Born in the middle of the 20th century, prevented by depression and anxiety from ruling the world, Marion Pitman likes detective stories, folk music and watching cricket. She sells second-hand books, more in the interests of re-homing the books than of making a living. She also writes poetry, which is rather like being a manufacturer of high-class gas mantles, however good they are nobody wants them.
1. Tell us three things about yourself.
a. One of my favourite places to write (in previously normal times) was the busy lounge of a large hotel.
b.I LOVE hot weather, if I could I would spend six months in each hemisphere and not do winter at all.
c. I have never managed to learn to drive, despite wearing out three driving instructors.
2. Many writers have said the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown have made it harder for them to create. Have you found this? Has the outbreak affected you as a writer and if so, how?
On the one hand, the anxiety makes it harder to concentrate, but on the other, I have more time, as I am staying with my partner rather than at my house; and I have always found writing to be a good refuge from unmanageable reality. I've written and submitted more short stories than usual, certainly.
3. What was the first thing you had published?
Well, ignoring poetry in school and parish magazines, it was either 'Dead and Alive' in the Fontana Book of Horror, or 'The Seal Songs' in 19 magazine. Both about 1979, if memory serves.
4. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?
Eek, there's a question. Probably the unpublished novel that is too short for any market.
5. …and which makes you cringe?
Probably another unpublished novel that I can hardly bring myself to look at, it's so full of me being depressed.
6. What’s a normal writing day like?
Sorry, you'll have to ask somebody normal.
7. What work of yours would you recommend for people on lockdown and in need of a good book?
Well, my short story collection, Music in the Bone (Alchemy Press) has been well spoken of, and has something for everyone – fantasy, horror, SF, humour, Western...
8. What are you working on now?
Good question. Just finished my second Sherlock Holmes pastiche (both of which should be due out before too long), and an occult detective story. Wondering if I should get back to the too-short novel and see if I can lengthen it...