The author recalls the plot of her first ever story and shares her top tip for aspiring writers

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Fay Weldon is snapped at home in 2015

Fay Weldon wrote her first story when she was 14 © REX Shutterstock

Fay Weldon has enjoyed a busy career already spanning 50 years.

The author has written 34 novels, 5 plays, a number of TV dramas and 5 collections of short stories.

Fay has also penned several radio plays and scripted a couple of shorter stage productions.

How do you like your tea?

I like a black pu-erh tea [a special type of tea from China said to have health-giving properties].

Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with?

William Blake. He had a different vision of the world and I’d be very interested to talk to him.

What inspired you to put your short story collection, Mischief together?

I find it very difficult to pick ‘favourites’ from my old work – they’re a bit like children! But these stories explore how women’s lives have changed since the 1970s.

We’ve gone from being angry with men to having freedom and income – something you see clearly as the decades pass.

What’s the first story you remember writing?

I didn’t write much as a child – English lessons were about comprehension instead of creative writing. I wrote my first story when I was 14.

It was about a boy who dreaded going to school – quite gloomy really!

What’s your writing routine?

I write all the time – I’m a bit of an addict! The problem is, I’m interrupted by real life. One has to go to sleep or go to the dentist or eat dinner.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t stop.

What tip would you give to aspiring writers?

Work out why you’re writing the novel – ‘why’ is almost as important as ‘what’ and ‘how’.

It often helps to get your title first and then write to it.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I play computer games. My favourite is The Sims – it’s a good rest from the writing process and has a therapeutic purpose. I always cheat, though!

Mischief, an anthology of Fay’s short stories with a new novella, The Ted Dreams (£16.99, Head of Zeus) is out now.