If you've read Boot Camp Bride you'll know how entertaining it is so you can imagine how delighted I was when its author Lizzie Lamb agreed to answer some questions.
Why did you write Boot Camp Bride?
When I was working full time as deputy head teacher in a large primary school in Leicestershire, escaping into the world of books was my way of relaxing at the end of a long day. Too tired and brain dead to reach out for War and Peace or Dostoevsky, I wanted something light, witty and entertaining to read instead - and rom coms fitted the bill. As that was the genre I enjoyed reading, it seemed natural to me to write in that genre, too.
Also, I spend a great deal of time in north-west Norfolk and, one day when I was sitting on a bench overlooking the marshes, the whole plot for Boot Camp Bride unfolded before me. The heroine, Charlee, had been in my head for ages, begging me to write about her – and, sitting there on that bench, it occurred to me that the marshes were the ideal setting for a romantic comedy. Added to that, I’m one of those writers who has to fall in love with the hero before she can start writing her novel. Luckily, my head is full of gorgeous heroes just waiting to be written about and sexy, temperamental Rafa who is the perfect foil for Charlee, demanded that I tell his story, too!
Then the serious business of writing Boot Camp Bride began.
What kind of reader would enjoy Boot Camp Bride?
Readers who want to escape from the demands and tedium of everyday life and have a romantic adventure without leaving the safety of their sofa. They’d like feisty heroines who struggle to get what they want from life, but who never lose sight of their goal – or their sense of humour. They’d fall in love with heroes whose love for my heroines is central to their character; my heroes only want the best for my heroines, although the course of true love never runs smooth. My ideal readers would enjoy sparky dialogue between the hero and heroine and love every second when they’re together ‘on the page’. They’d become best friends with some of the secondary characters who act as a foil for my heroine, and would love to sit down and share a glass of wine with them. Finally, they’d love to laugh at some of the incidents which befall my characters - and enjoy a great romantic ending which promises the hero and heroine will live happily ever after.
How did you develop your characters?
I know this might sound a bit mad, but I have imaginary conversations with them in my head! For some reason, my most productive thinking time is when I wake up first thing in the morning or when I’m in the shower. I also find that my brain works most creatively when I’m cooking or doing something else mundane. I go into a dream world very easily and that’s when my characters become real people, take on a life of their own and take the plot down roads I’d never thought of.
What has been the biggest influence on your career as a writer?
I have always wanted to become a writer, but this, inevitably, was put on hold while I was in full time employment. Being able to take early retirement from the teaching profession after thirty four years and having the time to pursue my dream of becoming a published author has been a major factor in my life as a writer. Secondly, the invention of the Kindle and other e-readers and the rise of sites likes Amazon and Create Space has enabled me to share my novels with readers around the world. Both of those factors, linked with my determination and the desire to tell a good story has enabled me to reach the point where I am today. And, last but not least, the support, friendship and boundless enthusiasm of New Romantics Press, the indie group I have formed.
Are you working on any new writing at the moment?
Yes! I’ve almost finished the first draft of a new romantic comedy set in Scotland and I’m very excited about that. I hope it will be ready for publication in February or March 2015. My ambition is to write three novels set in Scotland and three set in Norfolk and to publish them as box sets over the next few years.
Thanks so much Lizzie for answering my questions. I couldn't agree with you more about rom-coms being a great way to relax at the end of a busy day at work. I'm looking forward to reading Tall, Dark and Kilted and good luck with your next book.