As part of the featured author Q&A sessions, I am very pleased to announce that the featured author for the current session is Elizabeth Haynes.
Hi Elizabeth, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I’m a full time writer working in Norfolk. I have one son and two Spanish rescue dogs.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? At the moment my ambition is to get the next book finished. That’s pressure enough for me.
So, what have you written? I’ve written four standalone thrillers, of which the first was Into The Darkest Corner and the most recent (published 2016) is Never Alone. I also have two police procedural thrillers in a series, Under a Silent Moon and Behind Closed Doors.
When did you decide to become a writer? I don’t think it’s a decision I ever made. I wrote stories and diaries from a young age but I never really acknowledged that writing was a job that I could do. My publishing journey (everyone’s is different) was a series of lucky accidents.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I write the first draft of all my books during November, for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). I’ve taken part every year since 2005 and I find it is a great motivator to get the words done. The rest of the time I find it very difficult – November is definitely the key for me.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? During November, I aim for at least 2,000 words a day.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? I start with an idea and work with that until it unravels into a story. I have tried planning – not for me. If I know what’s going to happen, I get bored and then there’s no point me writing it.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? First drafts usually take six weeks, if I can carry on past the end of November and get the project to a conclusion. Editing takes at least a year, sometimes longer.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? That’s an interesting question and a difficult one to answer. I’d like to say, of course, that my writing style has improved, I’ve become more organised and more aware of what works and what doesn’t. In reality I don’t think any of those things are the case. I still write for fun, for my own enjoyment, because that’s the only way I can do it. I don’t think I’ve learned anything from the process of writing because I still make the same mistakes, I still get stuck at various points and have no clue how to fix it. It honestly doesn’t get any easier. On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot about the publishing industry and I’ve grown in confidence when it comes to talking about my own writing.
Do you read much and if so which writers inspire you? I read a lot and my writing inspirations have varied over the course of my life. The writers I will always go back to are George Orwell, Ruth Rendell, Nicci French, and T S Eliot.
What is your favourite book and why? George Orwell’s Burmese Days. It’s a perfectly told story and it makes me cry every time I read it, even though I know what’s going to happen.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Get on and write. Keep writing. Don’t stand in your own way.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.co.uk/Elizabeth-Haynes/e/B004U4F4DK/
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. Thank you for having me!