Today, I am thrilled to be bringing you an author interview with the lovely, and very talented Elizabeth Holland. Her book titled 'The Vintage Bookshop of Memories' is one of the best books I have read this year. I recently posted a review here on my blog.
So, let's find out a bit more about Elizabeth and her work.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m Elizabeth Holland, author of 2 self-published books and many unpublished books. I live in England and I enjoy capturing the beauty of my surroundings in my books. I’m a keen writer of romance novels and enjoy losing myself in books. When I’m not writing you can usually find me on Twitter.
How long have you been writing?
I know it’s a little cliché but honestly, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t write. Growing up I wrote little stories all over the place. I even had a Fanfiction account (that’s now thankfully deleted). I remember being so excited, getting home every night and logging on to see if anyone had read my stories and left any feedback. I studied English at school but stopped writing when I started university, as I just didn’t have the time. Almost two years ago, whilst on a break from work (due to my mental health) I decided to go for it and try writing again and that set me on my path to where I am now.
Do you have a favourite book?
I couldn’t possibly choose one! I’m known for almost inhaling books. Lately I’ve only been reading books by fellow indie authors and I’ve been blown away.
I really enjoyed your book tilted ‘The Vintage Bookshop of Memories’. It was a lovely story. What was the inspiration for this book?
Thank you! When I began plotting the book I immediately knew I wanted a bookshop and I wanted the bookshop to be a comforting escape from everyday life. As I continued writing, my own loves began to waive their way into the story (the gin and the 1940's fashion). The village of Ivy Hatch is heavily influenced by my surroundings in Kent (including the name).
Can you describe your writing process?
In one word, erratic. Usually an idea will hit me and I’ll scribble down a rough plan. As I sit down to begin writing the story my intention is to follow that plan. However, things don’t usually work out like that. As I write the story usually changes multiple times and evolves into something different to my original plan. Some people like to edit as they go, I don’t do this. I like to get a rough draft complete, so that I know the story. Once that’s complete, I then go on to heavily edit to ensure everything flows and little connections are made throughout. I think it’s the more chaotic approach but it seems to work for me.
What does literary success look like to you?
Having people read my books. It’s an amazing feeling to think that someone has chosen to pick up your book out of all the others ones out there.
Who are your favourite authors, and how have they influenced your work?
Before beginning my writing journey some of my favourite authors included Sophie Kinsella and Ali McNamara. I loved the humour in Sophie’s work and Ali’s always has a little twist of magic. Since joining the writing community on Twitter there are three amazing writers that have greatly influenced my work; Lara Ann Dominick, J.L. Rothstein and Eva Alton. All three women are determined, talented and generally lovely people. They’ve been an inspiration and it’s encouraged me to keep writing and to keep marketing my stories.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am! I’m currently immersed in Christmas. Most people can’t believe it that I’m already thinking about it but I know to get a book written, edited and published I’m probably already behind schedule. I’m working on The Vintage Bookshop of Memories. We’re going to return to Ivy Hatch for a Christmas Day Wedding. Prue and Elliot will be present but the main character focus will be on Katie, Prue’s friend.
What advice would you give a new author?
Just keep writing! I’ve learned a lot on my journey and I think the best way of learning is by doing. Write your book, decide whether you want to self-publish or traditionally publish and then just do it. Don’t be scared, the writing community are here to help and we don’t bite! (Well, the supernatural writers might but I promise they’re lovely too, until the full moon appears...).
Lastly, what interests do you have outside of writing?
Does reading count? If I’m not writing books, I’m usually blogging. I run a mental health blog and between that, writing books and reading books I have very little time to do much else. However, I do enjoy a nice walk and a fancy coffee out - that’s usually my weekend treat. Then its home to do some reading!
If you would like to check out Elizabeth's work, click on the links below.