Friday 7 December 2012
Author Interview: Lisa Avery
Way back at primary school, my mother was told that whilst I had a certain capacity for creative writing, my subject matter needed to vary from that of fairies. That represented a real challenge for me, as I'd grown up listening to fairy stories and wholeheartedly believing in their happy-ever-after conclusions. I needed to break away from the world of make-believe, all the whilst maintaining my notion of life as something magical, mysterious and full of surprises.
I have always been a very sensitive and emotional person, qualities which I feel are reflected in my writing. I'm unashamedly whimsical, indulgent and annoyingly optimistic. I try to savour the pleasures that every moment has to offer and to find the extaordinary in the most ordinary of circumstances. I'd love to believe my work reflects that.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
Although I always have a basic outline, the characters evlove in such a way that sometimes I am taken by surprise as I'm writing. As their emotions develop, so too does the story. As a person I'm very emotional and I believe this has a real influence in my writing.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
My stories really focus on what is going on in the minds of the characters, what is pushing them to act in the way they do, what is motivating them. There is often the conflict between the head and the heart, which I feel is a fascinating as a writer. Given the intensity of such attention to thoughts and feelings, I would indeed say that my charcters sometimes try to take over the story, though only because they have so much to add to the plot!
What is your favourite food?
I love anything Italian, reminding me of holidays in which I've been seduced by the most divine culinary creations! (Not to mention the sweet but potent liquor, the musical language and the very handsome ragazzis!)
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A little of both depending on the task at hand. However, when it comes to writing I tend to favor the night. For whatever reason it may be, it's the time when I let down my guard and unleash my imagination. I allow thoughts to run free, whereas during the day I may well try to restrain them!
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I've always believed that the destination never mattered as much as the company, so I'd be happy to travel just about anywhere with a person who made me laugh, ispired me and had a real appreciation of beauty to share the moment. That said, I love the sunshine. Eight years ago I swapped my life in England for that of Barcelona. I couldn't give up my life on the Mediterranean now. In some ways, everyday still feels like a holiday.
Do distant places feature in your books?
My writing is usually set in a foreign land, due to my own living abroad for the last ten years. However, rather than the physical places travelled to, I tend to explore the mental places my characters reach.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Not usually, for the sole reason that I don't even notice the silence, I am usually too absorbed in the chaotic voice of my own thoughts!
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
I would define it as work that really comes from my heart. It is a tale of physical and emotional awakening, a real turning point for the characters involved. It is a tale of desire, heightened through the eyes of summer, youth and sweet wine! It is evocative, emotional , sexy, sweet and a little nostalgic. At least this is what I hope! The title of the book is 'The Brother or the Lover', but this is purely metaphorical, playing on the fine line which can exist between different types of love.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I'm still pretty new to all of this, but with writing, as indeed with life, you have to find that which you love and that which inspires you. When you do so, the rest will just flow.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I'm a real believer in focusing on the positive and even the less positive often offers a real opportunity for learning and self-growth. I feel that people are too quick to judge themselves and others around them, when really we should should celebrate all we achieve on any level. If you look at life this way, then every day is full of little victories!
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
This question is very clear to me and that is because my emotions and my personal experience have shaped so much of my writing. I'm a very intense person and I believe my writing reflects this intensity.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Find your passion and write about it. The things you love are usually the things you do well.
What are three words that describe you?
Emotional, indulgent and optimistic.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Wow, that is such a difficult question...too many to list! It really depends on the mood I'm in, the season, the period of my life. In my opinión, our appreciation of a book will very much depend on the time when we read it. We will be much more or less receptive to the work depending on our own lives.
I'd like to tell you the story of how he casually crossed my path. The story of the summer in which I was seduced by the most divine of sensuous delights: his gaze, his wink and his soft voice. The summer to which the soundtrack to my life was his acoustic guitar, the strumming of which I could fall in and out of a woozy sleep, intoxicated by pink wine and life itself. The summer that passed so tantalizingly quickly, yet was filled with moments that I hoped would stand still. The moment in which he cast his wicked spell, holding my mind and my body hostage to his charm. The moment in which his fraternal hug and lover's touch came to meet, beguiling my senses. The moment to which no other ever did quite compare.
List of previous books if any
This is the first.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web:
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.