Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Words with... Laura Watts

Thanks to Laura Watts for this interview

Author of Secret Confessions of a Backpacker: My Adventure Down Under

How long have you been writing?

I didn’t start writing seriously until a couple of years ago, but I’ve always enjoyed creative writing for a hobby. I’ve always had an active mind so I find this is one good way to slow it down.

What do you feel is the ideal recipe for a good novel?

A fantastic, gripping story that keeps the book in your hands. There’s nothing better than a page turner! Writers have to keep their readers entertained long enough to get on to the next page.

What/who inspired you to write?

My fantastic travelling days! I thought this time is far too precious to waste and I didn’t want the memories to fade, so I made sure I wrote them all down. As I’ve said previously, I’ve always enjoyed writing so it felt natural to turn my experiences into a book. Before I started to write, I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy the process of reliving my travelling days because the past is in the past. But it turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me. Now I write all the time and I’ve made the decision to write fiction books in the future. I quite fancy the chick lit genre because I think it’s a similar style to how I write now. Conversational chatter with hints of humour.

How long did it take you to write the book?

Longer than it should have done! At the start I only wrote when I wanted to, I didn’t commit myself to writing every day! Now I make sure I write every day or, if that’s physically impossible, I make sure I’m doing other things that are book related.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers or those just starting out?

Keep focused. It’s very easy to put your writing on hold in favour of other things, but if you keep doing that you’ll never get anywhere. Self-discipline can be tough at times, especially when you can’t even motivate yourself to get out of bed! But you have to do it, that’s if you do really want to become a writer and not just some wannabe. Treat all of your writing like a professional business, if you want to be thought of as a professional that is... Anything else...? Oh yes, hire an editor to look over your work. I can’t stress that one enough!

Do you have any works in progress?

I do, yes. I’ve written 23,000 words so far on my second book ‒ the sequel to my first. In this book I travel Canada. For those who loved my first book, I think they’re going to love this one even more.

Where and when do you write ‒ do you have set times during which you write or is it just when the mood takes you?

Well, I make sure I write every day, or as close to that as I can possibly get. I usually write in the morning when my mind is fresh. Then I write for as long as possible. I have to be somewhere quiet with no distractions, otherwise my mind wanders. I can write anywhere, just so long as it’s quiet.

Do you have any marketing advice for other writers?

Yes, don’t self-promote all the time. Instead, talk to people and focus on building relationships. Share your wisdom and be helpful to others. No one likes to be sold to all of the time.

Which book do you wish you had written?

All of the Belle de Jour books ‒ they’re so salacious and funny.

Who is your favourite character from any book, and why?

That would have to be Belle herself. She writes with such candour: she doesn’t give a hoot what people think.

What other interests do you have or has writing taken over?

I have to say that writing is one of my top priorities. But, having said that, I do make time for other things such as walking my dogs and catching up with friends. I’ve done Ju Jitsu for a while too.

What would like to achieve over the next five years?

Where do I start? I would like to win the lottery and write five best-selling books ‒ one for each year. On a serious note, I want to keep on writing, get my second book finished and edited before I start writing fiction. I just plan to keep writing. It would be nice to have a few books under my belt by the time I reach thirty.

What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?

You’ll have to read my first book to find that one out!

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