Author interview with Liz Fenwick

Becca's Books has managed to grab an interview with incredible Liz Fenwick! I know, amazing right? ;) I'm super excited to have Liz on the blog, so without further ado, let's begin! 

B ~ Liz, you are the author of The Cornish House (debut novel), A Cornish Affair, and A Cornish Stranger. Your next novel Under A Cornish Sky is being released in June 2015. How does it feel to be the author of those novels? 

L ~ In one word - wonderful! They represent achieving a lifetime's dream of being a published author and having the privilege of people reading my stories. 

B ~ After doing a little research on your website, I noticed that you live in Dubai, but say that your heart is in Cornwall. Why is that? What's so special about Cornwall to you? 

L ~ From my first trip to Cornwall in June 1989, Cornwall captured a part of me and with each visit it has taken more and more. I believe you can feel a connection to a place and Cornwall did that to me from the start. 

B ~ At what point did you realise that you wanted to become a writer? Has it always been a life-long dream of yours? 

L ~ I am an only child and spent much of my time alone with books. Like all children I had a great imagination and with that I would extend the books in my head so that I could be a part of them. I don't remember what age I took to writing these extended stories down but by the time I was in school it was a clear goal. Being a dreamer and living in the world I created in my head developed into the need to share these stories with others. Then it was a matter of finding the skill and honing it so that others would want to read them. 

B ~ Are you a reader as well as a writer? Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you have any author role-models? 

L ~ I don't think you can be a writer without being a reader. My great sadness at the moment is that I don't have enough time to read! I love all different types of books but my escape read is always historical fiction and I loved the books of Elizabeth Chadwick and Philippa Gregory. In contemporary novels I love Jojo Moyes, Julie Cohen and Kate Atkinson. As for role models, Katie Fforde has been a huge inspiration with her work ethic and professionalism.

B ~ Which part of the writing process would you say that you find most challenging? Is it choosing a title? Creating your characters? 

L ~ The editing is the most challenging and the most rewarding at the same time. My books happen in the editing process. It is when I take a good idea and really make it work. Sometimes this is quick but more often it is gruelling rewrite after rewrite to make the story sing. 

B ~ Do you have a favourite out of your novels, Liz? Are any of them particularly special to you for any reason? 

L ~ I could give the safe answer and say the one in my head. It also is dependent on where I am in the writing/editing cycle. When I am where I am now, deep in edits, I hate, absolutely hate the book I'm working on. This, however, is good because it helps to be unemotional about the words and so do the necessary killing of my favourite bits to make the book better. Love of the book comes in the early stages and then again when I hold the finished product in my hand. What is easy to answer is - do I have favourite characters? Yes. I loved writing Old Tom and Hannah in The Cornish House, Barbara in A Cornish Affair, and Jaunty in A Cornish Stranger and currently Victoria in Under A Cornish Sky. 

 B ~ Does a lot of research go into your novels? Do you think if an author researches it adds more to the book itself? 

L ~ I do two or three levels of research. First just enough to write the first draft. So for example for A Cornish Stranger it was on the history and timelines of WW1. The I write the rough /dirty draft and while I'm writing I put in XXXX to mark where I need to come back and add or find out more information. So when I'm doing the next draft I begin the process of deeper research which normally leads to new ideas, twists and so on. At the end, the final checks I will do one more light bit of research just to check things. Each book is different in what it needs and I love research so I use it carefully... otherwise I would only research and never write!

B ~ Do you find it hard to fit in writing around family and general day-to-day life? 

L ~ When I came back to writing fiction in 2004 I had a house full of small kids. My youngest was just five and going to school for a few hours a day. I learned discipline through having so little time. I learned to write through noise and chaos at the kitchen table with them while they did homework. Now because my life is divided and I'm always on a plane I do some of my best work on flights. In fact it's perfect. They bring you food and drink and I am not responsible for anyone else. 

B ~ Do you put a lot of time into planning before actually getting your stories down? 

L ~ I never used to before I was published. I had the luxury of being able to 'find' my way into the story and usually into great big plot holes. Now under contract to produce a novel a year I don't have the time to do endless rewrites. So I plan a bit more, I brain storm with my editor and critique partner. I go into the writing process with a rough outline and a clear direction. Still not heavily planning but much more than in the past. 

B ~ What are your expectations for yourself and your novels? 

L ~ I want my books to entertain and move people. With every book I strive to become a better storyteller whether that is in the words, the construction or in the story I'm telling. I never want to stop trying to do better. 

B ~ How do you feel about bloggers and reviews? Do you cope easily with any negative reviews that you may receive? 

L ~ I love bloggers and reviews... in a strange way even the bad ones although that took a while. I cannot express the joy/thrill of having someone read your book then you add to that blogger's willingness to put their views good or bad out to other people. It is amazing. I'm not saying that bad reviews don't hurt. They do. I read every review and if they are bad usually repeatedly. I look for the reasons. If it is that they didn't like one aspect or was it the whole thing. I look at trends... in good and bad. I try and learn from reviews. 

B ~ Do you have a particular place which you go to when you're in the mood for writing? 

L ~ Not in a physical sense but in a mental sense, yes. I escape to Cornwall, the world of my books. I can and do write anywhere because when I write I don't see the keyboard or the computer screen. I 'see' a movie screen in front of me and I am there. 

B ~ How does it feel to see your books in a shop or a supermarket? 

L ~ So awesome I wish I could bottle it and share... It has always been my dream and to have achieved it and then to see my dream sitting there on a shelve is wonderful.

B ~ Do you wish to be writing well into the future? 

L ~ Yes, I thankfully have so many stories in my head... it will take me a long time. 

B ~ If you could choose to live in just one of your published novels, which one would you choose and why? 

L ~ Ah, tough question but this time rather than the characters it will be the setting that I choose... A Cornish Affair. I mean who wouldn't want to live in a sprawling mansion over looking the sea in Cornwall???

B ~ Are there any other places that you've fallen in love with besides Cornwall?      

L ~ Yes, but not in the way that inspires stories. I love Oxford, Ireland, the desert and London, but I don't see stories everywhere I look. 

B ~ What are you working on at the moment? 

L ~ I am doing edits on Under A Cornish Sky, which is out in June 2015.

B ~ What's the best piece of advice that you ever received and who was it from? 

L ~ It would be from my mother. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. But on the writing front, it's to listen to your work. I use text to speech software and my computer reads the book to me. It's amazing how different it is. What I may think is on the page isn't necessarily there but in my head... 

B ~ Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

L ~ Be persistent, be professional and don't rush. Take the time to be the best you can be because once your work is out there it doesn't belong to you. It belongs to the reader. 

B ~ Are you proud of yourself? 

L ~ Yes, I am. I've worked very hard to reach my dream and some days I still can't believe it. 

~ Author Bio ~

Award winner author of novels set in Cornwall. The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger and coming June 2015 Under A Cornish Sky. 

After nine international moves, she's a bit of a global nomad. It's no wonder that her heart remains in Cornwall while her body is forever in a plane. She can be found tweeting from 36,000 feet or enjoying the sunshine of Dubai while wrangling her two cats. 


Liz Fenwick can be found on TwitterFacebook &

The Cornish House ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
A Cornish Affair ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
A Cornish Stranger ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Pre-order Under A Cornish Sky ~ Amazon UK 


  1. "L ~ I want my books to entertain and move people. With every book I strive to become a better storyteller. I never want to stop trying to do better."

    Yes, that's all working out so far!! Keep it going.

    John & Pam (Consumers) LOL