Today I’m really excited to welcome fellow RNA (Romantic Novelist Association) member Liz Eales to the blog.
Hi Liz, can you tell me a bit about you and your latest work.
Hello. I’m Liz and I write funny, feel-good stories for Bookouture who have just published my fifth novel, A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle. I love writing about close-knit communities in beautiful locations that are close to my heart. My first three books are based in Cornwall which I fell in love with during family holidays as a child. And A Summer Escape is set in the fictional Cotswolds town of Honeyford, not far from where I grew up in Gloucester. My novels entertain readers and make them laugh – I hope – but they don’t shy away from difficult subjects such as bereavement, divorce and anxiety.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Nervy romcom writer
What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
- Get yourself a support network: link up with local writers or make new writing friends online. Life can get lonely if it’s just you and your laptop.
- Write lots – even when you really don’t feel like it – and read loads.
- Don’t give up.
Are you a panster or plotter?
I really admire writers who can start writing without a plan and see where the story takes them. Even the thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat. I like to map out what’s going to happen and when before launching into my first draft, although my plot outline isn’t set in stone and I sometimes veer off at tangents if a good idea strikes me. Does that make me an honorary pantser?
What does success look like to you?
Getting lovely messages from readers who say that my books have cheered them up or helped them through a difficult time in their lives. Those messages mean a lot.
How do you choose your character names?
It varies. Sometimes they just pop into my head and, other times, I look online for inspiration or check out popular names around the time that my characters would have been born.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Step away from Google! I have succumbed a few times, but it feels a bit like listening at the door to people talking about you – and that doesn’t always end well.
What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
I take a break, enjoy a walk by the sea to clear my head, and then give it another go.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I reckon it takes about six to seven months from start to finish, including edits. I’m often editing one book while writing another so it can be tricky to tease out exactly how long each individual book takes.
What’s your main weakness as a writer eg.SPaG, continuity etc?
Ooh, that’s a hard one to answer. My timelines can get a bit muddled sometimes and my characters tend to do a lot of shrugging, eye-rolling and head shaking at first draft stage. Fortunately, these are things that can be sorted out during edits.
What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
I love writing sparky dialogue and find the words flow easily when I get immersed in a dialogue-heavy scene. One of the hardest things is writing romantic scenes because I’m very aware that my mum and mother-in-law will be reading them once the book’s published!
Describe your writing process in 3 words.
Chaos – graft – order.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
In the past, I often waited to start writing until inspiration struck – which is why it could take me ages to finish anything. After signing with Bookouture, I realised this laissez-faire approach wasn’t going to work and I needed to sit down and make myself write, however I was feeling. Ironically, I quickly learned that the ‘bum on seat and get on with it’ approach generates inspiration and is so much better.
Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
My first two published books were written by hand, but now I tend to write straight onto computer. I’ve also just treated myself to a word processor on eBay that’s perfect for writing first drafts because it’s not connected to the internet. Give me access to social media and my writing hours are sucked into a black hole.
How do you relax?
I sing with a local choir, read in the bath, go for walks with friends, and get hooked on boxsets. I love sci-fi programmes and still harbour a childhood crush on Captain Kirk.
And now for some silly questions just for fun…
Tea or coffee?
I have a confession to make. Though I love writing about the Cosy Kettle café, I don’t much like the taste of coffee or tea, so I drink hot water instead.
Beer or wine?
Neither, because I’m teetotal – though not through choice. I have lots of allergies and alcohol doesn’t agree with me. While this is a pain, it does mean I’m very popular on nights out because I can drive people home. When publications days come around, I go crazy and treat myself to a wine glass of sparkling water plus a jumbo-sized bag of crisps. I’m very low maintenance.
Chips or curly fries?
Chips, drenched in vinegar and covered in salt.
Puppies or kittens?
Kittens. I’m far too squeamish to pick up poo.
Kettle café is the perfect place to escape this summer, for fans of Cathy
Bramley, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson. Guests can tuck in to fruit puddings
and strawberry-studded ice cream, but for Flora, the warm summer breeze is
blowing in big changes…
When Flora finds out about her husband’s secret fling, she escapes to the one place she feels safe: her beloved café, The Cosy Kettle, in the charming village of Honeyford. Serving up cream teas to her café regulars is the perfect way to soothe her broken heart, and although she’s never lived in the area, the little community welcome her with open arms.
She’s soon lodging with local eccentric Luna in her remote and beautiful Starlight Cottage, snuggled between rolling green hills. Luna’s handsome son Daniel lost his wife several years ago, and as Flora gets to know him, sharing walks through the blossom-scented woods, they both slowly begin to heal… and she realises that behind Daniel’s quiet exterior, there’s a passionate nature that makes her forget all about her ex-husband.
As she settles into her new life, hosting a baking competition for the village’s summer celebration seems like a great idea… but with Daniel’s mysterious silences leading Flora to believe he’s hiding secrets, she can’t help but wonder if she can really trust him. And when the race to bake the perfect Victoria sponge stirs up old rivalries between locals, Flora starts to feel like she’s bitten off more than she can chew.
After her new start, will Flora ever truly belong in Honeyford? And, this summer, can she risk opening up her heart again?
funny, feel-good romantic comedies set in the Cotswolds and Cornwall. She was
brought up in Gloucestershire so the Cotswolds are ‘home’, and she fell in love
with Cornwall during family holidays there as a child. She has happy memories
of building sandcastles in the rain, listening to the foghorn, and getting very
excited when the sun came out.
Liz worked as a journalist for years and brought up a family on the south coast, all the while writing fiction on the quiet. After being short-listed in a couple of national novel-writing competitions, her dream of being a published author came true when she was signed by Bookouture. You can find her loitering on Twitter: @lizeelesauthor; Facebook: lizeelesauthor; and Instagram: lizeelesauthor.
Even though my TBR pile is massive, I’m still adding this one on and I can’t wait to see what more there is to come from Liz! Grab your copy here:
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2IqZzfT