On this day… 9th December 1943 – Joanna Trollope born.
Joanna Trollope OBE (born 9 December 1943) is a British writer. She also wrote under the pseudonym of Caroline Harvey. Her novel Parson Harding’s Daughter won in 1980 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Trollope’s books are generally upmarket family dramas and romances, that somewhat transcend these genres via striking realism in terms of human psychology and relationships. Several of her novels have been adapted for television.
Tips on Writing from Joanne Trollope:
- You can’t be too old to be a writer but you can definitely be too young. My advice would be not to write until after 35. You need some experience, and for life to knock you about a bit. Growing up is so hard you probably won’t have much emotion to spare anyway.
- I don’t always set stories in villages, more often in towns. But always in smallish communities because characters’ actions are more visible there, and the tension is heightened.
- I plot the first 5 or 6 chapters quite minutely, and also the end. So I know where I am going but not how I’m going to get there, which gives characters the chance to develop organically, as happens in real life as you get to know a person.
Did You Know?..
By her own admission, Joanna is not someone who loved her schooldays.
‘I only really started to enjoy education when I got to university. No school can be blamed, however, it was more my childhood and adolescent sense of being an outsider, of not belonging (a very formative sense, I now know, for being a writer) that made me miserable at a time when 99.9% of children long to conform. But, I was very well taught, however, and I think I sensed this, even then.’