Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Bournemouth, Dorset and still resides there now with her husband, children and various animals. She writes in both the Young Adult and Adult genre, and describes her work as gritty and character driven.
WORK /LIFE BALANCE
In the day I don't get any actual writing done but I do go online and do bits and bobs - emails or promo stuff, whatever the baby allows. Then I don't get on again till he's in bed. It's just solid then until I go to bed – 3 or 4 writing hours maybe.
My other three children are all a bit older so they know once the baby's in bed it's my writing time. But I feel guilty all the time. But they understand that a bit because it's the only time I have until he wakes up. The day goes so quickly. When the baby was teeny tiny I got loads done because he was just asleep or I could have him with me and carried on so it was brilliant. I have Saturday nights off because it's family time. I do sneak on during the day on Saturdays. The kids did ask me the other day if I could give them 2 nights a week. And I said, “Well okay.”
I'm mostly character driven because it starts as a person in my head; their problems and dilemmas are coming through then the plot will come after that. The only book I did know the plot for more than the character was The Tree of Rebels and that's the one I struggled with the most because it's not the way I normally do it. I'm not sure about it yet.
Usually my books are set in the Bournemouth, Dorset area where I've grown up. I'll leave place names the same and in the rewrite I tweak it and change place names in case anyone gets offended.
It always creeps into my writing. It runs right the way through The Boy with the Thorn in his Side – his journey through music was mine - what I got into first, the whole Brit Pop and Grunge thing. In The Mess of Me, Joe's really into music and with This is Nowhere it's the mum who has disappeared who's into music. It's definitely a big part of me. I've always got music on when I'm writing so this probably influences what goes into the book at the time.
Primarily I read anything that is character driven. I do like that. If nothing much happens but I love the characters then I'm happy. My favourite book ever is The Catcher in The Rye. But I'll read anything. When I was growing up I was obsessed with horror books and Steven King was my favourite author for years and years. I'm not overly keen on Romance. I like a love story but I don't like the Romance genre as such. I wouldn't seek it out. With Sci Fi it really depends but I'll give anything a go.
SOCIAL MEDIAFacebook is my main one. I go on twitter but I don't have time to read everyone else's tweets. Pinterest I really love but I don't have time to go on there every day. The more boards you have the better. They show you all these catalogues. I've started putting together vision story boards for the different books. It doesn't work with all my books but with the more visual ones it's great. I've had a few people follow me from there onto other sites so it's got that whole thing of linking up which is what you're meant to do. I've been on loads then just slacked off and decided I'll stick to these main ones and the blog.