Model, actress, poet and author – Yrsa Daley Ward is a master of many trades. Starting out her career as a model, the 25 year old fled to South Africa from London in self-imposed exile to reset her life. While there she found herself writing poetry and quickly became a regular on the literary scene. Returning to London she wrote a collection of short stories called On Snakes and Other Stories released in October this year. Here she speaks to us about what excites her, finding her voice and the difference between the literary and fashion crowds…

When did you know you wanted to write?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I learned to read at a very young age which was invaluable. Stories are a great escape route.

Which current writers inspire you?

So many! Jeanette Winterson, Mark Haddon, Alice Walker, to name a few.

What inspired your current book?

Life and love, or the lack of it. And all of the millions of problem that these things throw at us. All of the things that we do not admit to. Things that secretly frighten or excite us.

What would you say to any burgeoning writers?

Tell your stories. Get started right away. Read books! Learn your craft. It should be fun, so don’t torture yourself in the process.

How does the literature world differ from the fashion one?

There are fashions with writing like everything else. In both worlds there are timeless things and things of the moment and plenty of late nights.

How did you get discovered as a model?

Perseverance and a thick skin. I was never typically skinny or light skinned enough. It took a good few tries!

You turn your hand to so many roles – what’s your favourite?

They are all my favourite and they are all my least favourite depending on my mood. That keeps things exciting.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Read, nap, get out of London and walk for hours.

How would you describe your style?

Ever changing. At the moment it’s casual with a touch of elegance. I love sports luxe, flat boots, bodysuits, leather and African-made brass jewellery.

Follow Yrsa on Twitter @YrsaDaleyWard and Tumblr