This week I’m joined by Liz Harris, who I’ve known for quite a few years now. Her latest novel is The Flame Within and you can find details about this book further down the post.
Today, Liz is going to tell us about when she made the decision to be a writer and why. Over to Liz …
I frequently read articles and blogs where authors talk about having known since day one that they were going to be authors, and having written their first novels at primary school. That wasn’t me. I didn’t know for a long time that I was going to be an author.
I did, however, always know that I wanted to write. I’ve known that since day one, and from the age of five, I haven’t stopped writing. It was a number of years, though, before my writing was to take the shape of a novel.
I can best describe my writing in terms of three phases.
Phase One was at school and university. I always enjoyed writing essays, from ‘Imagine you’re a donkey in the Sahara’ to university essays. When I did my English finals, I was laughing so much as I wrote an essay about Chaucer, who had humour down to a fine art, that the invigilator had to come over and ask me to stop!
Phase Two was in California and then back in England, in the first years of marriage and parenthood. During those years, I wrote countless letters. When in California, I kept in touch with all my friends, writing in miniature on the blue one-sheet airletters that I sent home, and when back in England after six years away, and was married with two small sons, I continued writing to my friends. Without the constraints of airmail, however, each letter was like a mini book. Looking back, I feel sorry for my friends, who had to plough through the minutiae of my life on a regular basis.
It was one of those long-suffering friends who, in palpable desperation one day, suggested I write a novel.
Phase Three, the years of being an author, started at that moment. I began to write a novel, and then I wrote another. Seven and a half writing-years later, The Road Back was accepted for publication.
Given that I loved writing, it was probably inevitable that at some stage I’d turn to writing books myself because, from the minute I learnt to read, I’ve never stopped reading. By the end of my teens, I’d read all of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Mickey Spillane, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardner, Elizabeth Gaskell, the major Russian authors, etc. You can’t beat a good book.
There is no greater preparation for being an author than to read as widely as possible – it stimulates the imagination, takes the reader to places they’d never have thought of going, develops an understanding of people and how they act and think, and builds up a vocabulary. So while I was writing essays and letters, and reading voraciously, I was getting closer to the path I think I was always destined to take, but didn’t know it for a long time.
Many thanks for inviting me to be your guest, Morton. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking to you.
Thank you for joining me Liz and your book covers are lovely! Mx
About Liz Harris
Liz is the author of the historical novels The Road Back (US Coffee Time and Romance Book of the Year), A Bargain Struck (RoNA shortlisted for the Best Historical Novel), The Lost Girl and the novella, A Western Heart. Her almost-contemporary novels are Evie Undercover and The Art of Deception.
Liz’s latest two novels, The Dark Horizon and The Flame Within, are the first two books in the Linford Saga, which is set between the wars. The third in the series, The Lengthening Shadow, will be published in March 2021.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Historical Novel Society, Liz gives talks and workshops at conferences and literary festivals, and speaks regularly to WI and book groups.
You can find out more about her using the following links:-
Find her books http://www.lizharrisauthor.com
About The Flame Within
Alice Linford stands on the pavement and stares up at the large Victorian house set back from the road—the house that is to be her new home.
But it isn’t her house. It belongs to someone else—to a Mrs Violet Osborne. A woman who was no more than a name at the end of an advertisement for a companion that had caught her eye three weeks earlier.
More precisely, it wasn’t Mrs Osborne’s name that had caught her eye—it was seeing that Mrs Osborne lived in Belsize Park, a short distance only from Kentish Town. Kentish Town, the place where Alice had lived when she’d been Mrs Thomas Linford.
Thomas Linford—the man she still loves, but through her own stupidity, has lost. The man for whom she’s left the small Lancashire town in which she was born to come down to London again. The man she’s determined to fight for.
The Flame Within is perfect for readers of The Thorn Birds and the Cazalet Chronicles, and the novels of Fiona Valpy and Santa Montefiore.
New Book for Christmas 2020 – Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook Books, Google Play and Choc Lit for other options.