at my husbands  grave.  I asked him what he  thought he was doing.  He told me he was my husband's brother but he had lost touch with all his family when he moved to Australia as he was traveling with his work  and was never in one place for very long.  I didn't  know my husband had any siblings so this came as something of a shock as he had never mentioned a brother although I could certainly see a likeness.

After the initial shock we got on so well that it wasn't long before we were spending all our time together.  We married a year after we first met in that cold, inhospitable graveyard.  We have been deliriously happy ever since.  However, this evening, I stood watching my beautiful, thumb-sucking daughter fast asleep in her cot, fighting for every breath because she was born with a heart defect.  As I watched I couldn't help thinking that, Grace, the name we had chosen for her was a perfect fit because she was amazing.   Yes, we have been blessed with our very own, 'Amazing Grace!’

12. What is your favorite book and why?

Another difficult question as I have so many 'favourites', but one that springs to mind from when I was younger is Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and another, now that I'm older is Cave Art and the Evolution of The Human Mind by Martin Paul Gray because it has an inscription inside that reads To Aunty Moya, all my love Martin.