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Shell Rice Mutimer Interview

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

When and how did you start writing?

I started writing at Middle school. I enjoyed writing short stories and loved creative writing. After my children were older I decided to enrol at the Open University and study for a degree, whilst it was on my bucket list. I really wanted to write and send my work off to be published but lacked the confidence.

I loved to write short stories and my genre is mostly ghost stories.

My earliest memory is listening to bedtime stories being read to me and I joined in adding extra bits like a princess warrior mermaid battled the ghoulie goblins and won a chest full of gold and jewels. This I encouraged with my two children and we would make up stories whilst reading The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton by far my favourite book.

I honed my craft by studying at the Open University. I found I absolutely loved and excelled at Screenplay writing, getting my highest marks. I just love the mixture of show and tell, getting behind the camera and watching the drama unfold as the viewers would see it.

I enrolled on the' Writers and Artists How to get published day in Camden London' and found meeting other like-minded writers at different stages of their writing career encouraged me more to write my novel and screenplays, also writing several short stories that have been published in a variety of Open University Short Story Anthology Books.

How does writing begin for you? Is it an idea, a conversation, a title or an image?

Writing begins for me with either an image or a snippet of an idea. For instance, I was on a first date in Nowton Park Bury St Eds and while walking through the woods I nearly tripped over a tree root and the guy said to me 'Imagined if you tripped up and banged your head' My first thought was 'woah run' lol But then an idea seeded in my head of two people on a first date and one of them has an accident. I used this as the basis of my screenplay story where I got my highest marks.

What writing advice have you been given that really helped you?

The best writing advice I have been given is an amalgamation of advice 'Never give up' and 'Just write, let it flow. Don't think or stop to correct, get all the words out, you cannot edit a blank page'

For me, I love to see a blank page being filled up with writing. I try and time myself for 10 minutes or 20 minutes and just write. It is surprising how much you can jot down in that time, either continuing or stopping to rest. This helps with writer's block I find. Alongside stepping out in nature and walking just listening to the birds and wind blowing through the trees.

How does being part of writing groups help you?

I love being part of writing groups and dip in and out as and when. The support and encouragement is there for everyone. Being surrounded by like-minded people who understand how it is to write and share in supporting your stories and will proofread is invaluable. We all help each other.

What do you consider your greatest writing accomplishment?

My greatest writing accomplishment was the first time one of my short stories was accepted into a Blue Moon Anthology entitled 'Haywire Machine' It really made me feel as If I was a writer for the first time. I have had several short stories accepted into anthologies since then but it always makes me so happy. like I am floating on air every time. That and when I achieved high marks on my screenplay and the feedback I got was excellent. On a par with each other. I doubt myself at times but this was the cherry on the cake.

And which was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge to date is finishing my novel. I am working on it and have found some parts difficult due to enthusiasm waning. I love the faster pace of short stories.

However, I am determined to finish my novel and get it published, also, finishing my screenplay and self-publishing my set of ghost stories. All big challenges to overcome.

What’s the best thing someone has said about your writing?

The best thing someone has said of my writing is that my writing invokes such imagery that the reader can imagine themselves in the story and that it gives chills and had them gripped from start to finish.

What would you do if you didn’t write?

I love to write and can't imagine not writing. I have a compulsion to write and tell stories and be creative if I didn't write I would craft a lot as I love to make crystal art with sparkly gems and cardmaking too.

Has a book really touched you? Made you rethink your views on life? If so, what was it?

I love reading books by R.L. Stine I am drawn to spooky stories and the supernatural has intrigued and scared me in equal measures.

Stephen King's Book 'On Writing' helped me to get stuck back into writing and by seeing how he gets his inspiration is fascinating. I found it really encouraged me to just write and tell my stories. I feel I am finding my writing voice and believing in myself a lot more.

The one book that has opened my eyes and helped me is 'Heal your wounds and find your true self' by Lise Bourbeau. The rejection wound is one that I found really useful. It is a great self-help reflection book allowing you to recognise behaviors yet put things in perspective, thereby helping you to unblock and move forwards in a positive way.

What advice would you give other writers?

My advice to other writers is an amalgamation of the above advice given to me, Don't give up. Don't let rejection get you down, move forwards and fill the blank page with your stories. Just keep on writing and sending off your work, you can't edit a blank page. Join a writing group to support and encourage each other. But most of all believe in yourself! You can do it!


Shell Rice Mutimer based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk is an avid scribbler and freelance writer. Has had short stories and Haiku Poems published in several anthologies so far. She has successfully gained BA Honours in English Literature and Creative Writing with the Open University in 2018. Well known for her deep love of cuppa’s and Latte’s which she has beside her when writing.

She is mostly to be found staring dreamily into a cuppa while scribbling away on short stories and screenplays. She hopes to have her novel finished soon. And is currently working on a screenplay and more short stories for publication.

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