Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Author Q&A: Lynsey James

Hello my beautiful book nerds, I am very happy to be hosting a Q&A with a very talented author and all round lovely lady. Lynsey James is the author of the wonderful 'Just The Way You Are' and her second book is out VERY soon, but I will let Lynsey fill you in on all that.
Daniel: Firstly Lynsey I would like to say thank you for agreeing to do my little Q&A, so how are you diddling?

Lynsey: Hello Daniel! I’m very well thank you. Hope you are as well.

Daniel: I am great thanks. Your first book 'Just The Way You Are' is a wonderful story, could you tell us a bit more about it and how you came up with the idea?

Lynsey: Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s about a young lady named Ava who, it’s fair to say, hasn’t had the best track record in the romance stakes. The only person to ever capture her heart was a mysterious admirer who sent her beautiful love letters. After a gap of six years, the letters start again and she’s determined to find out who’s behind them. I came up with it when I was planning another story, using the same characters but in a different way. The love letters were going to be used in a much smaller way, but writing them really caught my imagination and I decided to base my story around them. A lot of drafts and rewrites later, we have Just the Way You Are!

Daniel: You can tell by the way you write, and by the way you talk that you really love to write. Am I correct in assuming that this is something you have always wanted to do?

Lynsey: Definitely. I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember and have loved writing stories since I was little. For a long time, it seemed like a dream I’d always be chasing but I’ve been lucky enough to share my stories with everyone.

Daniel: You are currently signed with the wonderful publishers Carina UK which is a digital imprint of Harlequin UK. What made you approach them and could you tell us all about your Journey to being published?

Lynsey: I am indeed! I love them. When I was writing and book-blogging, I got the chance to be involved in a blog tour for Holly Martin’s wonderful novel The Guestbook. It really struck me and I noticed that it was Carina who published it. I loved Holly’s writing and saw the success she’d had with them and thought they would be a good publisher to submit my work to. I’m very happy to say I’ve been proven right.
I started seriously trying to get published 2-3 years ago and started sending my work to agents. It was rejected but I kept on going. I learnt loads from my rejections about what didn’t work with my writing and used the advice to improve. I submitted to Carina last November and was offered a two-book deal in December. I have also just accepted a deal for a further two books! Lots of exciting things to come!

Daniel: What can you tell us about your editor and the wonderful people you work with at Carina UK?

Lynsey: My editor Victoria is just the best. She gets excited about my work, helps me make improvements and handles my everything-I-write-is-terrible meltdowns like a pro! I can’t thank her enough for taking a chance on me, and letting me share my stories. The other Carina ladies are amazing too- Clio handled my copy edits and helped me organize my Netgalley widget for Just the Way You Are. Cara Frances at Harlequin organized the brilliant blog tour you took part in too- she’s fantastic!

Daniel: So I know you may not be able to say too much, but what can you reveal about your second novel which is to be released on the 21st August 2015?

Lynsey: It’s called The Broken Hearts Book Club and it’s set in the fictional Yorkshire village of Luna Bay. Lucy Harper comes back after eight years in London and becomes ensnared in the mysterious Broken Hearts Book Club, which her nana founded years ago. Each member has their own story and although she tries to stop it, they get under her skin. However, she’s got some skeletons in her closet and they soon catch up with her…

Daniel: Where do you find your inspiration for your wonderful stories?

Lynsey: It sounds so corny, but I find inspiration anywhere: a conversation with someone, an article I read, something I see on social media… In fact, just the other night I was talking to my close friend Ann Troup on Facebook and I got an idea for a story from something she said! I’m also a huge people-watcher. When I go to my local Costa, I spend more time making up stories about the people around me than I do eating my cake!

Daniel: Who are some of your favourite authors and who inspires you as a writer?

Lynsey: Ooh, good question! My favourite authors are Miranda Dickinson, Jane Costello and Harriet Evans. I’ve read their work since I was young and they’ve really inspired me in my own writing. I also love Graeme Simsion, Holly Martin and Stuart Macbride; although they write very different kinds of stories, they all know how to keep me hooked! I’m lucky enough to have a very supportive family and group of friends. They keep me going even when I’m feeling uncertain and are the biggest source of inspiration I have.

Daniel: Do you have particular genres that you prefer to read?

Lynsey: My favourite genre is women’s fiction because of the vast range of stories you can find there. I love a good female protagonist! I also love crime and thrillers though; my favourite crime writer is Stuart Macbride and I devoured The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins in three days!

Daniel: What can you tell us about your writing process? How much to you procrastinate, what do you snack on. Do you have a writing 'soundtrack'?

Lynsey: My writing process can be best described as ‘dive in and see what happens’! I really admire those authors who meticulously plan their books to the last details with Post Its, character sketches and the like. I get too excited and have to jump in immediately! I’m afraid I procrastinate quite a lot, particularly with Facebook and Twitter. I’m a major Criminal Case addict and can’t go a day without playing it. My favourite writing snack is definitely raspberry cheesecake- such an amazing treat. I don’t think you can go wrong with a nice cup of tea. I don’t have a specific soundtrack- I used to create them for other work I’ve done but now, I just stick Spotify on shuffle and away I go.

Daniel: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Lynsey, it's a pleasure to have you my blog.

Lynsey: Thank you very much for having me on your blog Daniel!

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn't a "good option" and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven't looked back since.

When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O'Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It'll happen one day... 

To buy this wonderfulbook check out the links below:

To keep up to date with what Lynsey is doing, check out her social media links below: