Lilly James – British Author with a wild imagination. Unable to keep thoughts in, so that means only one thing – WRITE IT OUT. I love writing about damaged souls, emotional scenes and a lot of naughtiness. 😉 I’m a reader of everything from dark erotica to soppy YA. (Oh, and I love Mr Harry Potter.) Just saying. I’m the very best at moaning about everything, singing the wrong song lyrics and shopping until my legs hate me. Guilty pleasures – Musicals and Taylor Swift. Lover of watching Vines, Miranda Hart, and eating chocolate. I live in Wales with my daughter, my favourite little person in the whole world. And that’s me.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I have always been a kind of English Geek. Since I was able to read, my mother got me my first books of Beatrix Potter. From then on I always had a book to read, and felt lost if I didn’t. Throughout High school I was always the one in class to shout ‘yes’ when we had triple English on our timetable for that day. In school I loved writing stories, pretend newspaper articles and essays. I think the fact that I adored my English teacher helped a lot, too. However, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago, did I think about actually becoming a writer. I’ve always had a passion for it, but growing up I thought an author had to have some sort of qualification! It wasn’t until I asked my mother one day – “Can anyone write a book?” Sounds stupid, I know, but she told me yes. I sat down that night and wrote out a quick story I had in my head, and from then on I was hooked.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I take my daughter to school, check social media, messages ect, then I sit down and write for around four hours in the day. Then when my daughter is tucked up in bed at night, I go for it again. I try to do that every day, but I have to fit in family time, which is extremely important to me. I also try and take Saturdays off from writing.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t necessarily get writers block because I plan and outline before I start, so I know where I’m going with it. I do, though, always question myself over and over about whether it’s definitely the right direction to take regarding the plot. I argue with myself, it’s insane. (Did I just say that, out loud?)
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? As mentioned, I am definitely a plotter. Saying that though, sometimes my plots and outlines change as I write. I guess it’s whichever way the characters take me. (They are the boss after all.) Ha.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published? Traditional. I signed with Limitless Publishing for three books for The Parks Series. Although, before signing with Limitless, I did self-publish. It works for some, and not for others. I think its down to the author which direction they want to take.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? Personally, I think it’s extremely hard trying to find a publisher or an agent who will even look at your work these days. And rejection letters can be disheartening. I wrote a story before The Parks Series, and never really researched what was needed, but sent it out, anyway. Needless to say, I got rejection from all angles. But that was okay. It was okay because we definitely learn from our mistakes. My advice to aspiring authors would be to find your own voice, first. Write a shed load of short stories to find what you’re comfortable with and what works for you. Research the hell out of what agents and publishers want regarding query letters. Don’t be so disheartened if you’re rejected, because so many amazing authors out there have been rejected too. Never give up. My biggest advice is to READ. Read, read and read some more, it helps with your writing more than you realise.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
There are so many! I think holding my book in my hands for the first time was pretty special. Well, more than special! Seeing all my words and hard work put into a real book, yeah, that was special. Messages I get from readers telling me that they loved my book, or they’ve read it more than once is also a big thing for me. I love each and every message that I get.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? My recent book is coming out November 24th, it is called Addicted to Mr. Parks. It’s the second book in the Parks Series that follows Evelyn and Wade’s growing relationship, and troubled pasts. I have completely fallen in love with Evelyn and Wade. The roller-coaster of emotions I go through every time I sit down and write with them, is insane. Here is a little about it: Evelyn Banks is alone, and she has only herself to blame.
Overwhelmed by her feelings for the enigmatic, dominant Wade Parks, she pushed him—and everybody else—away and drowned her torment in alcohol. Now at rock bottom, she needs help…and the only help she’ll accept is from Mr. Parks.
Mr. Parks has done the unthinkable…he’s fallen in love.
Beneath his completely controlled surface, his heart is in turmoil. Despite his inner conflict, he’s committed to helping Evelyn regain her emotional equilibrium and giving her the life she deserves.
Evelyn has more secrets, and one could be a deal-breaker.
One dark chapter from Evelyn’s past is uncomfortably similar to Mr. Parks’ own, leaving him at a loss as to how to connect with her in the only way he knows. He structures his life around dominance and submission, but how can he use discipline on someone who has been so broken?
If Mr. Parks can eliminate a looming danger, maybe he can save them both.
He’s determined to find the culprit threatening Evelyn, but when his own dark past is revealed, his illusion of a perfect life is shattered.
Their love has become an addiction, but when the fantasy is stripped away to reveal their hidden truths, will love be enough to hold them together?
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) I think knowing what fan-base you’re aiming for is a good start. Being active on social media and interacting with readers and bloggers helps a lot, too.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book? I think on average, it takes me around six months. That’s if I follow my outlines and don’t change my plans halfway through!
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. I was asked a couple of questions about what I liked and didn’t like by my publisher. But I had a completely different image in my head about what they were going to look like. I was worried to death when I had the email that told me my cover was ready to take a look at. I actually hovered over the button, telling myself I was going to hate it. Then I stopped being such a wimp, opened it up and loved it right away. The same thing happened with my second book cover. I still have book three to go yet, though. I bet I’ll be the same.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? This is the part where I’m going to sound really boring! As I write so much, I don’t get time to read, so if I have a spare hour, I try to whiz through a book. Told you, boring.