Summer of Secrets is her new book, except she’s got a different name, Alison Lucy. Same author, same awesome talent. Still rocks my world.
Describe yourself in a tweet, please Alison…
Didn’t she used to be somebody else? #summerofsecrets #free #kindle www.kean.nu/jap
Do you have a room of your own? Where are you most creative?
I have the run of the attic unless we have guests. I feel more creative when I am dreaming up stories though which I can do anywhere I like, and I mean anywhere. The actual writing is quite mechanical.
What time of the day are you at your most creative? Or do you schedule in creativity as work?
Jackie Collins once said she starts writing before she washes her face. She was right. If you start washing your face you might decide it’s a good idea to pluck your eyebrows or clean the bathroom and become all kinds of distracted. If I have a big long empty day I will definitely schedule in some sacred daydreaming time. A walk on my own or a glass of wine in the bath for example. Time is much more precious to me than space. Time to daydream about Mexican beaches and sturdy heroes.
How long does it roughly take you to go from an idea in your head to a finished book o’ wonder on the book shelves?
It varies but Summer of Secrets took around a year, and that felt fast. The next book I plan to write after the one I am writing now has been in my head for years but never really taken shape. I have written seven in ten years. *faints*
Can you tell us about the Alison writing process please?
I daydream like a woman possessed until my mind can no longer contain my crazy plot twists and character rebellions and then I write one fairly good first draft. It’s fairly good because somewhere about three chapters before the end I always procrastinate wildly by launching into the edit proper. I hate finishing books, I have a genuine psychological stumbling block around them. I usually end up writing the final sentence in the middle of the night a few hours before my deadline having edited the rest several times over. I am experimenting with post it notes.
You written your new book, Summer of Secrets, under a different name? Why is that?
Short answer, because a new publisher approached my agent and said they would like to publish me if I would consider changing my name.
What is your favourite book of all time?
All of them. All the books.
What was your journey to being published for the first time like?
I took a career-break specifically to write a book, I completed a draft and sent the first three revised chapters to my agent wish list. Judith Murdoch was hooked enough to ask for the rest of it, so I revised the rest of it and sent that too. Then I met up with Judith one morning and she ripped it to shreds, pointing out that I had buried the strongest character behind a smokescreen of incident and rivalry, that I had written a 250k novel when a 120k would have been more than enough and that I had no ending. Together we came up with a new plan for a rewrite and by the time I left her house it was dark. With that rewrite in place the book was offered to publishing houses and got sold.
What are your top 3 tips for writer girls?
1. Write every day, even just a little. The more you write every day the easier it is to write every day.
2. Reading your book aloud to yourself when you’ve finished is the easiest way to spot the boring bits and the typos.
3. Don’t be too tough on yourself and your skills. Don’t let your fear and anxiety paralyse you when you would do your best work if you stayed open and relaxed.
What’s next in the world of Alison…
I recently became a fully qualified and certified honest-to-god Thai massage therapist so if you ever need a good rub-down I’m your girl.
Alison is the author of Summer of Secrets, out now from Canvas books. Go to www.canvasbooks.co.uk this summer to win an All-Inclusive holiday for two to the Caribbean coast of Mexico and the islands that inspired the story.