The Fan Carpet Chats To… The Magic In Writing: A Conversation With Author Charlotte Byrne For Her Debut Book FOLKED UP
Charlotte is an author, PhD student and Teaching Associate at Queen Mary University of London. Her debut novel Folked Up (2020) is published by Crystal Peake. She has also been published in DIVA Magazine, as well as in anthologies by Fincham Press, New Lit Salon Press, Anchala Studios, and DualBooks.
Her interdisciplinary PhD project combines many of her research interests including creative writing, feminist and queer theory, twentieth-century Catalan literature, and postmemory theory. When she’s not writing, she is a committed dog lover and enjoys travelling, drawing and learning languages.
The Fan Carpet's Camila Sayers talks to Charlotte about her love of reading, her process as a writer and much more in this Exclusive interview...
When did you first know you loved storytelling?
I’ve always enjoyed reading and from a young age I tried to emulate whatever world I was into at the time. These were usually short horror stories inspired by the Goosebumps series. There are also some very dodgy drafts of a novel set in WW2 that I wrote when I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until I was at university that I started to take writing seriously. It was beneficial to have a creative outlet while I was studying and I genuinely believe it has saved my mental health on more than one occasion.
Do you have a favourite project or character(s) you have written?
I will always hold Folked Up close to my heart as it was my first full-length work to be published, and as such it is one I am very proud of. I consider the characters to be very good friends and it’s fun to think about what they might do in situations that I come across in my everyday life! However, I think my short story Georgy Girl (published by Fincham Press in In Which Dragons Are Real But, 2018) is my favourite standalone piece. It was one of those rare occasions where most of the story just poured out onto the page and I didn’t have to edit it too heavily, and I’ve been told that it is just as creepy as I intended it to be.
Please tell us about your first published novel, Folked Up.
Folked Up is a YA comic fantasy novel about a young musician called Matty who has to stop the ritualistic killing of his girlfriend after they sing from a cursed book of folksongs that sends them to the parallel world of Old England. With the help of a misunderstood witch and a plucky swordswoman, Matty has to fight his way through this world to find Sandy and stop a grieving lord and his evil adviser from killing her before the sun sets on May Day. It was my intention to make British folksong accessible for younger readers who may not be familiar with its exciting stories, as well as to write a novel in my own working class voice, which was a liberating experience for me.
FOLKED UP IS AVAILABLE NOW AT AMAZON
Images courtesy of Crystal Peake