Thank you for
agreeing to be interviewed for the blog.
Can you tell us
how you first decided to be a writer?
Like many of us, I read and wrote
copiously as a child – everything from rambling sagas to poetry, to keeping a
diary while on holiday. I was always
scribbling. I remember swinging off the monkey bars in the playground at
primary school and telling my best friend, ‘I’m going to be a writer!’ Later I
felt I’d made myself a hostage to fortune because, even then, I had a vague
idea it was both a precarious and difficult path to follow.
After I did an English degree, I went
through a phase of never wanting to write another word again! (thank you, F R
Leavis!). Plus, having bills to pay, I trained as a PA. But gradually the
‘decision’ to write crept up on me again. I started staying late at work to
write short stories, as I didn’t have a computer at home, sending them to
magazines and gaining enough success to inspire me to continue. I was living in
Holland by then so I also began to research and write articles on my life
abroad, selling them to expat magazines and supplements. Still unsure I was a
bona fide ‘creative’ writer, I returned to the UK to train as a journalist and
started working on women’s magazines. The two kinds of writing continued to
exist side by side and even complement each other. 
You are well known
as a short story writer. Why did you decide to start with short fiction rather
than dive straight into novel writing?
Having stopped writing for a while after
my degree, I wanted to feel my way back into written expression. I also think
that my journalistic training gave me a natural bent towards telling a story in
a succinct form. Over time, and as I wrote some ‘long’ short stories, I became
more comfortable with experimentation and expansion. A lot of writing (as I
understand it from my interest in its therapeutic benefits) is about giving
yourself permission to push beyond boundaries, however subconsciously
At what point in
your writing life was your first novel published?
I had sold several hundred short stories
and a similar number of articles, when I began to consider challenging myself
with a longer form. I finished Hush Hush
with no clear idea of what to do with it – part of my writing process was
probably cathartic – but found a publisher quite quickly. Luckily I’ve always
been a realist, so I didn’t assume I’d ‘cracked’ it and could now look forward
to fame, fortune and M&M riders all the way – but having the novel
published gave me the confidence to continue with the form. 
What gave you the
inspiration for the novel?
Facing personal upheaval in my life, I
began to pour onto the page how a fictional character might cope with a big
challenge: in Angela’s case, being widowed and needing to reboot her life, all
the while unaware of secret undercurrents affecting events – hence the book
title, Hush Hush. Writing her story
was liberating because Angela wasn’t bound by the restrictions of my own
circumstances; she could develop in any way I allowed her to. At the same time,
the richness of her life and its growing possibilities opened my eyes to a way
of thinking differently about my own life.  
You’ve worked as a
journalist. Would you advise anyone wishing to write for a living to encompass
various forms of publishing when considering a career as a writer?
Definitely. You learn so much. For
example, part of my journalistic training was in sub-editing, which has been
invaluable in prepping and researching my creative writing. Also, through
learning to shape a human interest story with a ‘hook’ to draw a reader into a
feature, I saw the overlap with fictional writing. Now, with social media,
blogging is a good way to hone your writing skills – we’ve all read about
bloggers who end up with publishing deals.
Tell us about your
latest work?
The short stories continue apace – I love
writing them. I’m also working on a new novel. As with my previous two, it will
be a contemporary story with plot twists and secrets aplenty. This one will
have a darker psychological edge, and opens with an intriguing mystery. As with
my previous two novels, I write from both male and female points of view, and
there’s a healthy scattering of dry wit.
I’m also very keen on continuing to
workshop on creative writing for personal development, and having fun while
doing it!  
About Gabrielle
Gabrielle is a
novelist, short story writer and freelance journalist, with a keen interest in
the mental health benefits of creative writing. Her contemporary romance Hush Hush, originally published in 1999,
has been reissued as an e-book by Corazon Books, with A Tale of Two Sisters, originally published in 2001, to be reissued
later in 2015. She loves cats, chocolate, Star
and Manchester Utd.
Twitter: @authorgabrielle
What a varied and
interesting career you have had, Gabrielle. Thank you for sharing with us.
The RNA Blog is
brought to you by
Elaine Everest
and Natalie Kleinman.
If you would like
to appear on the Blog please contact us at

  1. Author
    Joan Fleming 3 years ago

    Congratulations on your graduation from the NWS Gabrielle! You've certainly had a varied writing career up to this point – so interesting. Looking forward to meeting you at the party.

  2. Author
    Anonymous 3 years ago

    Hi Joan
    thanks for your kind words, although I must admit, I'm not in the NWS (and wouldn't like to steal their thunder!).
    Have a brilliant time at the party!

  3. Author
    Joan Fleming 3 years ago

    Gabrielle, I must admit you didn't seem to fit the picture I had of the JHA contender, but I'm prepared for some surprises! Yours is a fascinating writing journey – I'm glad it's featured on the blog.

  4. Author
    Anonymous 3 years ago

    I love the fact that we are so all so diverse X

  5. Author
    Elaine Everest 3 years ago

    Thank you for answering our questions, Gabrielle. x

  6. Author
    Anonymous 3 years ago

    Thank you for the opportunity, Elaine (if that doesn't sound too Apprentice-like!)
    Gabrielle x

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