I have with me the lovely Lisa Cutts whose latest book Lost Lives is out now, I have read the book and reviewed it here, I think it is her best work.
So here are the questions I put to Lisa.
Does everybody at work know that you write books?
They do! I had to get secondary employment clearance from Kent Police and then approached the Legal Department as I didn’t want to cause problems or concerns about the subject matter of the books. My colleagues and friends at work have been very supportive and came along to my book launches.
Do they read your books?
They’ve bought the books, whether they’ve read them, I’m not sure. I’ve had some lovely feedback from colleagues so I think they have.
Have you got lots of ideas stored in your head or do you write them down as soon as you think of them?
I tend to store my ideas in my head as I struggle to find time to write, so I have little chance to make notes. I tend to keep magazines and pages I’ve printed from the internet about items and stories I think will come in handy.
Do you have any time off work to just write?
I have to take time off work to get my first draft finished. I try to limit it to two or three weeks each year as it uses up so much of my leave. Sometimes I take a couple of days off and add them to my scheduled days off to give myself a long weekend. The busier I am at work, the more I struggle to get the first draft down. I’ve always found that I can write for an hour or so here and there, but when it comes to editing, I prefer to do it in one go. That usually means I have to take a few days off for that too.
Do you write if you go away on holiday?
Yes, unfortunately. I try to take off one week every year and go away just to write, Cornwall usually. Other holidays are not strictly intended as writing weeks, although I usually end up taking my laptop with me to make the most of the time off. I haven’t had a holiday without writing since 2011. It’s the only way I can find time to get the books finished.
Does your husband ever get fed up with your working and writing?
Not really. He understands that I need to get it done, and the books pay for some of the holidays we’ve had, so it works out well in that respect.
Do you like writing or marketing best?
I’m useless at social media marketing and have only just started a mailing list on my website. If I’m honest, I don’t have time to do all the marketing I should be doing. Festivals, library events and writing groups are always lots of fun with great feedback from readers. I love doing those. They’re definitely more fun than writing.
I am looking forward to welcoming Lisa to our writing group Bella Vita in Folkestone next year on the 28th March at 6.30 where she will do a talk about her writing with a question and answer segment. Everyone is welcome to pop along.
Why do you do very short chapters?
I find that reading a book with very long chapters is always a little bit off-putting if I’m short on time. Short chapters make me read more and as my time is limited when I write, I find that setting myself a target of one to three chapters, is very achievable and it encourages me too.
Do you ever write a chapter and then delete it coz you don’t like it or do you save it just in case?
I never delete a chapter before my editor has seen it. If she feels it has to go, then I don’t argue with her, although I do save it in case I can use the idea or the dialogue in another manuscript.
How would you feel if one of your books was turned into a film?
Over the moon! My first novel, Never Forget, was optioned for television. Sadly, three years later the production company decided that the project was no longer right for them and that was that. It happens a lot.
Never Forget is the only book that I have not read, hint hint Lisa.
How many of your books were based around a crime you attended?
I’ve gone out of my way to make the books I write different from the circumstances of the murders I’ve worked on. Having said that, I wrote Mercy Killing after spending three years working on historic child sexual abuse. I couldn’t help the constant thoughts of how difficult it would be for us, the detectives, to come to work every day and investigate the murder of a paedophile rather than working on putting the abusers behind bars. I have never tried to give the survivors’ accounts, but explain the far-reaching consequences of such hideous crimes against children.
Thank you Lisa these are great and I am sure all the readers will agree with me that your books should be made into films as they are so good and captivating. Once I start reading I have trouble putting it down until my eyes shut.
I have a signed copy of Mercy Killing to give away to a lucky reader, all you have to do is Like Lisa’s Twitter page and tag three friends to it who you think would love her books.
Get tagging everyone