Lu Hersey is a bit like the Buena Vista Social Club of children’s writing. She may be (a bit) old for a debut writer, but that doesn’t mean she’s no good.
Her speciality is writing myth-based thrillers in a kitchen sink paranormal style. Her first novel, Deep Water, was published by Usborne in July 2015. She is @LuWrites on twitter and blogs at Lu Writes
And so without further ado, we pull up chairs, wrap blankets around our knees and begin...
Why did you start writing?
When I was about 8, we had to make puppets for a puppet show at school. The story was Rumplestiltskin. We were supposed to create the whole thing - sets, puppets and script - ourselves. Anyway, it turned out the only one who was able to write a script was me. The nuns were really pissed off (it was a convent school), as they generally hate children, especially ones that can do something. My newfound ability was a total surprise to me, as up to that point, my only skill seemed to be committing mortal sins like laughing in church. I realized for the first time that I found something really easy which some other people found difficult, and decided I wanted to be a writer. It just took an awful lot longer to get round to it…
What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Coffee, chocolate and heavy rain outside. Oh that does sound lovely!
Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I work in a library, so have to fit writing around my workdays – and that’s not always the days I feel like writing. It’s really frustrating. My ambition is to give up the day job and write full time one day.
What are your favourite biscuits?
Balsen dark chocolate biscuits. Or maybe those stem ginger Duchy Originals that are covered in chocolate. (The ones you have to remortgage the house to buy!) I think I've found my soulmate - we should sit and eat these biscuits together, sitting by a real fire, in an old house with shutters, and rain lashing the clap-board shingles...
Where do you do most of your writing?
I have a tiny box room, recently made into a study. I love it. It has a bed squashed in it as well for when everyone’s at home (I have 4 kids – but they’re big and don’t all live at home any more), but mostly it’s my study. Luxury, huh?
What book(s) are you reading at the moment?
Liz de Jager’s Judged, and Longbow Girl by Linda Davies. (Started reading Longbow Girl first, but stupidly left it at a friend’s house – picking it up later!) My TBR pile is the size of a mountain. (mine is too!)
What was your favourite school subject? and was it the one you were best at?
Art. And no, I was useless. I was best at English. Which probably proves it’s good to play to your strengths!
Have you had a good or bad 2015 and why do you think it was good (or bad) ?
It was very good in parts – the launch of my debut novel, Deep Water, in July was really exciting! It had downsides too, mostly to do with some sad and difficult family stuff.
Do you have writing plans for 2016? Are they secret or could you share a teaser?
Yes of course! Have nearly finished my next book, Broken Ground – but will be holding my breath until my publisher decides whether they like it or not…and if they don’t, guess I’ll be writing a different book as fast as I can…
If you could have any job in the world except being an author, what would you choose and why?
A wildlife photographer. The opportunities for travel and seeing the world would be amazing. As it is, I just read National Geographic and watch David Attenborough on TV…
If you could genetically cross and animal with a fruit or vegetable what would you choose and why? I'm currently thinking of satsuma gazelles, roaming the African plains elegantly and with a lovely orangey smell.
Hmmm, that’s difficult. Probably dogs with peaches, so you’d get the loveliness of dogs with peach scented dogbreath …
If you could take any fictional character out for lunch, who would you choose and why? And where do you think you'd go to eat?
Severus Snape. Head table at Hogwarts. Who wouldn’t?
Excellent answers, thanks so much to Lu for taking part. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did. Until next week...
Why not check out more about Lu Hersey on Goodreads