Welcome to my blog Elizabeth. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your books.
Q. Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A. My latest work is A Bed of Knives. Before I became a writer, I was a keen reader. I read The Secret History by Donna Tartt and this story stuck in my head. When I wanted to write a contemporary romance, I remembered the story and decided to use friendship and love as the theme of the story, using two threads, one light and one dark, to explore these themes.
Q. What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A. I’m drawn to good writing in any genre and like to write books that go a little beyond a single genre in order to add richness and texture to my stories.
Q. What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A. I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters and don’t write anything until I understand how they tick. Once I know them well enough, I place my characters into a difficult or unusual situation and the story unfolds without much interference from me, the writer.
Q. What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A. For A Bed of Knives, I researched the working conditions and pressures of top restaurants, the lifestyle of UK soccer players, antiques and various cancer treatments.
Q. How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A. I think there is a little bit of me in quite a few of my main characters, but I will never divulge which bits or which characters.
Q. How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A. I’m lucky enough to be retired from full-time work now and, after a lifetime of bringing up three children, over two marriages, and working full-time for most of my life, I love that I can now achieve my ambition of writing books that will entertain my readers.
Q. Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A. Dorothy Dunnett, a well-known Scottish writer of historical fiction is (now sadly deceased) is someone I have admired all my adult life. I also love Jilly Cooper’s writing. There are many, many more writers I love, but I think these two have had the most influence on my own writing style.
Q. What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A. I’m currently working on a sequel to my second book, Meggie Blackthorn. Meggie Blue takes up Meggie’s story four years on, when the swinging sixties were in full flow. I’m also writing a raunchy contemporary romance that will be published under another pen name when the time comes. That’s proving to be a lot of fun.
Q. Could you share some of your marketing strategies? Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A. First, having utter faith in the quality and high standard of writing and editing of your own work is most important. There are no short-cuts to producing a professional book. After that, persistence and a willingness to work consistently to achieve your writing aims. Next, never give up. Ever.
Q. What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A. The first three things I would tell an aspiring author would be Read, Read and Read Some More – particularly in the genres you want to write in.
Next, use correct grammar and spelling and don’t try to be too clever by overwriting just to show you know a lot of long words.
Then, write a brilliant, original story that will enthrall potential readers.
Finally, Edit, Edit and Edit Some More – and if you cannot do it yourself, get a professional to help.
Again, thanks Elizabeth for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.
Good luck with your current and future publications.
For more information:
Purchase: All three available on Kindle, Lying in Wait is available in paperback through Amazon and all good retailers.
Blog/Website: http://www.elizabethjasper.com http://elizabethjasperwriter.wordpress.com
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