I’m never short of ideas for stories, anything can start my imagination going, an overheard comment, a line from a song, a newspaper article, people going about their daily lives, they’re all fodder for my over-active mind. And once I get an idea I run with it to see just where it will take me, I don’t put any restrictions or barriers on it I just go with the flow, writing away whatever comes into my head. The trouble is, sometimes I’ve got so carried away with the idea that I’ve forgotten to think whether I’ve got my facts right. I used to write for the Rainbow comic – remember the Rainbow TV programme with Bungle, Zippy and George back in the 80’s? Zippy was a hand puppet, a fact I completely forget when I had this wonderful idea for a comic strip set in a shoe shop where Zippy was trying on lots of shoes. I can’t remember what happened in the actual story but I can remember my editor phoning me up and saying “Karen, that’s a great story but there’s one problem...Zippy hasn’t got feet!” D’oh!
From then on I resolved to check, check and recheck my work to make sure not only the grammar and punctuation were right, but that the characters were consistent and true to their personality/characteristics. Despite that, I’ve had several other D’oh! moments in my writing career like the time an editor telephoned me to tell me that I had to change the name of a spider in my children’s story because the name I’d chosen was a rather rude slang word for a certain part of the female body.