For the love of writing

It goes without saying that we are a team of keen writing enthusiasts at Hot Tin Roof. And if there’s ever an opportunity to encourage others to pursue creative writing, we’re definitely on board!

In celebration of National Writing Day 2020, we’d like to share the experiences that first inspired our passion for writing and a note from the talented authors who helped along the way. 

Our leader and resident blogging extraordinaire, Sarah Lee, kicked things off with a note on her love for the written word: I’ve always loved reading and exploring the world through words and ideas. I am fascinated by how writing can be used to persuade and influence, invoke feelings as well as explain and inform. I love the written word, so I naturally gravitated to working in PR where there is endless scope to write and spend my day playing with words.

Jasmine, senior account exec and budding short novelist added: I’ve always been fascinated with the art of storytelling. I remember during my childhood summers I would go to my Auntie’s house and write stories for her to read. I knew I wanted a career where I could create things and thankfully PR gives me that freedom. I love creating stories for clients and when all goes well the payoff is amazing! 

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

  Matilda, Roald Dahl

Our account exec, Alice, said: My passion for writing started when I was very young. I used to write mini biographies about myself with matching pictures (not that much worth celebrating had been achieved at the grand old age of 6!), and I would often write alternative endings to my favourite books. I started to lose this hobby during my teenage years, but I’m so thankful to have rediscovered it again when I started writing blogs at university. I love being able to write every day for my job – it doesn’t feel like work at all!

Of course, great writers are borne from great readers. And the team at HTR loves to get stuck into a good book. We asked our colleagues about their favourite authors, and the answers did not disappoint!

Our director Annie’s answer could have been featured as a quote itself: My favourite author is Carlos Ruiz Zafón, who wrote The Shadow of the Wind. I’ve often wished I could take refuge in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books, the secret labyrinth that features in four of his novels. If I could visit, I would spend hours wandering the dark and dusty shelves of unloved books, choosing one to rescue from obscurity. His characterisation is poetic while his complex storylines, peppered with intrigue and tragedy, keep me reading way past my bedtime! 

Sarah added: I’d have to go for Lewis Grassic Gibbon who wrote A Scots Quair. It is a book that I read first as a teenager and re-read every few years – I find more in it every time. It is the story of Chris Guthrie and runs from her childhood into old age. The characters are unforgettable and familiar, it is funny and sad, it covers politics, history, language, culture. It has everything. I love it.

“So that was Chris and her reading and schooling, two Chrisses there were that fought for her heart and tormented her. You hated the land and the coarse speak of the folk and learning was brave and fine one day; and the next you’d waken with the peewits crying across the hills, deep and deep, crying in the heart of you and the smell of the earth in your face, almost you’d cry for that, the beauty of it and the sweetness of the Scottish land and skies.”

  A Scots Quair, Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Senior account manager, Vickie, said: In all honesty, I tend to go through a phase of liking authors and then binging on their books until I run out or decide to try someone new. My latest author obsession is Lucy Foley. She writes great thrillers that pack a punch and leave you in suspense from the get-go.

Jasmine commented on her favourite author, Kirsty Logan: She’s a Scottish horror writer who has written a story collection called Things We Say in the Dark, discussing each of her fears. She deconstructs her sentences before publishing any book and uses clever word choice to make the reader uncomfortable from the start. It inspired me to start writing my own short stories. Quick, get an autograph now before I am too famous!

On a final note, Alice added: My favourite author has to be George Orwell. It sounds like an obvious choice but I only recently discovered the likes of 1984 and Animal Farm and I couldn’t believe how relevant they are, despite being written over 80 years ago! Coming from a psychology background, I love any book that takes an interesting view on society and culture, so I’m sure I’ll be working my way through many more of Orwell’s masterpieces in the coming months!

“It’s a beautiful thing, the deconstruction of words”

  1984, George Orwell

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