I’m sure you’re all familiar by now with the format, so here we go with another round of twenty questions as we try to get to know Lucy that little bit better…
ACT ONE – all about you…
Lucy Oliver lives with her husband and two young children. She has short stories published in Take a Break, Fiction Feast, Cast of Wonders and Stories for Children magazines. She won the Stylist magazine Microfiction competition and her novel, Winter Storms, was released in 28th January 2013 by Crimson Romance.
1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?
I have always written, right from when I was young, but I didn’t know what to do with the pieces that I wrote. Which was probably a good thing, since they certainly wouldn’t have been publishable!
I started writing for magazines as a form of escape after I was diagnosed with a serious, long term illness while pregnant with my youngest. It saved me, I think. I had something else to focus on other than me or my baby, who had to be born prematurely in order for me to begin treatment.
2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?
I think everyone has their own style. I tend to write books with high emotion, I can write emotion better now, more than I used to be able too. But I also write humour and children’s stories. Everyone needs something to make them laugh sometimes.
3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?
Not an individual one. Like all writers, I read a lot, but I do cover a wide range of genres. Science-fiction, fantasy, romance, historical. I read a lot of the classics and find it a shame that so many people don’t because they perceive them as difficult. Jane Austen in particular, is no harder to read then modern authors.
4) Is there one piece of writing advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?
It’s a profession and you have to learn how to do it like any other.
5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
I wanted a pet crocodile when I was five and couldn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t buy me one.
As a child I was terrible at spelling.
I don’t worry about getting old. There are worse things.
6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?
Definitely my laptop, but apart from that, I’m not that great with gadgets! As for luxury items, I have to say my own study, which I’ve recently acquired, a mobile phone, because it’s difficult to be without one, my food processer, and my Kindle.
ACT TWO – all about your new release…
Two years ago Carly Roberts split from her lover, Daniel Edwards, after he caused a terrible sailing accident that cost her both the use of her right leg and her Olympic dreams. Unable to watch his climb to double Olympic success, she stayed in the Cornish village they grew up in, while he travelled the world.Racked with guilt, knowing he destroyed her future, Daniel has finally returned home to make amends. But he didn’t expect to fall in love with her again.However Carly has her own life now and it doesn’t include him. She can’t forgive him for the catastrophic injuries that changed her life. While the storms of a Cornish winter lash their village home, can Daniel persuade her to give him a second chance?
7) Congratulations on your recent release of Winter Storms, can you tell us what your inspiration was for writing Carly and Daniel’s story?
It started with the setting, an image of wet cobblestones. I grew up near the coast and the sea in winter has always fascinated me. It’s completely different from the smooth waves the tourists used to see when they visited the beach, and I wanted to set a story during that time, when the inhabitants of a seaside town were the locals that lived there.
8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?
It started as a novella originally, which I was advised to extend. It did flow, the characters, particularly Carly, were strong and they demanded the story be written. I got quite attached to them, to be honest!
9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?
Because it was a novella, I sent that off first, and then extended it, when requested, over a very short period of time. Crimson Romance came back almost immediately saying they loved it. But that was after writing for almost five years, learning the craft.
10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence that you would like to tantalise us with?
This is Daniel arriving back in the bay, after a two year absence:
The powerful sea wind hit Daniel Edwards with the force of a gybing boom. Hissing between his teeth, he yanked the wet dinghy painter and cursed as it scraped red burns across his hands. It was tempting to toss the rope away and watch the hated boat bob off into the ocean, but his teammates would never forgive him; the Olympic racing craft was worth a fortune. He never should have brought it out in this weather. Seeing the lifeboat bobbing beside a fishing trawler, waves exploding over the deck, made him realise how stupid and how lucky he’d been.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Winter Storms, to make us rush out and buy it?
It’s a book about a strong woman who has lost everything, trying to forgive the man who took it from her.
12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?
I have Victorian and WW2 novellas out at publishers, and I am working on a medieval story. I’m an historical writer generally, but Winter Storms just wanted to be written!
QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…
13) Plotter or pantser?
Both, I get a rough idea, then see where it takes me.
14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)
Of course I know them, I could name them all! I started with Secret Seven, then moved onto Famous Five. On balance, I think Famous Five, although it was something my sister and I had many arguments about.
15) Digital books or print books?
I don’t think there’s any difference. Print for reading in the bath, digital for lightness, ease of stuffing in bag, and space saving. Words are the same, no matter how you read them.
16) Tea or coffee?
I drink tea during the day, and coffee after meals.
17) Cats or dogs?
Dogs are friendlier; cats easier to look after!
18) Extrovert or introvert?
Bit of both really. I’m not the life and soul of the party, but I make an effort to chat.
19) Save or spend?
I save extra money for the kids when they get older, but I’m also quite happy to indulge in my clothes buying habit. My husband, less so.
20) Facebook or Twitter?
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for taking part, Lucy, I wish you every success with your book and the launch of your writing career.
Lucy loves to hear from fellow readers and writers, and you can find her at:
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