Welcome to our latest Nine Lives Interview featuring author Liz Fenwick answering nine questions about her and her writing life.

Do you remember the first book you read?

I think it might have been Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. It has certainly stayed with me!

Where is your ideal place to read, and do you have a favourite time of day for reading?

I love reading in the bath especially when it’s late afternoon and the sun streams into the room. Second favourite location is the couch with a fire roaring!

Which authors have inspired or influenced you?

This is a tricky question as there are many. I have been inspired by many people over the years, but when I was seeking publication I received encouragement from the late Penny Jordan who had a long and prolific career. But she never rested on her laurels she kept striving to be a better writer and wrote different in different genres under different names. She was an inspiration. I think the writers who have influenced me most are Maeve Binchy and Mary Wesley.

If you could choose any book from any place or time which one would you most liked to have written?

Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life

What led you to write your first book?

Which first book? I’ve been writing since I was a child and that stemmed from wanting stories to continue and led to telling stories of my own. The first book is long gone as were many others attempts, but I still have the typed script of 275 pages of my novel ‘An Irish Woman’ that I wrote as my senior thesis in uni.

Pen, pencil, typewriter or computer keyboard?

Notes and ideas in pen and pencil in Moleskin note books preferably squared ones. First drafts on the computer…tricky scenes in fountain pen in a notebook.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

I wish. As I been writing for publication again when my children were small I learned to work around other things. I still function that way even though I am now writing full time. I am very flexible until it comes close to deadline when nothing else is done. If pressed I would say I aim for 500 words a day as I begin the first draft increasing the count until its 2000 to 2500 as I race to the end.

Was there a break-through moment for you, or a key person who helped you?

I was all set to give up writing for publication when I went off to the first York Festival of Writing. By the end of that conference, I knew I was writer and I’d reclaimed a part of myself that I had been leaving out of my writing because I thought my literary side didn’t fit with my commercial side. Once I reconciled that I rewrote The Cornish House and found my agent who then found me a publisher.

What piece of advice could you give a new writer trying to get published?

Don’t rush. Look on the time prepublication as your apprenticeship. Learn as much as you can about the business while you write the first book then put it in a drawer and begin the next one then take the first one out and edit/rewrite….repeat!

You can find out more about this fabulous author here:

Web: www.lizfenwick.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.fenwick.author?fref=ts
Twitter: @liz_fenwick

Liz’s latest book ‘One Cornish Summer‘ is published by Orion and is available now.