I was asked recently about exactly how and where I begin writing a new story. I always begin with character and a sense of a voice. It can almost be as clear as hearing someone talking! And I start writing from this voice, listening to what he or she has to say. As I write I start to evolve a picture in my mind of what the character looks like and the situation that they are in – often a feeling of crisis and/or personal conflict emerges here – and this drives the story forwards.
It takes me quite a while to develop a new story as I need to get to know my new characters and, as I like to write with a fantasy theme, I have to work out how their reality intersects with a fantasy world. I often find that a feeling of comedy or humour comes from the characters themselves, often from the fact that they cannot see aspects of their own personalities that are nonetheless clear to others!