Liz Fenwick writes women’s fiction and her first book The Cornish House has just been published by Orion books, with the second due out next summer. She is represented by Super-agent Carole Blake, is somewhat of a PR / social media guru (helping to run the RNA’s blog) and splits her time between the UK and Dubai.
Q. Hi Liz, it’s a pleasure to have you on the blog, especially knowing that you came up through the RNA New Writers Scheme. Can you tell us a bit about your writing?
A. This is so cool…I can finally say I’m PUBLISHED…it’s been a long road! I write Commercial Women’s Fiction, roughly 100,000 words in length and it’s targeted at women like me who want to be swept away and entertained…
I’m very lucky as the amazing Carole Blake is my agent – in fact my most memorable writing success was when three agents loved my book and wanted to sign me…no actually, it was when my husband read the proof copy of the book and loved it.
My most memorable rejection was the first one from Mills & Boon…a standard computer generated one and it never happened again (I never tried to write another HM&B – this could be why)!
Q. I think it was the right decision – a two book deal with Orion? Woo-hoo. So can you describe your writing journey to date in circa 50 words?
Dream- attempt, dream-don’t do, dream- attempt, live life then put bum on seat in 2004 and take writing seriously…2011 sign with agent, 2 book deal with Orion and deals with Germany, Holland and Portugal.
Q. Wow, well persistence certainly pays. Can you give us your top three tips for writers?
- To break a writing block set an egg timer for 20 minutes and write. It doesn’t matter what you write but write. It has worked every time and I thank Anna Louise Lucia for this tip.
- Listen to your work. I use text to voice software. When I listen to my work and it’s a computer doing it with no emotion – you really hear it, clunks and all. It also gives you distance and you use a different part of your brain. I can’t recommend this enough.
- Be professional. Don’t treat writing as a hobby if you want to be published. Treat it as a career even if you only have 20 minutes a day to give it. Invest time and money (in the form of craft books and courses, attending conferences and if necessary in professional editing before you send it out to the world).
Q. Fantastic tips, thanks. Tell us about your work. Do you have a day job?
A. I write full-time and look after an international family in Dubai and the UK. There is no such thing as a typical day for me – that is something I long for. If I can I try to begin each morning with a quick look at emails, twitter, FB and blogs….then either I write or I edit, coming back to emails etc at the end of the day just before dinner. I also try and fit in exercise somewhere. I tend to read at night or during my lunch break. However those are on the days when I am in one place long enough to establish a routine…
Q. So what do you love and/or hate about writing full-time?
A. I love living in the world I create. Many days I am in heat of Dubai and I escape to the cool of Cornwall and wooded walks filled with bluebells…pure escapism. I despise it when I’m on a roll and have to stop for whatever reason.
Q. I definitely know that feeling! So tell us what your favourite wine is.
A. I LOVE wine and my favourite is one that my husband’s family introduced me to. It’s called Calon Segur and it’s a wine that we have at special meals and have done so since I met my husband.
To find out more about Liz go to Just Keep Writing and Other Thoughts (what a fab title for a blog) http://lizfenwick.blogspot.co.uk/ or website http://www.lizfenwick.com/ or The Heroine Addicts blog at http://theheroineaddicts.blogspot.co.uk or at the RNA’s blog http://romanticnovelistsassociationblog.blogspot.co.uk/
You can follow her on Twitter @liz_fenwick or Like her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-Fenwick/188542717850926
The Cornish House is available to buy on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Cornish-House-Liz-Fenwick/dp/1409142744, Waterstones.com and Play.com among others.
Hope everyone enjoyed this post. Look out for the next Writing, Work and Wine with… next Tuesday.
On the self-promo front, voting for the Novelicious Undiscovered competition is still open on their website until 20 June so please do pop in and consider voting for my entry #19 The Nanny’s Revenge. Thanks! (http://www.novelicious.com/voting2012undiscovered.html)
Happy writing, Nikki 🙂