Today we welcome Lynne Copeland to the guest author interview, read what she has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lynne Copeland. I was born in Hammersmith, London although my mother originally came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and my father from Great Driffield in Yorkshire. I now live in the foothills of the Pyrenees in south-west France, with my husband John, where I work as a translator/proofreader. Chloé, our black Labrador, keeps me company whilst I’m working. The beauty of my profession is that as long as I have broadband, I can work anywhere.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always dabbled with fairytales, poems and short stories since I was a young girl. It wasn’t until I moved to Saudi Arabia, where I worked for sixteen years, that I realized how one can be so influenced by one’s surroundings. Due to my love of the desert and the sky at night, this somehow inspired me and I started writing letters to all and sundry and just loved it. Now sadly due to the internet and email, I have discontinued this practice.
If you could work with any author, who would it be?
I think that it would have to be Umberto Eco. I just loved “The Name of the Rose” which takes place in Northern Italy during the early 14th century with the Franciscan monk William of Baskerville, who proved to be a real sleuth. I have it in French as well as English, and I then read it in Italian to get the true feel of the language. His style of writing is exquisite.
When writing, are you a planner? “Or do you dive straight in?
Regrettably, I’m not a planner. In fact, I cannot dive in either. I can get ideas at any time; my best time seems to be at about 6 a.m. in the morning or when I’m out walking with Chloé in the nearby woods. I then type notes out very quickly once I’m home.
What is your favourite part about writing?
Well I thoroughly enjoy the whole idea of working on the draft outline for a book, checking on the characters, the plot and then somehow miraculously getting everything together.
And your least favourite?
The finished book because I’m an unknown. It was sending synopses and the first three chapters to quite a few publishing houses and literary agents, and seeing the rejections coming in; so when Pegasus in Cambridge offered to see my entire manuscript and then gave me a contract, well how could I refuse?
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Well, faith in oneself has to be the motivation for any writer, whatever he/she writes. Nowadays with the internet, everyone believes that they can write. The contradiction for me here with hindsight is that I think that I should have done the self-publishing route and I recommend that. If the book is good and it is properly marketed, it will be picked up by the larger publishing houses and they market in a big way. My book is owned by the publishing house, I cannot control the price of the book nor on Kindle. I live in fear that I’m going to be “remaindered”!
What are you working on at the moment?
Well, it’s a bit zany but an adult book on genetics (my passion!) in space. I’ve got the basic plot but it’s not quite right yet. I’ve also taken my counterfeit drug book out of mothballs and I’m looking at it. I really cannot make up my mind whether to just toss it or not. I just spent so much time researching and writing that book, that somehow I continue to hang on to it.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
When I moved to the Pays Basque in France seven years ago, it was the location with the views of the valley, the backdrop of the Pyrenees and the clear night sky with the moon, planets and stars that inspired me to write my children’s fantasy book “Mistral’s Race into Time”. I just loved writing this book and I still don’t know how I came up with some of the ideas. It’s all about sixteen year old Chloé’s adventures in space because she has been kidnapped by a mad scientist, and with her Labrador Jasper comes across a very strange creature, a fallon in fact, called Mistral.
It can be purchased on Amazon in paperback/Kindle and can be ordered from any bookshop in the UK.
Thanks to Lynn for sharing her thoughts with us, on Tuesday we welcome Geoff Wakeling to the hotseat.