Saturday, July 8, 2023


I want to thank Liz Martinson for taking the time for this interview!


I am an author of six novels, all of which are on Amazon, my most recent being a series of three novellas written for Romance Café Publishing.

I have another novel which is being revised and a historical novel which has reached the editing stage. In addition, I plan a sequel to Ullandale.

I use research and my own extensive experiences to fuel my writing and in my spare time enjoy a wide range of activities which include cycling, photography and reading, as well as cooking, music and travel. I also have extensive experience as a hill-walker and considerable experience as a kayaker but find I'm more limited in those activities these days.

I live in the Yorkshire Dales with my husband and two cats, and have non-identical twin sons who have long since grown and flown.


When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I used to write episodes of a story every week when I was about fourteen, loosely based on the programmes around then, such as Man From Uncle and The Avengers. They were full of angst and teenage love and longings, and the kids on the bus home absolutely devoured them! I think that’s when I realised story writing could be something I might do.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Mary Stewart stands out as maybe the first female protagonist in psychological thrillers, and I’ve also loved Diane Chamberlain, Judith Lennox, Erica James and Rosamunde Pilcher – I admire their prose and plotting and if I managed to write half as well, I’d be happy!

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Oh, well, yes. Sometimes without realising it! 

If I have an unpleasant woman in my books she’s always based on a girl at my primary school, on my first day, having moved schools. She sat there and ground her pencil point into my arm in several different places and I was bewildered and miserable. Oddly I met her when we were adults and she rushed up to me full of bonhomie and what a small and insignificant woman she was! 

And my hero tends to be based on my husband, although not the appearance. 

Others can slip in as minor characters but only lightly sketched and I sometimes only realise when I do a read-through.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Thoughts, newspaper articles, countryside. 

Sometimes I start with a couple of ideas and my subconscious takes over and when I begin to write I’m surprised where my characters go.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I have a rough outline but it never ends up at all as I’d intended. New characters emerge, my main characters change their direction and so it goes on.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Generally not, but I’ve occasionally seen someone and decided they’d make a good hero or heroine and run with it.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation. What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Read, without doubt. I was brought up without a TV and still don’t have one. I read every day. But I also like to get out, so I go cycling and take photos.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I love Riana Every who writes mysteries based on Austen, with Mary Bennet and a new character called Alexander, and Jeanette Taylor Ford who writes cosy mysteries based on a place called River View. It’s a series but each book is a standalone within the series.

What are your favorite books by others?

I loved Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, but not the sequels. 

I still love all the Mary Stewart books, especially The Ivy Tree. 

But I have so many books I’ve loved, I can’t do them all justice.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Yes, and I’ve done a few book pilgrimages to track down and visit certain places I’ve read about in books.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Multiple POV

What do you find to be your best research tool?

My own experiences as a traveler and an outdoor activities person, and the internet.

Do you write under a pen name? Also, do you write under more than one name?

Yes, I use the pen name Liz Martinson. Liz is my middle name (abbreviated) and Martinson is the Anglicised version of my maiden name.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write contemporary romance because I love romance and I’ve had an amazing relationship myself.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing. Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

Mmm – I’ve been a teacher and ended up working in special needs and loving it. 

I have a trike! 

I love taking landscape photos but also enjoy photographing my great nieces and nephews. 

I enjoy life and I’m curious and always want to go round the next corner, wherever I am.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Write your book. Leave it. Read it. Be harsh and change it. 

Send it out to a very few trusted friends who will be utterly honest with you, and listen to what they say, while realising you might not accept their advice. 

Join loads of writing groups and listen to the people who are ahead of you in the process. 

Edit, edit edit. Invest in some sort of good editing software to help with basic errors. 

Check your timeline and facts. 

Accept you may well never make much money as a writer – you do it more for love and enjoyment and what you earn is great, but not your main reason.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

If someone has read my book and made a mistake in what they like to read (maybe my plot or writing style) then I don’t think they should review at all and I wouldn’t take much notice of an “I didn’t like this book” type of review. 

If it’s genuinely poor writing on my part I’d hope I can suck it up and learn from it.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Getting started, and the edits towards the end of the process, when you’ve gone through the book upwards of 7 or 8 times already and it gets to a stage when you’re over-tweaking and learning when to stop.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

No interruptions! A comfortable desk chair. A tidy desk.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

I rather enjoy the Ricola sugar-free lemon or mind drops! I try to stick to one box every 24 hours!

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose? And why?

So hard to make a choice of one person. Someone willing to impart knowledge and who I’d get on with – maybe Diane Chamberlain, or maybe Riana Everly or Jeanette Taylor Ford.

What is your schedule like when you are writing? Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I love green tea and usually have a biscuit with it – I try to stick to rich tea biscuits. They’re boring but not too calorific. 

I usually work mornings and late afternoon, then also in the evenings. I stop and start but once I get going, my concentration is intense. I enjoy working against a deadline.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

I used to listen to rock, but now I don’t listen very often. Rock, country or classical are my preferred music styles.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Sometimes yes when my cat climbs onto my shoulder for cuddles! I have to type one handed which is nigh on impossible so I give up and take a break and play patience instead.

What is your kryptonite as a writer? What totally puts you off your game?

Interruptions – they break into my flow and aggravate me and in the end I have to take time out.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

I have killed off a secondary character and I’ve been told it’s made people cry.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I feel tired and am really boring – usually get out for a bike ride and have a cup of tea.

I hope you enjoyed this interview! 

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  1. So many things in common here. Mary Stewart, especially, although my favourite is “This Rough Magic”. Great interview.