This evening in the Library we have Iza MacLeod, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
Please introduce yourself:
I’m a vegan who loves chocolate, animals and wine, and I’m an English girl in my thirties who grew up in Coventry/ Warwickshire. I’ve lived in Argentina and France and I now live in Mallorca with my husband, and dog that we found on the streets of Argentina.
I began writing in 2011. My first romantic fiction novel, Buenos Días Lucy London, is set in Argentina/UK and was published last year.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
Yes, I read quite a lot as a child – Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Judy Blume. I’ve been an avid book fan intermittently since a young age, finding saviour in reading after a relationship break-up, and later finding comfort in writing during a period of bereavement.
I like to explore different genres but fictional romances set in foreign countries tend to be what I am drawn to most.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
Which genre do you write in and why?
Romantic fiction set in foreign lands. This is probably because I enjoy travel so much, and with the two books that I’ve written so far, both stories are based in a country, and location, that I have lived. I enjoy reading and learning about different countries and cultures so I like to write about some of the things I have experienced and learned in the countries that I have lived.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Gregory David Roberts – he’s a great story teller, and what a story! Despite having been in prison and a drug addict and not having studied creative writing or literature or come from a writing background, he has still become a successful novelist. I’ve never been a criminal, like he has, but I don’t have an artistic/creative writing background either.
If I can name a second … it would be Stephen King. I’ve only read a few of his books but I also read On Writing, which I found to be of great use by listening to his advice. The story of his life was interesting and inspirational too.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
Yes. I like to write from the heart and from my experience and opinions of an English/Midlands working girl, which is what I am. I like to use the language and Midlands/British phrases in my book that I often use myself.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
Marketing. I just keep taking small steps and learn as I go along, and never give up!
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
Yes, in the morning – I seem to function better and feel at my most creative first thing.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
The best thing is becoming so engrossed in the stories of my fictional characters that I feel like they are my real companions/friends. I also like being in control of the lives of each character and deciding what will happen. And the worst thing? Coming back into reality.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I only joined Facebook when Buenos Días Lucy London, was published, and I’ve only been on Twitter for a few months. I enjoy using both social media sites to interact with other authors and potential readers, but I don’t have a preference.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I’d perhaps be socialising a bit more or learning another language.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
To Kill A Mocking Bird. I hate to admit that I’ve still not read it!
Please tell us what you are working on at the moment.
I’m currently working on my second fictional romance, Katie Cannes, which is set on the Côte d’Azur. I’ve actually completed the 94,000 word manuscript and am now reading through it and making minor changes. I hope to have it published this year.
You can learn more about Iza and her work by following these links: