E.L. Lindley is the author of several books. She kindly agreed to an interview for my blog.
What sort of books do you write?
I would categorise my writing as escapist fiction, which is the type of book I like to read. My favourite genre is light hearted crime with a bit of romance thrown in – I think they are described as cosy mysteries but I actually only heard that term relatively recently. I have a series of books called the Georgie Connelly stories which are very much in that style. I also have a standalone called Dare To Lose which is a crime/thriller and two standalones that are contemporary romances called Don’t Look Back and Family Ties. See – there’s something for everyone.
Can you tell me a bit about your latest novel?
The last novel I published was the fourth in the Georgie Connelly stories and is called False Allegiance. Georgie is a Brit living in LA and as such is often at odds with the culture around her. She is a documentary film maker and her work usually results in her getting drawn into wrong doing. There is a cast of recurring characters, including her boyfriend James, best friend Callie and interfering mother. In False Allegiance, Georgie and her assistant, Danny, find themselves embroiled in the world of sororities and fraternities. It was the perfect revenge for me because I spent a couple of years at university in the States and, let’s just say I didn’t find the sorority sisters particularly welcoming. Hopefully, it will also be interesting to UK readers as sororities and fraternities aren’t part of our culture.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Strangely, considering how far-fetched my books are, I get my ideas from real life. Every single book I’ve written is based on an incident that has either happened to me or been related to me by a friend. I then exaggerate it to make it more interesting or funny or whatever but there’s a core of truth in all of them.
Do you have a favourite place where you like to write?
I do all my writing in cafes. I can’t work at home; it just doesn’t happen for me. I need busy distractions going on around me to be able to concentrate, perverse as that may sound. I do all my writing in notebooks and then type it up at home. I have to admit it’s not a particularly productive way of doing things because I often end up with a massive backlog waiting to be typed up, primarily because I hate doing and put it off far more than I should.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the fifth Georgie Connelly novel which is as yet untitled but is set in the UK. I don’t want to give too much away but Georgie and her friends come to the UK on the trail of someone and become immersed in a mystery. Lots of readers in the UK kept commenting how much they’d like for Georgie to return to her roots so I thought – why not?
What advice do you have for anyone wishing to pen their first novel?
I would say just do it. I think lots of people nurse ideas for stories or scribble away in secret but don’t have the confidence to pursue it. However, eBooks have really opened up the opportunity for everybody to give writing a go if they want to. It’s really hard to put your writing out into the public domain, opening yourself up to scrutiny but I think the thrill of having someone read your work by far outweighs the odd criticism. So far, I’ve been quite lucky, I haven’t been completely decimated in any review but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and the key is not to let it knock your confidence. Constructive criticism can be worth its weight in gold because it allows you to hone your writing skills and even better are the occasions when you get really lovely comments from readers who’ve enjoyed your book. In a nutshell then, I’d say – just go for it!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In addition to writing, I love to read. I don’t think it’s possible to love one without the other as the two are so intrinsically connected. The more you read the better your writing becomes, partly you are soaking up new ideas and techniques and partly because there’s nothing more inspiring than a good book. I also love the cinema and have to see at least one film a week or I start developing withdrawal symptoms. I’m not precious about my choice of films, I’m equally as happy watching a European art house film as I am the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I just like a good story!
If you were only allowed to keep one book which would it be?
This is a tricky one because I’m not someone who tends to re-read books. To be honest, my policy is once I’ve read it I pass it on. To only have one book would mean I’d have to want to read it over and over again. This is probably going to sound really pretentious but I think I’d opt for The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. I love that play and the beauty of Shakespeare is, every time you read one of his plays, you see something different in it. I know a lot of people don’t approve of The Taming of the Shrew and think it’s sexist but I really can’t see why. I love Kate, she is such a fantastic character, ahead of her time and, in my opinion, she gives Petruchio as good as she gets. I like to imagine their life after the play’s finished and I think they’d have a wild old time together because they are both such headstrong characters. I just don’t get the interpretation which shows Kate as a broken, shell of a woman by the end, she’s simply playing Petruchio at his own game. Shakespeare writes brilliant women characters and I think a lot of the feisty women that we enjoy reading about today may well be the literary descendents of characters like Kate.
If anybody wants to know more about me or my writing, they can find me at the following places
My website is – ellindley.weebly.com
My Facebook page is – https://www.facebook.com/pages/EL-Lindley/205011402903349
My Goodreads site is – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5753702.E_L_Lindley
My Twitter handle is – @LindleyE