Erin Green Author - blog
One of the positives born from the covid situation has been Zoom Author Q&As; which allow me to connect with groups regardless of distance. This week, I connected with one delightful group: The Tregolls Lodge book club in Truro. It was a one hour session which felt like ten minutes given the speed with which time past, plus the laugh we had!
Authors are usually sent a few questions before hand to give the group an idea of their make-up. I thought I'd share my answer below:
1. What is the first book that made you cry?
I can't remember. Tears equal a five star review in my world, so there have been many over the years!
2. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Buying window space in book shops, e.g. WHSmiths and clearly stating 'bestseller' when the featured book isn't a best seller but then the public buy it without questioning, thus making it a 'bestseller'. Urghhhhhhh, Richard! But good luck to you - I simply wish it were me!
3. Does writing energise or exhaust you?
Energise. It keeps my blood pumping!
4. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Errr, I do. My birth name was originally deemed 'commercially unviable' by a previous editor.
5. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
6. What other authors are you friends with & how do they help you to become a better writer? 7. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
There are too many to list. The sweetest, loveliest authors to me have been Bella Osborne, Katie Fforde, Jo Thomas, Alison May, Janet Gover, Christie Barlow, Ros Rendle, Josie Bonham, Victoria Walker, Sally Jenkins and Lynne Selby. All super smashing people who simply have good hearts!
7. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It didn't. I was still juggling the 'day job' alongside 'the dream job' so yeah, I went to work each day and taught Shakespeare, Steinbeck and Dickens!
8. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I now live off my wage, so every day in a bonus day. My very first purchase with my royalty cheque was a beautiful piece of art by Darryn Eggleton (see above picture) I still look at it and take pride in the fact that my readers' bought it for me. Thank you, I love it x
9. As a writer what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/ spirit animal?
My spirit animal has always been a tortoise. I have owned several during my lifetime. My Grandad Peel bought me my first when I was aged five. Apparently, Bill died several times over and was hastily replaced, which I always argued and spotted after each 'fake' hibernation, but yeah, a tortoise. I currently own three girls: Nettles, Acorn and Willow.
10. What’s the best way to market your books?
There are many - Twitter, Facebook, in person, loyal fans.
11. How do you select the names of your characters?
I love names. Names are incredible important to me - it has to be the right fit for the fight person otherwise, nah! I chose teams from grave headstone, the closing titles of films, school registers, overheard on the street - I make a list of 'lovely' names and them select when I needed. I've been known to change names part was through writing a book because the chosen one lost its value or really wasn't right!
12. Do you read your book reviews and how do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read every review I can see. On Amazon reviews, I am the 'one person liked this' person beneath the recent ones. I learn from my reviews as they are the voice of my readers. If several readers pick up on the same thing, then I make note of their likes/dislikes and feed that into my next book. I love reviews ... five star or otherwise! I can honestly say my reviews have shaped my future books. I will never write the perfect book, so will always gain one star reviews. Thank you, reviewers!
13. What was your hardest scene to write?
The ones that contain personal information/events that I have experienced in life. They don't make me cry during the writing stage but make me sob during editing. I try to put a piece of me into each book that way the memory will live forever.
14. Describe a typical day for you?
At my desk for 8am writing. Breakfast at nine. Writing again from ten o'clock. Home alone with my dog, cat and tortoises for the day. I work until at least four. The dog drags me out for exercise. Return home to eat, hobby time and sleep. Repeat.
15. What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Me! That might sound very arrogant, but it isn't, it is honest! The woman that I am and have become, based on what I have been through, is my greatest achievement!
16. What is in your handbag/satchel?
17. What advice would you give a budding novelist?
Simply write! Write. Write. Write. Stop fooling yourself when you don't write. That fool doesn't pen a single word! (Sorry if that sounds harsh).
18. What are your ambitions in life?
To remain happy.
19. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Happy and writing.
20. Happiness is?
Inner peace, writing and a fresh cuppa!
21. What three words would you use to describe your latest novel?
Healing. Healthy. Inspiring.
22. Which authors inspire you?
I love my Classics: Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Eliot.
Modern day: Marian Keyes, Bella Osborne, Jill Mansell, Milly Johnson, Christie Barlow
23. Are your books plot driven or character driven?
Character and persona.
24. How much of you is there in your books?
I'm in every line!
25. How important is the setting in the book?
Very important. A sense of belonging and setting is important to me.
26. Which of your books have you been most proud of?
All of them; I can't chose between my babies!
27. Do you have a favourite book?
Easy. Pride and Prejudice - Austen. I own ten different copies and bought myself a new version for a big birthday during covid lockdown!
28. How long does it take you to write a book?
Longest time 6 years. Shortest time 108 days!
29. Where do you write?
In my writing room, which is a spare bedroom in the house. I like coffee shops too, or train stations, or belfries, or airports, or park benches - anywhere ... I like anywhere I can write.
30. Which authors dead or alive would you invite to a literary dinner party?
Austen, Brontes, Dickens, plus Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin because I adore them too!
31. Have you been to any literary festivals to listen or to speak?
32. Who was your favourite author when you were a child/growing up?
C.S.Lewis. I had to put my name on the school library list in order to read 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' and the wait seemed like years, but finally it was my turn. I actually the remember the night, I sat in bed reading about Lucy going through the back of that wardrobe. It was as if Lewis took my hand and walked me through the fur coats, snow, pine needles ... I'm yet to return home! Pure magic!
33. Did you or do you now borrow books from your local library?
I always have a borrowed book from the library. I'm a regular user for ordering books. I'm good at returning, I rarely pay fines! I attend local talks too, which gives the librarians a giggle as I don't think they expect me to take an interest in certain subjects. But I'm quirky like that; I love local history!
34. Do you prefer paper books or an e-reader?
I'm a book sniffer, so I like paperbacks!