Interview with Bea Davenport, traditionally published writer. Author photographs in Spittal, Berwick


Hi Bea, can you tell us about yourself?

I'm a traditionally-published writer. My two crime novels, In Too Deep and This Little Piggy, are published by Legend Press. I also write for children: The Serpent House is published by Curious Fox and My Cousin Faustina by ReadZone Books. 
I'm originally from Tyneside, but for many years I covered the Northumberland area as a reporter for BBC North. I fell in love with Berwick and came to live in Spittal in 2001. It's been a lovely place to bring up my children.
The house always felt like a great place to write. It has the stone heads of Robert Burns and Walter Scott on the front porch to inspire me! And in fact, in the 1940s, a popular romance writer called Anne Hepple also lived here.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Three days a week, I teach journalism at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, so those days are very full-on, working with students, lecturing and doing practical activities in print and broadcast media.  I'm also programme leader in Creative Writing for the Open College of the Arts, so when I am at home, I tutor writers via distance learning. And sometimes - not as often as I'd like!  - I get time to do my own writing. I don't have a set time to write but I tend to work better in the afternoons and evenings.

Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?

All of it! Genuinely! I love teaching and I find working with new writers very inspiring. And the times when I do my own writing are very precious indeed. I am very lucky to be working with words every day. 

What tips would you give to someone starting out in your industry?

Do it because you want to write - not because you like the idea of 'being a writer'. Do it because you love storytelling and the craft of finding the best way to do it. And be prepared to be persistent.

What is the best feedback you have ever had from a client?

I've had lots of 'best teacher ever' and 'best course ever', which is wonderful to hear! I just love to know that people have got something positive out of it.

Who do you admire most in the world and why?

As a journalist, I'm very cautious about having heroes, as so many of them turn out to have feet of clay. But if pressed, I admire Shami Chakrabarti, the recent director of Liberty and I admire the way Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to be cowed by a hostile media. And then there are a raft of women writers and the suffragettes, who paved the way for all of us to do what we are doing.

What are your plans for the future?

I've just finished a contemporary novel for teenagers and I'm working on editing it with the help of an agent, which is a very exciting process. When the edits are done, it goes out on submission to find a publisher - fingers crossed! I'm also hoping to complete another crime novel this year too - time permitting! 

Follow Bea on twitter @BeaDavenport1