I am pleased to share an interview with Laura Elliot, author of Fragile Lies, published today February 13, 2015. I had the opportunity to read an ARC of her novel and was intrigued by the story. Click here to read my review.
Connect with Laura Elliot
Hi Laura, welcome to Living Life With Joy, thank you so much for participating in this interview!
A Fun Little Q&A with Laura
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
I’m a novelist who loves writing. I’ve written five novels for adults, twelve books for children and young adults (under the name June Considine) and I’ve also ghost-written seven non-fiction books. I worked as a journalist before turning to fiction. I live in Malahide in County Dublin, Ireland.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
Fragile Lies is about betrayal and the ending of a marriage. It’s also about a father’s search for the woman who knocked his son down in a hit-and-run accident and left him in a coma. Deception is the theme of the novel but it’s also a love story that brings two hurt and estranged people together in the most unlikely of circumstances.
3. How long did it take you to write Fragile Lies? What is your writing process like?
I’m very disciplined and am usually at my desk by eight in the morning. I work through the day until about four in the afternoon with small breaks in between. I write my story out roughly then begin the editing process. I usually do four or five redrafts before I feel it’s ready to submit to my publisher. When I hit a difficult patch, which I inevitably do during the redrafting stages, I go for long walks. I live beside an estuary and it’s my favourite place to walk. I’ve unpicked many problems while staring at swans.
4. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m in the final stages of a new novel. It’s about a couple who have it all, successful business partnership, lovely home and four adult children beginning to make their own way in the world. But they’ve become disillusioned with their marriage and decide to separate. This decision unleashes a series of events that neither of them could have foreseen and changes their lives forever.
5. How would you describe your writing style and previous novels to someone that has never read your work before?
They are about family dynamics and have a psychological edge – they usually begin with an event that creates a catalyst for all that follows.
6. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. From the time I was a child I dreamed of being a writer. But I lacked the confidence to take that step and I was in my late twenties when I finally found the courage to pick up a pen one night and begin. I haven’t stopped since.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
A teacher. I love interacting with children and am very fortunate to be regularly invited to visit schools to talk to the pupils about creative writing.
8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
Most fictional heroes have some flaws so I’d like to create the perfect man from the unflinching passion of Heathcliff, the constrained sexuality of Mr Darcy, the brooding vulnerability of Mr Rochester, the devotion of Mr Watson and I’d have to include Mr Sherlock Holmes for his unending search for clues to keep me happy and content.
9. Who are the authors that inspire you and what genres do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy novels with a psychological edge. My most recent reads: Daughter by Jane Shemilt, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke.
10. What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you?
I’ve never forgotten the pleasure I gained from reading as a child. The first books I wrote were for children and I hoped they would bring that same pleasure to a new generation. As the characters in my books grew older and more complex I moved seamlessly into writing novels for adults.
11. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Stop talking about writing books and do it.
12. What kind of environment do you write in?
I work from my office in my home but I’ve gone to artistic retreats when I’m in the final stages of a novel. One such retreats is The Tyrone Guthrie Centre which is a wonderful old house where you can rent a room or stay in a self-catering apartment on the grounds. If you’re staying in one of the rooms, the only stipulation that breaks your self-imposed solitude is to join the other residents for a delicious home-cooked meal in the evenings. What’s not to like?
13. If you could be plopped down into any book, which one would it be?
Tom Sawyer – I’d love to be Becky Thatcher and enjoy that first kiss.
14. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
My blender, steamer, wok, spice rack, herb tray and shelf of cookbooks.
15. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
Woolly sweaters and comfy jeans for the cold mornings at the computer, the one dress among the bad buys that actually works with my figure, a black hand-made kippure lace top that never dates and always fits, and Spanx underwear that makes me forget I should make a date with my weighing scales.
16. What’s your happiest childhood memory?
My father’s arrival home. He worked for a shipping line and was usually away for long periods of time. He always arrived home with presents for his children. When my mother started putting on lipstick and fluffing up her hair in the mirror above the fireplace I always knew he was on his way home.
17. Where is your favorite place in the world?
A small village outside Dingle in West Kerry. I go there every summer with my extended family and friends. It’s quite a large gathering with lots of music, conversation and late nights. I fictionalized the location in Fragile Lies and sent Lorraine Cheevers to live there.
18. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Chanel No 5
Favorite color? Purple
Favorite food? Anything spicy
Favorite word? The End – sorry, that’s two…
Favorite song? Imagine
Favorite book? It’s Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice
Favorite/dream vacation spot? India
Favorite time period in history? 1916 Irish Rebellion
Favorite article of clothing? Little black dress – making sure I fit into it keeps me away from the cookie jar.
Favorite drink of choice? Whiskey
Favorite celebrity crush? Johnny Depp
19. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Cats
Red wine or white? White
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Summer or Winter? Winter
Sleep in or get up early? Early bird
Apple or PC? PC
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!
Thank you so much for featuring me in your blog. I enjoyed answering the questions – they certainly kept my mind busy.
Warmest regards, Laura
Fragile Lies by Laura Elliot
Publication Date: February 13, 2015
His name is Michael Carmody.
He is a writer and a father.
His son is lying in a coma, fighting for his life.
Her name is Lorraine Cheevers.
She is an artist and mother.
An illicit affair has destroyed her marriage.
Michael is desperate to find the couple who left his son for dead, a victim of a hit and run.
Lorraine is desperate to start a new life for her and her daughter.
Michael and Lorraine are about to cross paths – damaged souls, drawn to one another.
They don’t know that their lives are already connected.
They don’t know the web of lies surrounding them.
They are each searching for the truth. But when they find it, it could destroy them both.