Happy Saturday all!! I hope you’re all having a lovely day and are tucked up somewhere snug in this cold rainy weather! Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to the lovely Liz Hinds about writing books with her daughter, taking a hunky window-cleaner to a desert island and her most recent book The Dog-Walking Club…..
Hm, women’s fiction I suppose. That’s not very helpful, is it?
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’ll be 67 by the time this interview comes out, which is slightly confusing as I keep thinking I’m 67 already. I’m granny to seven, wife to one, mother to three plus George dog. I’m Welsh. Don’t smoke, don’t drink (no principles, just don’t like the taste).
What inspired you to start writing?
Initially it was getting involved in our church’s local newspaper, and from there it just grew. A bit of encouragement and there was no stopping me!
How many books have you written and published?
My daughter and I wrote two books together – Zero In (Scripture Union) and Generation Gap (Mayhew) – and then we both wrote separate books, Dear God, and Dear Daddy (again Mayhew). I followed that with more non-fiction, A Cop for Christ (Hodder), before eventually getting into fiction writing and self-publishing This Time Next Year and The Dog-walking Club.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why? (If relevant)
Difficult. Probably This Time Next Year because it still makes me laugh. The heroine isn’t me – in spite of what others may say – but I can’t deny that some of the things and situations I put her in have happened to me too.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
The names have to fit the characters so I try a few on for size. For example, to me Deidre is a librarian and could never be a lap dancer. Perhaps I am stereotyping? Maybe I need to think afresh about names for my next book. Maybe next time I’ll have a Delilah who wants to be a vicar.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I’m tempted to say Alison’s hunky window-cleaner from This Time Next Year but on reflection I’ll opt for Pippa, Alison’s most sensible friend, who can cope in any crisis.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I love the books of Katie Fforde – all of them. Yes, they are predictable but the settings are always so lovely and the people so likeable. I also love the Stephanie Plum books of Janet Evanovich. (I specify The Plum series because I’m not keen on her others.) The characters are wonderful and the books nearly always make me laugh out loud at some point. Also she has created two very sexy leading men.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I don’t remember writing them but I have letters I wrote to my mum when she was in hospital when I must have been about eight. The number of ice creams I had seems to have been important to me even then.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
A computer programmer, a church administrator, but mostly, wife and mother.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
To Downing Street before David Cameron said there would be an EU referendum to show him the state the country is in now as a result.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My father, to find out how he could so completely ignore my existence. I’m sorry, that’s a bit sombre. What about the disciple, Peter? To tell him what an encouragement he is to me by being such a wally.
What are your favourite things to do?
Reading, writing, walking George, being by the sea, eating ice cream, playing with grandchildren – the last four often occur together.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was in Make-up at the BBC with Matthew Pinsett.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Start writing now! I didn’t start until I was in my 30s/40s having mistakenly taken the scientific route through education.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
The Dog-walking Club
Every dog walk brings new drama into the lives of these dogs and their people.
A supermarket shelf-stacker, a stay-at-home dad, an elderly widow and a freelance photographer sound an unlikely bunch of friends but they have one thing in common: they all walk their dogs in Beauville Park at roughly the same time each morning. And that’s enough for Angela, bored organiser without a cause, to get them together to form the Dog-walking Club.
For Jock the Scottie, Benji the spaniel, Pixie the boxer, Mitzi the poodle and Bassett the … all sorts, walking each day with their friends is a dream come true.
Where to buy: Amazon UK
Massive thanks to Liz for this interview which had me chuckling throughout! I’m looking forward to reading The Dog-Walking Club – it sounds right up my street! I also love the fact that you’ve written books with your daughter which is so lovely!
Any questions/comments for Liz then give her a shout my lovelies.
Have a fantastic weekend!