Today I have fellow Crooked Cat author Zanna Mackenzie joining me for an interview.
Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you?
I’ve always wanted to write but I started out with writing non-fiction, then tried short stories and progressed to novels. I probably started writing my first novel about six years ago. I was in the middle of the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course and when I started the fiction modules I had to plan and plot a novel, develop characters etc for the various writing exercises and from that my first attempt at a novel was born.
I loved ‘How do you spell love’ – how much research did you do about magic before you wrote it?
Quite a bit – I love doing research though! I’m one of those people who love gathering together all the facts and getting them in order, making sense of everything. I read a lot of books on white witchcraft, crystals, folklore, herbs and aromatherapy. It was great fun.
I’m also looking forward to reading your second novel (it’s on my Kindle already!) – which did you write first and which protagonist do you prefer, personally?
The Love Programme was the second book I’d ever written ( the first book is currently undergoing major editing in the hope it might see the light of day as a published book at some point!) and it was published at pretty much the same time as How Do You Spell Love? (which was the third book I’d ever written) but with a different publisher.
Regarding a favourite protagonist, I think there’s probably quite a bit of ‘me’ in Lucy, the protagonist in The Love Programme including the fact she’s a travel agent (which I used to be) and she loves Scotland, so I’d probably choose Lucy as I can identify with her a bit more than Kat in How Do You Spell Love. Astraea Press has recently published Back To Square One, my novella prequel to The Love Programme, and it was fun to be back in ‘Lucy’s head’ again when I wrote the novella. I’m even thinking about writing a sequel to it as well!
And what about your next book, what can we expect?
Not sure to be honest, it depends if the publishers like the books or not! I have one completed novel which is currently being considered by a publisher, another novel being revamped for sending out for consideration, another is about half written and I need to get back into finishing that, whilst another one is outlined and has about 10,000 words of scenes written. The books are all still within the same chicklit genre but there’s no magic or spell casting in any of them this time around -not so far anyway!
Sounds like you have been busy! Who’s your favourite author and why?
Oh, tricky one. I don’t think I have a favourite author anymore. Years ago, before I started writing and subsequently reading across a wider genre, it was Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella. Nowadays I’ve discovered so many amazing authors out there I couldn’t pin down a favourite. At a push I could probably give you my top 3 favourite recent reads…Martina Reilly, Even Better Than The Real Thing; Roisin Meaney, One Summer; Paige Toon, Pictures of Lily.
I loved Pictures of Lily too… How and when do you write? Tell us about your routine.
I tend to have bits of ideas for plots, scenes, dialogue and characters pop into my head all the time – including the middle of the night, whilst burning (sorry, cooking) the dinner and walking the dogs. When inspiration strikes I write the ideas down in a notebook so I don’t forget them, then type them onto the computer. I’m a self-employed editor/proof reader for business publications so the day job has to take priority but I try whenever possible to keep Fridays as a writing day when I can type up my notes and hopefully manage to write a few thousand words as well. I’m currently coping with the dreaded writers block so my notebook hasn’t been opened for a few weeks but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things soon – I miss writing and escaping into the world of whichever book I’m working on!
What have you learnt since becoming a published author?
That finishing writing the book is just the beginning! After that there’s trying to get the book published, if you’re lucky enough to get to that stage then there’s the working with your editor and lots and lots of edits! After all of that there’s preparing your action plan re promoting the book and then hosting the launch and frequent blog hopping and social media activities to help with promotion too. The past year has presented me with a staggeringly steep learning curve and I’ve still lots to learn but I feel privileged to have the opportunity!
We have 4 dogs, all Labradors. Tobi is 8, Meg is 6, Moss is 2 and Cassie is 10 months. The dogs are all working gundogs (my husband trains and works them) except for Tobi who is the boss and does exactly want he likes regardless of what we ask him to do! When we got Tobi we hadn’t got a clue about training him and consequently he’s always done pretty much what he wants. We learnt a lot from that and the other dogs do actually listen to us – well, some of the time…
Thanks so much for joining me, Zanna 🙂
Read Zanna’s interview with me, here.
Find out more about Zanna at: www.zannamackenzie.co.uk
Make A Wish…
Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?
Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.
When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.
Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.
Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.
Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…
Find out more and download: