We are delighted to be joined again on the blog today by Liv Thomas. Liv wrote her debut novel, Beneath an Irish Sky, with fellow writer Val Olteanu, under the pen name Isabella Connor. Beneath an Irish Sky was released by Choc Lit in August of last year and their second novel, An Irish Promise, is due for release in November. All this, despite the fact that Val and Liv have never met in person!
Liv’s long held dreams of becoming a writer took a while to come to fruition, as it was only after she received praise for some Lord of the Rings fan-fiction that she decided to make it a reality.
Congratulations on the success of Beneath An Irish Sky and the completion of the next novel in the series, which we know is due for release in November. Please can you tell us a little bit about An Irish Promise?
An Irish Promise is the story of how bullying affects a young girl, both in childhood and as an adult. She returns to the village in Ireland where the bullying took place, set on revenge, but of course, romance gets in the way in the form of a handsome Aussie. The novel also deals with how the results of their actions impact on the bullies themselves.
Is writing a second novel really as difficult as people say and just like the notoriously difficult second album that musicians often describe?
On the whole, I think it was easier this time because we’re more aware of what’s required. We’ve also become more used to each other’s writing style.
What have been the best and worst things about being a published author?
The worst thing is having to grit your teeth (and not cry) when someone criticises your baby. The best thing is the sense of achievement … I don’t know if you ever lose that.
Do you read reviews for your novels and have you had any that you have found it difficult to deal with or been bowled over by?
We’ve been incredibly lucky, and have had some lovely reviews.
Who would play the lead roles if An Irish Promise were made into a film?
We used this visual of Chris Evans (the actor not the presenter!) for the character of Aussie actor Finn.
He has an incredibly soulful/vulnerable look which conveys Finn’s emotions to perfection. Finn is something of a tortured soul, bless him.
I have a sadly neglected blog, and am active on Twitter and Facebook. It’s extremely important to be a part of social media, which is a bit like a rolling stone gathering a huge amount of moss. I think it’s important not to view it purely as a means to promote your work though – on Twitter in particular, there’s nothing worse than following someone who only ever tweets links. I’m far more likely to click on a link from someone who has socialised and interacted with me. A Facebook ‘author page’ is also useful. Try and treat social media as an actual get-together – make conversation, respond to others, and don’t expect help with promotion unless you’re prepared to do the same for them.
If you could go back and give your un-published self any advice what would it be?
Don’t get carried away – we wrote 240k words for Beneath an Irish Sky because we thought there was a minimum number of words that would be accepted, not a maximum! We had to lose half of it. In hindsight, it was for the best!
What do you think the main benefits of being supported by a publisher, rather than self-publishing, are?
You obviously get promotional support, but it’s also a huge psychological boost. Being accepted by a respected publisher is the realisation of a dream. I’ve only ever been with Choc Lit, so can’t speak for other authors/publishers, but I would say the support we’ve had is second to none, not just from CL themselves, but from the other writers. We call it the Choc Lit family, and it is.
What is next for you in terms of working in partnership as Isabella Connor and do you envisage writing separately at some point?
We’re working on a third novel together, so that will take priority. Eventually, if time allows, we might give solo writing a go, but not at the expense of our partnership. With a co-author you have moments when you’re like a reader – you don’t know what’s coming next. And we’ve both had ideas for scenarios in both novels, that the other wouldn’t have come up with.
Thanks again for taking the time to come back for an update interview with us. The Write Romantics wish you every success for the future and we will be pre-ordering An Irish Promise!
Find out more about Liv and purchase Beneath an Irish Sky or pre-order An Irish Promise on the ChocLit website at: http://www.choc-lit.co.uk/html/isabella_connor.html
Or on Liv’s own blog at: http://livbet.webs.com/
Follow Liv on Twitter at: @Livbet
Join Liv on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/livvie.thomas
The link to Beneath an Irish Sky on Amazon can be found here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Irish-Sky-Isabella-Connor/dp/1781890048/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378056623&sr=8-1&keywords=beneath+an+irish+sky