About Clare Girvan
I was born in Birmingham, where I went to the main Art College and trained in theatrical design, but changed horses after three years to become a teacher.
I was married for seven years, but divorced and lived singly for fourteen more, during which time, I was a member of Kings Norton Motorcycle Club and rode my own Honda. I was married to my second husband, Ray, a useful computer journalist, for twenty seven years until his recent death (see Exeter Writers for obituary). When I took early retirement, we moved from Birmingham to live in a cranky old cottage in Devon, where I've developed a new writing career.
As well as writing, I've gone back to my theatrical roots and been, variously, a backdrop painter for drama companies (including the police!) and wardrobe mistress at Cygnet Training Theatre. I have designed and painted sets and directed a play for Exeter Little Theatre, and done many years of backstage, wardrobe, set design, walk-on and wig- finding - and a little bad acting - for Topsham's Estuary Players.
I've been a member of Exeter Writers since 1999, and a local playwriting group since 2004. In my spare time, I garden, make decorated Fabergé-style eggs and organise craft fairs.
I started writing seriously in 1982 and have won several competitions (see cv).
I was asked once if I had a particular theme that recurred in my writing, and I said I didn't think so. On reflection, although I'll write about anything that takes my fancy, I do quite like writing about Outsiders, that is, people who don't quite fit in, who have demons to conquer. Once you have a character with a problem, you have your story.
I am not the organised kind of writer who goes to her desk at 9.00 am and writes for three hours every day. We all have our own method, or lack of it. Mine is to start when I feel like it, stop after an hour or two or even a few minutes, do something else, and then come back. This may go on all day and half the night or not at all. I seem to need regular breaks so that I can come back to what I've written and rethink. It's an untidy way of doing things, but things get written all the same. As for novels - I have written two, at least one of which needs fairly drastic revision. I go in for quite a few competitions, which are an excellent discipline as well as a challenge, but my main interest is in writing plays.
During my teaching career, I wrote many playlets and full length productions that were performed by the children, and nowadays I write pieces varying from one minute to two hours, which get performed by adults. I am currently at the editing and vetting stage of a full-length dramatised version of an 18th century Gothic novel. It would be very nice to have it professionally staged.