Rosalind Minett is my name, my avatar is nothing like the way I look, but it’s more striking than a real face, at least than mine. Misusing Picasso, I have the face pointing out my two sides: serious and irreverent. One face looks outward, the other inward. I like to think of my writing activity as doing just that.
I write character-led fiction and much prefer fiction where the characters make the plot memorable.
My professional life, different name, turned out very differently from what I’d have chosen. At sixteen, I gained a place at RADA but academic life took over (or was urged upon me). I gained degrees including a PhD, worked as a psychologist, and through this met a huge range of interesting adults and children. My work centred upon how people of all ages think, learn, understand and behave. To do that involved an intense focus on the individual I was assessing however disordered or bizarre they might be. For the last 14 years of work I was an expert witness sitting across from people in trouble and silently thinking ‘There but for the Grace of God go I’ only not so religiously. To write a comprehensive report for the Court I needed to enter their world, discover their story – not infrequently, one they hadn’t accepted or unfolded for themselves. This involvement in a person’s story is what I enjoy now, in fiction: reading it, writing it. I love developing characters and hearing their voices, whether they are adults or children, whether the fiction is drama or humour.
Early in life, I trained as a dancer, but by my early teens preferred acting. I was grateful of my time at school(s), at universities, and subsequently, all the shorter courses, workshops in psychology, creative writing and various forms of Art. All have been enriching. Learning is life-enhancing and helps remind of how much you do not know. Perhaps with this in mind, I review books in genres I might not choose for pleasure, often finding high quality writing in unexpected places. A book needs valuing within its own parameters. And I am excited when reading books by authors from very different countries and cultures.
To me, characterisation is key. It’s been said that everything I write has a dark undertow or back-kick. It’s true, I can’t seem to help it, and also I don’t sort of care. The story has to be true to my pen. Anyway, happy endings are very hard to achieve.
On a personal note, apart from all-important family, I enjoy theatre, sculpture, fine art, architecture, landscapes and seascapes. I much prefer a warm climate, but I’m English. So, tough!