Liz Eeles, author of cheerful, uplifting romantic comedies, is my guest today on Last Word of the Week.
Liz lives on the UK’s South Coast with her husband, their grown-up children having moved out. Although she *says* she misses them, she enjoys having more time for writing – sorry, kids! Liz writes funny, feel-good novels set in the gorgeous Cotswolds and Cornwall, which gives her a great excuse to go there on *research trips* aka ‘holidays’. Liz has previously worked as a journalist and press officer, but now she is lucky enough to write novels full-time. Liz loves sci-fi programmes and still harbours a childhood crush on Captain Kirk. Ah, a woman of my stamp methinks…
Welcome, Liz! Thank you so much for joining me. Can you tell me about when you first realised that you are a writer.
Liz: That would be the moment an email arrived in my inbox from digital publisher Bookouture, offering me a contract to write three romantic comedies. I’d been working as a journalist for years so I guess I was already a writer, but being a published author seemed like nothing more than a pipedream – until Bookouture came along, took a look at the fiction I’d been writing in my spare time, and decided to sign me up. Now I get to write novels every day, and my fifth book, A Summer Escape And Strawberry Cake At The Cosy Kettle, has just been published.
Fifth book – wonderful, congratulations. Do you rely more on dreams, imagination, and planning?
I love making up whole new worlds and imagining the people who live there. My first three novels are set in fictional Salt Bay on the wild Cornish coast. And my most recent two romcoms are set in the Cotswolds town of Honeyford, which exists only in my head. So imagination is all important – but I’d never finish a novel without lots of planning to keep me on track.
Sounds like a perfect combination. What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
Publication days are always special. My first one was mostly nerve-racking, as the book I’d worked so hard on was launched into the world. But now I’m on my fifth publication day, I’ve settled down and really enjoy them. Another highlight has been receiving lovely messages from readers who have enjoyed my books.
That’s great. Reader feedback makes it so real! What are you most looking forward to at the moment?
Writing related: I’m busy writing my Christmas book and can’t wait to see its cover – Bookouture’s covers are brilliant so I’m expecting lots of snowy festiveness. Writing a Christmas book in the summer, while I’m sitting in the garden, slathered in sun cream, is rather surreal.
Not writing related: my first grandchild is due at the end of August and I’m very excited. I’ve started loitering in supermarket baby aisles and welling up at the sight of teeny tiny clothes.
What a divine combination! Best wishes for both Christmas and baby! If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Make friends. Writing can be lonely if it’s just you and your computer, but there’s a huge writing community out there that’s very welcoming. I made contact with like-minded people on social media, joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and started going to a monthly meet-up of local writers. We shared the ups and downs of trying to get published, and I made some great friends.
And finally: Who would you be if you were a fictional character?
As a child, I longed to be a Doctor Who companion, or one of Captain Kirk’s trusty crew members on the Starship Enterprise – though preferably not one in a red jumper because they seemed to get killed off. I’d still quite like to be either of those, actually, and to travel the galaxy.
Great choices there, Liz! Mind if I join you? And many thanks for sharing with us here on last Word of the Week.
Liz’s important links: