41 writers. One cause. We've rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT's important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Ken Bruen, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 16 more, with 100% of proceeds going to PROTECT.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a little about... Gill Hoffs

Gill Hoffs contributed her story "The Premature Ending of Annie MacLeod" to the challenge:

What inspired your story?

I grew up in a small fishing village on the Scottish coast, with tales of lost travellers, witchcraft and shipwrecks. It's hard not to be inspired by a place as rugged and beautiful as that. Exploring further north where there are whole villages of ruins from the Clearances and blackened cooking pots hidden beneath the bracken, I thought about the children lost throughout history, the many names and anonymous babies detailed on surviving gravestones, and the importance of education especially to those in geographically and/or culturally isolated places. The challenge brought all of this fizzing to a head. 'Annie' and 'MacLeod' are names from my husband's side of the family, and when the story 'clicked', I could see her in my mind's eye, and the piece wrote itself from there.

What makes this cause important to you?

Before I had my son, I spent my working life with children who had a diverse range of needs, including ADHD, ASD, and emotional/behavioural problems. Despite their issues, they could be joyous and funny - and I have enormous respect for them. So many children, throughout the world, slip through the systems and struggle with themselves and society. Childhood is confusing enough with a loving, supportive family and good health. It's important to do what you can to help every child find their way through the mixed messages and rules to a happy, healthy adulthood. Charities such as the ones supported by this challenge do just that.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where to find more of your writing.

All I want to do is write. I've won three competitions and been placed in two others, have work included in six anthologies [including this one], online, and in several magazines and journals. For links, please visit my site http://gillhoffs.wordpress.com/ . I'm 32, I live in the North of England, and when I was about 15 I tried to make candles out of plastic explosive - I thought it was a lump of candle wax. Thank goodness we had a soldier over for tea!

1 comment:

  1. Gill - I know exactly what you mean about your character and the magic of the villages on the Scottish coast..the ghosts can almost be seen!

    Thanks so much for taking part.