Literati Profile: Polly Phillips

Why do you love what you do and what inspired you to begin?

I absolutely love storytelling, which is probably a cliché of an answer, but cliches become cliches for a reason. I also absolutely love writing my way through problems, relationships or things that I find interesting. I’m never happier or more grounded than when I have a pen in my hand.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given that you try to incorporate in your approach to work and creativity?

A very wise writing friend of mine has to constantly remind me that one of the key things that separates successful authors from the rest of the pack is their ability to persevere and endure. Writing can be quite a lonely business and I’m very lucky to have stumbled into a fantastic writing group, which really helps keep me sane and creative.

When and where do you feel most creative?

Anywhere near sugar!! Almost all of my writing is driven by hot chocolate or biscuits in one way or another. On a more serious note, listening to writing podcasts like In Suspense, The Write Off and others makes me want to write better.

When you’re not working on projects, how do you relax (eg hobbies, practices)?

I’m a bit of an obsessive runner and I actually find that running alone, with or without music, is sometimes the best time for ideas to germinate. Often I’ll be panting my way through the end of a long run and the answer to some knot in the storyline will start to appear. Of course, then I have to keep running to unpick it.

If you could collaborate with any other creative in the world, who would it be and what would you make together?

Gosh, what a fantastic question! I think, like a lot of writers, I’d love to see my words and characters brought to life on screen, so I’d probably pick an amazing TV producer/director or filmmaker. I love what David E Kelley did with Big Little Lies so I might pick him! If you’re reading, David…

What new projects are on your current horizon?

I’m working on a book about playground politics and mean mums, set around the premise – how far would you go to protect your child? It’s been a tough year for me to write with a lot of personal issues and other commitments, but I’m definitely getting fired up by it, which is exciting.

Ed’s note: Polly recently launched a new podcast, Off The Page, with fellow author Holly Craig. It’s well worth a listen!

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