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

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.