Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Lisa.
I have been writing in one form or another since childhood. Writing has been an amazing journey of discovery, of the world within and the world without. Writing is, by turns, exciting, painful, effortless, difficult, revelatory, therapeutic, joyful, confusing, illuminating, and always changing. It would take a book to tell you every place it has taken me.
- How does the writing process work for you? Do you find yourself writing at a certain time of day, in a certain space - what does your environment feel like?
I am reluctant to describe my process, because every writer has his or her own very personal process that should not be compared to another writer's process. We all tend to compare ourselves to others and then find what we do wanting. Some of us like to write in a quiet office with the blinds closed and facing the wall rather than the window. Others prefer to sit with a laptop in a crowded café. Some write longhand first, while others draft on the keyboard. Some of us outline and others don't. Some write every day at a certain time of day, and others follow no set schedule. I can only say to my fellow storytellers out there that whatever works for you is the right process. Stick to what works, and when it doesn't, when you need a change or think you're blocked, unchain yourself from your desk or café table or wherever you are, and try something different. Take a drive, or a walk, or a shower, or do some gardening. Something that's a brain vacation. Be playful. And the blocks will loosen up.
What authors inspire you?
Jane Austen is my biggest inspiration. I love her keen observation of human nature as well as her masterful plotting, her humor, and her deeply satisfying stories. I am also a huge fan of Nick Hornby and Zadie Smith. I see Nick Hornby as a modern Jane Austen. I love all of his books, but I particularly appreciate A LONG WAY DOWN, ABOUT A BOY, and JULIET, NAKED. Zadie Smith's ON BEAUTY is one of my favorite contemporary novels. It's very Austen-like in its take-no-prisoners approach to human behavior, and its exploration of academia in a "three or four families in a country village" sort of way.
About how long did it take you to write, "Confessions..."
I spent about six years writing CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT. Lots of research, rewriting, and confidence building during that time. I wrote RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT in less than two years, though I must also count a good part of the six years I spent on CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, since the two books are linked.
What did the publishing process look like for you? How did you go about finding a publisher, etc.
I queried agents very methodically, researching the ones who appeared to have similar sensibilities and interests. I landed with a wonderful agent who quickly found a publisher.
What are your future plans? Are you working on anything new?
I am working on a third novel. I also contributed a short story to the anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT, which is coming out in October.
Best piece of advice you could give to writer?
Be very discerning about the people with whom you discuss your work in progress and with whom you share your work, your hopes, your dreams as a writer. Trust your instincts, and stay away from anyone who has a whiff of competition or envy.
And last but not least, what is your favorite dessert?
Now that's a question I haven't been asked before. Sour cherry pie. And now I'm craving some.
Thank you Laurie for taking the time to be interviewed! Please take a moment to check out JaneAustenAddict.com as well as her hilarious web series Sex and the Austen Girl.