Ask Elizabeth Haynes - Wednesday, May 14th! discussion

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message 1: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon  (cincindypat) Welcome to the group! Elizabeth will be answering questions throughout the day on Wednesday, April 14th in this thread only. In the meantime if you have a question for the author or just want to introduce yourself feel free to do so in this thread.


Kate~Bibliophile Book Club (bibliophilebookclub) So excited for this! Love Elizabeth's books and can't recommend her highly enough to anyone who will listen :)


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex | 4 comments Looking forward to Wednesday. See you then


message 4: by Christine (last edited May 12, 2014 10:50PM) (new)

Christine Noel | 1 comments I always know I am in for a riveting page-turner when I start to read an Elizabeth Haynes novel


message 5: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Mulligan (elainemulligan-lynch) | 1 comments Hello from the Oregon Coast in the US! I enjoy police procedurals and Under a Silent Moon was terrific - while I wait for the next Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Smith novel can you tell us who your favorite authors were when growing up? Did you read Mary Stewart or Susan Howitch, Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney? Cheers! Elaine


message 6: by Graham (new)

Graham Dinton (grahamdinton) | 1 comments I love reading Elizabeth Haynes and am a particular fan of Into the Darkest Corner.
As an aspiring author myself, particularly psychological thrillers, can you tell me a little about your writing day; your work pattern, or any particular tips regarding your craft?
Thanks,
Graham


message 7: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 3 comments Looking forward to this!


message 8: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Waines (ajwaines) | 1 comments Absolutely loved Into the Darkest Corner, Elizabeth - totally brilliant! - are you working on an other Louisa Smith (or police procedural) novel, using source documents from your experience as a police analyst(as in your latest books)? Is this the way forward for you do you think, as your USP?


message 9: by Charley (new)

Charley Meredew | 2 comments You are one of my favourite Authors of all time =) and Into The Darkest Corner is one of my favourite books off all time :D Who are some of your favourite authors ? What are your favourite books. ?x


message 10: by Kirstie (new)

Kirstie Barrow | 1 comments Wow what a privilege to be able to read amazing books. Into the darkest corner was my favourite book. I didn't actually put he book down.
Elizabeth: what inspired you?


message 11: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Kate wrote: "So excited for this! Love Elizabeth's books and can't recommend her highly enough to anyone who will listen :)"

Thank you so much Kate, very kind of you! Am always really grateful for recommendations. xx


message 12: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Alex wrote: "Looking forward to Wednesday. See you then"

Looking forward to it too, Alex, although I'm so excited that I've already got comments that I'm here a day early.


message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Christine wrote: "I always know I am in for a riveting page-turner when I start to read an Elizabeth Haynes novel"

Thank you Christine! xx


message 14: by Ross (new)

Ross Anderson | 1 comments Hi Elizabeth, I love your books. They are written superbly which ensures your reader can't put them down!

I would like to know how you first got into narrative writing. I love creative writing and wondered how a young starter would go about establishing a plot line and getting published.

I feel as though your books would adapt well to film or television - is this something you would consider if offered the opportunities? Would you have any actors/actresses in mind to play the lead roles in your novels?

I look forward to reading your future work!

Ross

(PS, would it be too cheeky to ask if I would be able to be sent a signed novel?!!!)


message 15: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Elaine wrote: "Hello from the Oregon Coast in the US! I enjoy police procedurals and Under a Silent Moon was terrific - while I wait for the next Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Smith novel can you tell us who y..."

Hi Elaine, thank you for your question and hello from my shed in Kent, UK! I did love Ludo and the Star Horse, by Mary Stewart, and The Little Broomstick, but I think those are the only ones. My Mum was a big Susan Howatch (and Catherine Cookson)fan but I divided my reading time between classic crime novels by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers, and Candlelight Ecstasy Romances. They did all get a bit similar but I loved them nevertheless. I also loved Alison Lurie's novels, and I read a lot of poetry too. Eventually I started reading contemporary crime novels and from then on I was addicted - my particular favourites were/are Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine, Nicci French, John Harvey, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Stuart McBride, Martha Grimes and Mo Hayder. Geniuses, all of them.

I'm hard at work on the next Louisa Smith book, it's called Behind Closed Doors and I really hope you like it. Please do let me know what you think! xxx


message 16: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Graham wrote: "I love reading Elizabeth Haynes and am a particular fan of Into the Darkest Corner.
As an aspiring author myself, particularly psychological thrillers, can you tell me a little about your writing ..."


Thank you so much for your kind words, Graham. I wish I had some pearls of wisdom to offer as regards writing, but even now I am hopelessly disorganised when it comes to routine. For my part, I don't plan my novels or I get bored writing them. I still write all my first drafts during November for NaNoWriMo, so I write at speed and don't edit at all as I go along. I then spend the rest of the year editing, usually right before the deadline in a state of panic. I think the main thing I can offer you perhaps is just encouragement: your way of writing is the right way. If I can do this, then you can do it too. Write your way all the way to the end of your draft, don't stop until you're done, don't allow yourself to be discouraged or feel like it's pointless. Finish it! And then worry about editing. Don't stand in your own way. I hope this helps - if you have any specific questions, please do reply here, or contact me via the website. In the words of the immortal Chris Baty, Graham, the world needs your novel!
Best of luck x


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments A.J. wrote: "Absolutely loved Into the Darkest Corner, Elizabeth - totally brilliant! - are you working on an other Louisa Smith (or police procedural) novel, using source documents from your experience as a po..."
Hi Alison, thanks for your question! (I've started early). I'm editing the second book featuring the Briarstone Major Crime team and it also contains documents, in fact I think the second book lends itself even more to the document approach so it would have been a missed opportunity. I always thought when I was working for the police that my job was to try and piece together the story of what happened by interpreting the documents - rather like doing a jigsaw with no picture and half the pieces missing. The important thing, of course, being not to form an opinion on what the whole story is prematurely and thereby potentially steer the investigation in the wrong direction. I've often thought it might be possible to do an entire crime novel just from documents. However, I'm aware that I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to things like this and it probably isn't everyone's cup of tea. The biggest challenge for Under a Silent Moon was trying to tell the story just from the narrative, for those people who would skip the documents entirely, and not to be repetitive for those who would read them. Not as easy as I thought! Thanks again for your lovely question xxx


message 18: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Charley wrote: "You are one of my favourite Authors of all time =) and Into The Darkest Corner is one of my favourite books off all time :D Who are some of your favourite authors ? What are your favourite books. ?x"

Hi Charley, what a lovely thing to say, thank you so much! I never thought I would be in a list of someone's favourite authors, what a privilege. I did a big list of my favourites in a message to Elaine just now, so if you don't mind here I will tell you about some of the authors and books I've been reading recently that have been really inspirational. I think it's safe to say that all of these authors, aside from being lovely people, are also immensely talented and I am insanely jealous of their writing. So here goes: Alex Marwood, who has two books out already and is multi award-winning; Julia Crouch, in particular Tarnished, which is simply genius; Paula Daly and Louise Millar, Claire McGowan whose Paula Maguire books are set to be dramatised by the BBC; and my dear friend and former colleague Lisa Cutts, who brings the ultimate in authenticity to crime writing through her experience as a Major Crime DC. Any and all of these - highly recommended!

Thank you again! xx


message 19: by Gemma (new)

Gemma (yorkie82) | 1 comments Having read "Into The Darkest Corner" it has become one of my favourite books. I am not a quick reader and I completed it within 24hrs! A record for me!

Where do you get the ideas for your stories from? Does the story flow as you are writing? Do you know the ending when you start or do you "go with the flow"

Looking forward to reading your other books =)


message 20: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Kirstie wrote: "Wow what a privilege to be able to read amazing books. Into the darkest corner was my favourite book. I didn't actually put he book down.
Elizabeth: what inspired you?"


Hi Kirstie, thank you for your kind words about Into the Darkest Corner. I would say, especially for that book, two things inspired me in particular. Firstly the job I was doing at the time meant I was reading lots and lots of domestic abuse crime reports. Many of these were challenging my own, flawed, opinions of what constitutes abuse, how it develops and how it is often immensely difficult to prevent, stop or escape from. I felt there was an opportunity to show how easy it might be to get involved in a violent relationship when you have no experience of it, no suspicions or awareness of the warning signs. What happened to Catherine could have happened to me - it didn't - but it is happening right now, to people all around us. Domestic abuse isn't talked about and people who are experiencing it cannot or don't talk about it, often because to do so is a dangerous thing. Until we are all more aware of this, nothing will change! The second thing that inspired me, from a practical point of view, was National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo - which gave me the momentum to complete a 50,000 word novel. I would never have done it otherwise.

Thank you again for your lovely comment, I hope this answers your question xxx


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Ross wrote: "Hi Elizabeth, I love your books. They are written superbly which ensures your reader can't put them down!

I would like to know how you first got into narrative writing. I love creative writing an..."


Hi Ross, thank you for your lovely comments. My best advice would be to find a local writing group where you can share your work, get feedback and also have some encouragement from fellow writers. It can be a lonely old business, writing on your own, and often it's hard to see where you can improve your skills without someone else's suggestions. Aside from that, please do have a look at NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org), it's great fun and a brilliant way to get a first draft done which you can then work on.

If you can make contact with me via the 'contact me' form on the website, I'm sure I could send you a signed copy of the book if you could maybe make a donation to charity in exchange? Or I'd be happy to send you a postcard. www.elizabeth-haynes.com

Good luck with your writing! xx


message 22: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Gemma wrote: "Having read "Into The Darkest Corner" it has become one of my favourite books. I am not a quick reader and I completed it within 24hrs! A record for me!

Where do you get the ideas for your stori..."


Hi Gemma,

Thank you for your great question! I do save up story ideas and I have folders full of newspaper clippings, notes and thoughts that I can refer to if I run out of ideas. For each book so far, the idea has come from a different place. Into the Darkest Corner was inspired by my police analysis work, but also by a dream I had in which I wasn't believed. Revenge of the Tide (Dark Tide in the US) came from a sudden idea whilst walking along the Esplanade in Rochester, looking at all the boats and wondering how horrific it would be to find a body washed up against your boat. The idea for Human Remains came from an article in the Sunday Times Magazine a few years ago by Ariel Leve, about council (pauper's) funerals and what happens to people who voluntarily withdraw from society. And Under a Silent Moon was inspired in part by a television series called 'Sensing Murder' - so you see, I get ideas from all sorts of different places!

I never know the ending when I start to write, I have to try not to think about it too hard, because if I knew what was going to happen I would get bored and then it would be impossible to write. I have to have a problem or a puzzle at the start and then work my way through it by writing.

Thank you again! xx


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 3 comments Dear Elizabeth

What's your favorite movie and song and tv show and color and book and weather season and holiday?


message 24: by Elizabeth (last edited May 13, 2014 05:52AM) (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Christine wrote: "Dear Elizabeth

What's your favorite movie and song and tv show and color and book and weather season and holiday?"


Hi Christine!

Okay, here goes:
Movie = Room With A View (or possibly Speed or Top Gun, for different reasons)
Song = anything by John Mellencamp, most favourite probably Taxi Dancer, or Peaceful World or Your Life is Now
Colour = green (teal)
Book = that one is impossible I think!
Weather = definitely summer. I need the sunshine!
Holiday = best holiday (vacation) ever was last year to the Dominican Republic, it was amazing. Best holiday in the US sense = definitely Christmas!

xxx

Just realised I forgot TV show - I am obsessed with The Amazing Race, and Game of Thrones. Watched up to the end of Series 3, saving Series 4 for now.


message 25: by Charley (new)

Charley Meredew | 2 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Charley wrote: "You are one of my favourite Authors of all time =) and Into The Darkest Corner is one of my favourite books off all time :D Who are some of your favourite authors ? What are your fa..."

Aww you're welcome :-) I will definitely be checking some of those out Thank You =D xx


message 26: by Bibi (new)

Bibi Rose | 1 comments Big fan here! I was going to ask if Minette Walters was a model of yours, because of the way you include documentary materials as she started to do in her middle works. And she's on your list! Also delighted to see Alison Lurie. The Truth About Lorin Jones is kind of a mystery no? I think it's so cool that you're gone into detective fiction. I am a bookseller and I think I will be selling tons of this one. :)


message 27: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 3 comments Dear Elizabeth

What made you write books?


message 28: by Dana (new)

Dana (dst22068) | 2 comments I bought Into the Darkest Corner when it was a Kindle deal and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not at the time. I assumed that the OCD aspects of Catherine’s personality might be too much of a distraction from the story, but I was so very wrong. It was woven throughout the story in a manner that you got a real feel for how it could take over a person’s life. It was completely heart wrenching and made her progression all the more believable and satisfying. I loved this book and couldn’t read it fast enough; then I was sad when it was over. So, after that long ramble . . . how was it that you were able to write in such detail about a person with such severe OCD? Was it purely research or have you known someone with the disorder?


Kate~Bibliophile Book Club (bibliophilebookclub) Me again! :)

Just reading through the comments and I still can't believe you use NaNoWriMo to start your drafts! It's a brilliant idea!

I always wondered what it would be like to write a novel, I've often written down a few ideas but it never goes farther than that! My creative writing skills are non existent so I couldn't imagine where to even begin!

My question is how do you get a character so thoroughly developed that the reader can instantly empathise with them? Or in the case of perpetrator, how do you develop them that when reading what they do that ones heartbeat raises and they instil fear without being real?! Into the Darkest Corner is the only book that makes me feel ill at ease even thinking about it, in the best possible way obviously!

Thanks as always :)


message 30: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lu30) Loving reading through everyone's comments. I too am a big fan...I think Into the darkest corner is my fave so far.
Still to read Under a silent moon - looking forward to it.
More please Elizabeth! :)


message 31: by Martine (new)

Martine | 1 comments Really like all your books but particularly loved Into the Darkest Corner. Chose it for my book club and it certanly inspired plenty of discussion. I have found the characters in all your novels to be extremely believable and I just wondered how much research you do or do you base them on people you know?


message 32: by Russell (new)

Russell Wilding (wildthing180) | 1 comments I thought Into the Darkest Corner was a fantastic read and Revenge of the Tide was a great page turner. I would like to ask where you get you ideas and inspiration from, in particular given the subject matter for Into the Darkest Corner?
I didn't have you down as having worked in a strip club (as in Revenge of the Tide!!)

Thanks Russell


message 33: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 1 comments These days it's the characters & their values that draw me to books & I want you to know how much I hugely liked & admired Genevieve in Revenge of the Tide for her devotion to restoring a classic boat & her readiness to do whatever was necessary to realise her dream. The information about pole dancing was just fascinating - I even downloaded some of the songs from iTunes. Just as soon as I get a chance to read Under a Silent Moon I'll have my review up on Goodreads.


message 34: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 1 comments Really enjoyed Into The Darkest Corner and looking forward to reading more of your books! I'm always curious about how the title of the book comes about. Was "Into The Darkest Corner" the original title of this book? If not, how did it get this title?


message 35: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Gonzalez (carmensita) | 1 comments I am so excited! Into the Darkest Corner was amazing! I usually never bother to write a review for a book I just give it a rating, but this book flew past all of my expectations and I just had to let other readers know what a fantastic book it is and of course the marvelous author behind it!


message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Bibi wrote: "Big fan here! I was going to ask if Minette Walters was a model of yours, because of the way you include documentary materials as she started to do in her middle works. And she's on your list! Also..."

Hi Bibi!

Yes, I love the way Minette Walters used documents in her book - newspaper articles, emails in her case. Stuart MacBride does it to brilliant effect too in his book Flesh House. I think there is something really intriguing about flicking through a book and seeing a different font, or a diagram, or a photo.

And YES! I loved The Truth About Lorin Jones, too. I think there is a bit of that book in Under a Silent Moon, as one of my characters Flora is an artist, paints abstracts and describes her paintings much the same way as the art in Lurie's book is described.

The other thing I love about Alison Lurie is that her characters sometimes reappear in subsequent books, as incidental characters. My favourite Lurie novel is Love and Friendship, and the main character appears as a party guest in a later book. It's like catching a glimpse of an old friend. This too has inspired me, as you may have noticed I'm doing it to some extent with my own books.

Thank you for selling my books - I'm very grateful! Please do pass on my best wishes to your customers.

xx


message 37: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Christine wrote: "Dear Elizabeth

What made you write books?"


Hi Christine,

I think I have to write, for my own sanity. I write books now mainly because of NaNoWriMo and I seem to have got into the habit of writing longer pieces, but if I didn't have a publishing contract I would still write. Probably I would write fan fiction, just for fun! So it is something of a compulsion...

xx


message 38: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Dana wrote: "I bought Into the Darkest Corner when it was a Kindle deal and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not at the time. I assumed that the OCD aspects of Catherine’s personality might be t..."

Thank you Dana! I'm really glad you got it as a Kindle deal. I think lots of people did and I have to say the Amazon deals have a lot to do with how successful the book has been.

I think I had the idea to give Catherine OCD as a way of ramping up the suspense - I mean, the reader doesn't know, Cathy doesn't know, really, if Lee is looking for her - but she checks and checks and still isn't safe. The effect of this is that there isn't really any relief from the tension, much as it is with OCD - the more you check, sometimes, the worse it gets. The more I researched the condition the more it worked for Cathy, the more it made sense. I have a great friend who is a clinical psychologist, and she helped me so much with research. I knew nothing about OCD, so the fact that Cathy's condition feels real is entirely thanks to Alexia.

I do believe that we are all on an OCD spectrum somewhere; I used to count steps as a child, and have little superstitions. It's easy to see how a trauma could exacerbate that and turn it into a flawed coping mechanism.

Hope that answers your question! And thanks again.

xx


message 39: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Kate wrote: "Me again! :)

Just reading through the comments and I still can't believe you use NaNoWriMo to start your drafts! It's a brilliant idea!

I always wondered what it would be like to write a novel, ..."


Hi Kate!

You should give it a go. Why not? You have nothing to lose, and it's fabulous fun. I challenge you to try NaNoWriMo! Do it!

The best characters write themselves. I know this sounds really daft, but it's true. They get to a certain point in the story and then they start to get a mind of their own, they do unexpected things and it takes a bit of nerve to go with it, just to see what will happen.

One example of this is Colin, in Human Remains. He was the first male narrative character I wrote and he is much, much cleverer than I am, which made him particularly challenging. It felt like he was saying to me 'who are you to write my story?' and it took ages to get him to trust me enough to write from his viewpoint. I know this sounds really mad. As you may know, he behaves in a particularly odious way and that was about him saying to me 'well, you won't write about me doing that, will you?' - so I went with it, and in the end I was able to really get under his skin and realise that underneath it all he's just desperately lonely. Poor Colin!

I know all that makes me sound like I need a psychiatrist. What can I say... I'm a creative....

Seriously though Kate - get writing. You can do it.

xxx


message 40: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Lisa wrote: "Loving reading through everyone's comments. I too am a big fan...I think Into the darkest corner is my fave so far.
Still to read Under a silent moon - looking forward to it.
More please Elizabeth..."


Hi Lisa,

I'm loving all the comments too - and yours! I hope you enjoy Under a Silent Moon, as you know it's a bit of a genre shift for me, as it is much more procedural and less psychological. I'm really grateful for people sticking with me while I experiment with different types of book, different narrative styles.

I'm just editing another book featuring the Briarstone Major Crime team, so I hope everyone likes them. They're going to be busy!

xx


message 41: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Martine wrote: "Really like all your books but particularly loved Into the Darkest Corner. Chose it for my book club and it certanly inspired plenty of discussion. I have found the characters in all your novels t..."

Hi Martine,

Brilliant question, thank you. I think all of my characters are based on real people, or they are an amalgam of people. When I say 'real', sometimes they are fictional or not even people at all. For example, I had a really clear image in my head of Sam, the journalist in Human Remains, and I knew I knew him quite well but couldn't place him. Eventually I worked out that he is Bernard, the librarian, from the animated movie 'Megamind'. It's not even a major character! That's just exactly what he looks like.

Similarly, I wrote Into the Darkest Corner just after seeing the Bond movie 'Casino Royale' and in my head, Lee was Daniel Craig in that film - gorgeous, focused, charming, ruthless, and ever so slightly vulnerable. And at times, utterly unhinged.

The character of Lou Smith in Under a Silent Moon is an amalgam of two people I've worked with, and many of the police officers/civililans have elements of real people (or use their sayings and anecdotes).

Thank you for choosing my book for your group, Martine. I love book groups, I always get some really, really good questions from them - and it's lovely to meet people who have taken the time to read my books. Please give your group my best wishes!

xx


message 42: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Russell wrote: "I thought Into the Darkest Corner was a fantastic read and Revenge of the Tide was a great page turner. I would like to ask where you get you ideas and inspiration from, in particular given the sub..."

Hi Russell,

Thanks for your question! Into the Darkest Corner was mainly inspired by the work I was doing at the time. I don't have any personal experience of domestic abuse. I did have a bit of a wild phase, going out every weekend, and I think I had a lucky escape really because what happened to Catherine could have happened to me. I was incredibly naive.

Revenge of the Tide (Dark Tide in the US) was a bit different. The starting point was the setting, which is very local to where I live - the residential marinas on the river Medway. Always thought it would be wonderful to live on a boat. Then I thought, perhaps, it's not so nice in November when it's chilly and foggy and dark, if you're on your own - and from there, the sudden thought about how awful it would be to find a body against the side of the boat. So I had the idea of a girl living on her own on a boat, and that she'd run away from something... and while I was mulling over that idea, I was watching 'Britain's Got Talent' and that year there was a very talented pole dancer/gymnast called Alesia Vazmitsel - and I thought 'oh, my character's a pole dancer'.

With no experience of either boat ownership or pole dancing, I started my research. This involved attending pole fitness classes, and anyone who knows me will testify that I'm not especially graceful!

I also managed to get in touch with a friend of a friend, who has worked in clubs in London, and was able to tell me what it was like to work as a dancer.

I did suggest that my husband could go and visit a club for reasearch purposes, but he just said 'do you know how much the drinks cost in those places?!' (Didn't like to ask how he knew that!)

xx


message 43: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Bill wrote: "These days it's the characters & their values that draw me to books & I want you to know how much I hugely liked & admired Genevieve in Revenge of the Tide for her devotion to restoring a classic b..."

Thank you Bill,

I'm so glad you liked Genevieve. She is one of my favourite characters, she is just so fearless and single-minded (not like me at all). And I'm glad the dancing bits worked for you, too - see my reply to Russell, above, with more about how I researched it!

I did a Spotify playlist for Revenge of the Tide/Dark Tide, with all of Genevieve's dancing songs. I listened to them as I was writing, it really helped.

And thank you SO much for reviewing. I don't reply to reviews, because I think it puts people off, but I am grateful for every single one.

xx


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul | 1 comments Good morning Elizabeth. Thought I'd come and cheer you on (pom-poms have been deployed) and ask a couple of questions.

If all the characters from your books were to come to life:
- Which would you most want to have a coffee with?
- Which would you most want to be locked up and the key to their cell to be 'lost'?

Also, how much is the optimum amount of coffee for writing?

Best wishes.

Paul


message 45: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Barbara wrote: "Really enjoyed Into The Darkest Corner and looking forward to reading more of your books! I'm always curious about how the title of the book comes about. Was "Into The Darkest Corner" the origina..."

Hi Barbara,

I am useless at titles, I really am. I have to say that my manuscript didn't actually have a title at all until half an hour before I sent it to Myriad Editions, who subsequently agreed to publish it. Before that, it was called 'Nano 2008'. When my editor told me they were going to publish, I asked if they wanted to change the title, but they were quite happy with it! It has grown on me and I think it actually works quite well.

The only title I've ever come up with that I've thought 'YES!' straight away is Human Remains. That works on so many levels.

Every other title has taken me months of mulling over to think up. It's like trying to name your children.

xx


message 46: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Carmen wrote: "I am so excited! Into the Darkest Corner was amazing! I usually never bother to write a review for a book I just give it a rating, but this book flew past all of my expectations and I just had to l..."

Hi Carmen!

Thank you so much for your comment here, and more importantly for your lovely review. It's so kind of you to take the trouble to write it. You know reviews make a massive difference to an author, not just because it gives other readers the heads-up as to whether they should read the book or not, but also because feedback is vital.

I have changed how I write because of reviews. I had a lot of reviews from people about the bad language in Into the Darkest Corner, and although this sounds crazy I hadn't really noticed it until people pointed it out to me. So my later books have much less in - when there is a swear word, it's because it's really needed. This is just one example, because I've also changed things about my characters, my grammar habits, structure, and other things because of reviews.

That said, I get conflicting reviews so it's a case of taking what is useful and leaving out what isn't. But I wanted to say that I read every single review, and I appreciate all of them - good, bad and indifferent - because I am still learning my craft and you readers are the ones who are helping me to be a better writer.

So thank you Carmen! Very grateful to you.

xx


message 47: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Paul wrote: "Good morning Elizabeth. Thought I'd come and cheer you on (pom-poms have been deployed) and ask a couple of questions.

If all the characters from your books were to come to life:
- Which would yo..."


Good morning Paul!

Thank you for stopping by, and most especially for the pom-poms. I saved you a Bourbon.

Now - very intriguing questions! Which character would I most want to have a coffee with? I think it would have to be Cathy from Into the Darkest Corner, because I really want to know how she is. I'd ask her how she's getting on, how she is feeling, how Stuart is, are they still happy... I want to know what's in her future and, I think, most of all I'd like to tell her that there are so many people who love her and want her to be happy and safe. Given that she is not actually real, she has touched a lot of hearts. I would love for her to know that.

Who would I most want to lock up and lose the key? I think it goes without saying that it would have to be Lee, so that Cathy and Stuart can get on with their lives and not have to worry about him getting out! (Although I'm quite tempted to say there are a few characters in the book I'm editing now who are frankly quite terrifying, but as nobody's really met them yet I will leave them out in the open for now).

Optimum coffee consumption? At least one jug, for me (which says ten cups but that jug fills my 'Novelist Fuel' mug just three times). Today it's Starbucks Medium Roast, freshly ground in my little grinder I got for Christmas, in my Delonghi filter coffee maker. NOTHING BETTER.

Thank you again, Paul!

xx


message 48: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 3 comments Dear Elizabeth

What do you do for fun?


message 49: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Haynes | 36 comments Christine wrote: "Dear Elizabeth

What do you do for fun?"


Hi again Christine!

I write quite a bit of fan fiction under a pseudonym, and I spend a shocking amount of time playing Minecraft....

x


message 50: by Burma (new)

Burma Turner (fastpageturner) | 1 comments You are one of my very favorite authors. I was just wondering how long it usually takes you to write a novel?


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