Thursday, February 6, 2014

Author Spotlight - Erin Lawless

Today we welcome Harper Impulse author Erin Lawless into the spotlight to talk about her debut novel, The Best Thing I Never Had.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m your average twenty-something Brit (although I have been able to say “twenty-something for a long time now…). A Londoner heart and soul, but living in the middle of the countryside at the moment, I spend most of my time writing (when I’m not reading… or working at my day job… or wedding planning… or sleeping in).

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
Although I have a self-published anthology of short stories, I do consider The Best Thing I Never Had as my first “book” as it is the first novel.

3. What inspired this book?
I always wanted to write a love story set at university, because it was such an important time for me (and it’s where I met my future husband). My close friends are still those I met when I was a student, and all the time I am reminded of the hundred ways we change as people throughout our twenties, as well as the thousand ways we stay the same. University on a small campus – like the one I went to – is like living in a bubble. Everything is magnified, everything seems so much more than it actually is. It seemed like just the right pressure cooker to throw some love triangles into!

4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
I’m a firm believer in letting the reader picture the characters (especially the hero!) as they wish to. Attractiveness is so subjective. I try to make my characters attractive through the way that they act, rather than constantly describing them and their oiled muscles (and let’s be honest, how many 20 year old students/25 year old insurance brokers are built like wrestlers anyway?). Having said that, I simply can’t help but picture (now real life!) couple Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin as Adam and Harriet!

5. Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
Before I was picked up by Harper Impulse on a two-book deal, I was shin-deep in a historical novella, which I had to side-line, as it was not and could never be worked into a romance. I’d love to get back to grips with it, and one day get to do a series of epic paranormal/fantasy/history/romance books – totally over-egg the genre pudding!!

6. How long does it take you to complete a book?
It took me almost two years to finish The Best Thing I Never Had – six months mulling the story over in my head and eighteen months of actual writing, editing, writing, editing, writing. I was very slow and tentative and Book 2 is coming along much faster, but I do still like to turn things over and have a really good handle on who my characters are before I start writing. And I edit as I go, which slows the process down in the short-term.

7. Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I go back and re-read and edit what I’ve already written. Or I take myself off and write something completely different – usually a non-fiction historical blog post for my website – or I sit and just simply talk out the plot holes with my other half (not my target audience but tells things to me very straight) or my chief beta (a wonderful writer in her own right and so really helpful practically).

8. Where do you write?
I write anywhere I can. I have a Chromebook and use GoogleDrive for my files, so I can access my manuscript document and all my research material wherever I am (as long as that place has internet!). During the working day, if inspiration strikes, I tend to email myself long rambling ‘notes’ with scenes and images to revisit later. I’m sure if someone was to read all these little emails in my Inbox, they’d think I was mildly insane..!

9. Do you connect with your readers at all, and if so which is your favourite platform for reaching them?
I absolutely love connecting with readers and I think that it’s an important part of being a modern-day writer. Obviously Twitter is absolutely fantastic and I am semi-addicted to it! I’ve tweeted at so many authors in my time telling them that I loved their book, so when I get those sorts of tweets from others, it feels like a dream. Outside of Twitter I also love Goodreads. Although I tend to engage with it more as a reader than as a writer, I think it’s an invaluable resource for both.


If you’re a fan of Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello or David Nicholls’ One Day, then you will love our new acquisition from contemporary romance author Erin Lawless!

Miles and Nicky are getting married. Unfortunately, their wedding party is a tangle of ex-housemates, ex-friends and ex-lovers. So this wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion. Can anything be salvaged from the past? And what really happened between them all, back at university?

Find out in this wonderful contemporary romance.

The Best Thing I Never Had is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and all other major online eBook retailers.

Erin also has a linked free novella called The Making of Us available here on Amazon, and here on Amazon UK.


Rena George said...

Congratulations, Erin. You must be so excited about the publication of your first novel, and that two-book deal. I hope it does really well.
And thank you, Romy, for another lovely interview. Rx

Caroline said...

Great blog Erin! And congratulations on your own wedding plans. When's the "big day" or is it secret? Caroline x

Unknown said...

Thank you for the congratulations! I'm very excited - about both book deal and wedding! "The Call" from Harper and the proposal actually came in the same week - August 2013 was a VERY exciting month for me. The Big Day is September 5th - so just over 200 days to go! :)

Sun Chara said...

Really enjoyed reading your interview here, Erin! Sounds like you have a busy sched, but getting it all done! Your wedding on the horizon sounds so exciting! Congrats!!!