1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
My first romance, An Image of You, was published in December 1992, so this year marks the twentieth anniversary of my career as a published romance writer. The changes during that time have been extraordinary. Where I once sat in isolation, writing stories for people who would occasionally put pen to paper and tell me how much they appreciated them, I now chat daily with a supportive coterie of authors and readers in a worldwide community of romance lovers.
In my real world, I’ve been married for 40 years to the same man, have two fabulous grown-up children, two lovely granddaughters and I live in the mystical south-west of England within the triangle of Stonehenge, Glastonbury and my favourite city, the Regency playground of Bath.
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
The Last Woman He’d Ever Date is my sixty-first for Harlequin Mills and Boon – my sixty-fourth in all.
3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
It’s discipline. It’s my job. Shoe shopping is for the weekends.
4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
That is just so hard. You create a website that showcases your work. If you’re happy blogging, then keep it short and interesting. Treat your followers on twitter and facebook like people, not just a sales opportunity. And remember that none of it works if you spend so much time on social network that you’re not producing the books.
5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I get up early – around six o’clock and work until lunchtime. The afternoon is for research, housework (aka thinking time) and gardening.
6. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I get asked this so often and yes, I have a romcom/crime book — a cross between Katie Fforde and Jennifer Crusie on my back burner. It’s about time I stopped talking about it and got writing!
7. Any craft books you recommend?
Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance is brilliant. And I’d also recommend Save the Cat by Blake Snyder – it’s a screen writing book, but full of great stuff.
8. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
No, and that has to change. My hips complain if I ask too much of them, but we have swimming pool quite near and my plan is to cut down on the carbs and take to the water.
9. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
I’m sure most unpublished writers think that getting published is the end. That you have arrived and after that it’s going to be easy. It’s not, it’s just the beginning. I went to hear Ben Kane and Val McDermid talk at our local library a couple of weeks ago and they both said the same. Each book is like the first. You’re back to square one. The technique gets stronger, but your standard gets higher and achieving the vision of the story in your head is always at the end of the rainbow.
10. Just for fun: a year from the end of the book, where would your couple go on holiday?
Italy. Claire would want to see the fabulous gardens, Hal would want to indulge her. And after all that walking they’d spend some time in one of those steep little villages on the coast to relax in the sun, drink wonderful wine and eat the fabulous food.
11. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
I hope I write characters that my readers would want as a best friend but if I had to choose I’d want Amy Jones in The Bachelor’s Baby (and a bit player in several other books) as a best friend. And Belle in Reunited: Marriage in a Million.
Claire Thackery: Hardworking single mom, working for the local newspaper. Hoping for the inside scoop on sexy billionaire Hal North, aka her teenage crush, to get her career back on track.
Most wary of: Gorgeous men who set hr heart racing. (Been there — using the T-shirt as a duster — and has the baby to prove it.)
Hal North: Bad boy made good. Back in his hometown as new owner of the Cranbrook Park estate, with some scores to settle.
Most wary of: Journalists — especially pretty ones, like his new tenant, Claire Thackeray.
The Last Woman He'd Ever Date is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and direct from Mills & Boon / Harlequin.
You can follow Liz on her blog and on Twitter.