Good evening and welcome to tonight’s edition of Authors’ Mastermind. My name is Faith Mortimer and I welcome tonight’s first contender. Could you please state your name and occupation?
Lia Fairchild - Writer
Thank you. Now, can you tell us your chosen subject?
I recently completed In Search of Lucy, my first novel; a dramatic Romance.
Now would you please answer the following questions on your chosen subject? You have a maximum number of 250 words on each question. If you do not know the answer, say pass and we’ll move on to another question. The total number of passes will be counted and deducted against your final score. Are you ready? Good then I’ll begin.
1. Lia Fairchild how do you describe yourself; as a writer and as a person?
As a person, I am first a mother and a wife. I love to do things for others and spend time enjoying my family. I am laid back, silly, crazy, hardworking, creative and sometimes obsessive. As a writer, I’m just starting to discover who I am. I’ve taken on many different careers in my life and have always gone full force, giving 110 per cent, which has usually seen me rise to the top. I’m hoping I continue that trend with writing. I’ve always loved creativity and coming up with new ideas. I love looking at things from different perspectives and seeing things from others’ point of views. With writing I’ve finally found a way to incorporate all that and share it with people.
2. Do you do anything that would tell us you lead an interesting or indeed a crazy life?
I guess that I have just tried to do anything I set my mind to or anything I think is a good idea. I’ve never let anything stop me. If I feel like dancing to 80s music in my garage with my husband, then I’ll do it. If I want to write a novel, then I make the decision and move forward. The only problem, according to my husband, is once I do decide on something I stay totally focused on it until it’s done and sometimes I go a little overboard.
3. Briefly, describe your journey into writing your first book and what or who inspired you.
I’ve always loved to create things and always wanted to create something big and lasting. I also always have a lot of ideas running through my head. When this idea came to me I felt such a drive to write the story. The most important thing to me was that I didn’t give up and I saw the project through to completion.
4. Are you working on anything right now? (Either pass on this question or give an answer). If you do pass then your next question is:
Yes, I am working on a new book that is very different from my first one. In Search of Lucy is a drama/romance. My new novel is a romantic comedy.
5a. Do you ever struggle with parts of the book you’re working/writing on?
This time I am writing in first person which is different from my first book. In some ways it is easier but there are times when I want something to happen or want to show something with a different character and it is more difficult doing that in first person.
If you answered Q 4, then you next question is;
5b. What is your next book about, and where do you get your ideas from?
Since I’m in the beginning stages, I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a romantic comedy about a career woman that works for a magazine.
6. How would you define your writing working day? Give us some indication of where you work, and the length of time you spend on your project.
I wish I had more time to write. If I’m not working at my “other” job, then I like to write in the morning when the house is quiet and empty. Otherwise, I’ll try to fit time in on the weekend or even at night. I have a nice little landing area upstairs that has a desk and my laptop. I spend tons of time there.
7. Tell us about characterisation. How do you develop your characters? Do you feel they are important in the overall picture? Do you ever base them on real people?
I think characters are hugely important. Characters can make or break the story in movies and I think it is the same for books. I love to find interesting little characteristics of people I know and fit them into a character.
8. What about the editing and redrafting process? When do you do this?
This is my first book, so I don’t really have a set process. I just knew I had a very specific vision of how the story would play out, so I didn’t change anything until the whole story was complete.
9. How have you overcome any trials and tribulations of rejection?
Not really, but I’m assuming it is too early. I will eventually look into seeking a publisher or literary agent and from what I’ve heard it’s almost all rejection. So, I’m ready for it.
10. If you were not writing, what would be your choice of employment?
Teacher. I have a multiple subject teaching credential along with a B.A. degree in Journalism.
Thank you. Your score on your chosen subject is 9. You passed on no questions but answered 5a which should have been left as you chose to answer question 4. An excellent score.
Now for the General Knowledge section.
1. Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
Be Careful What You Wish For by Sibel Hodge
2. Name your five favourite authors.
I don’t really have favourite authors as I am open to any genre or new story. Lately I have really enjoyed Sophie Kinsella, Sandra Brown, Elin Hilderbrand and Nicholas Sparks.
3. Who, out of your five favourite people would you like to invite to dinner at your house. You will be doing the catering. What is your ideal menu, you would provide? (You must be able to cook this!)
I would probably invite Elin because her books are always so vacation oriented so maybe she is a lot of fun and can talk about different places. Since my husband cooks more than I do, then I’ll make the appetizer; stuffed mushrooms.
4. Do any authors inspire you? If so, which ones?
The hard-working indie authors I’ve met over the last few months have really inspired me to learn all I can about this business and keep moving forward and getting your book out there. (Ed’s note. Excellent answer this!)
5. What things in your life would you love to do that you haven’t yet achieved. Your answer should NOT be ‘become a rich and famous author’. If you fall back on this answer, then 3 marks will be deducted from your overall score.
I’ve said many times before that I love art in all forms. I have a piano sitting in my living room and it I had the time and money I’d be getting private lessons and learn to play. I’ve learned some songs just by listening, but would love to really play something challenging.
6. Describe your ideal day; working and leisure (only clean answers please).
If I could choose anything, my plan would be simple. I would wake-up, have a snack, a swim and a shower. Then maybe a nice breakfast on a patio somewhere, a walk with my family. Next I’d do some writing or painting. I’d probably end with the movies or cuddling on the couch with my family reading. My house can be very loud and the one time that we are all in the same room with silence is when we are reading together. It’s priceless.
7. What has been the most memorable thing that has happened to you in a, your writing career and b, in your private life (again, only cleans answers will be accepted).
My most memorable time as a writer is when I first saw my book selling. I had been selling one book every few days and when I got to six books I said to myself the next morning, “Please let me see a seven.” When I looked it was twenty-five. I was so excited.
8. Are you a disciplined person in everyday life? How would/does this reflect in your writing?
Sometimes I am too disciplined. My whole life I’ve thought first to do the responsible thing, or the thing that will make everyone happy. This tends to limit the time I spend writing. Completing this book was a step in the direction of taking care of me.
9. Do you keep a dart-board handy with rejection letters from Publishing House editors’ photographs pinned to it? If so, what is your highest score?
10. What are your five desert island books?
The Choice, Chill Factor, Remember Me? and, sorry drawing a blank now, maybe something spooky. One more would be my new romantic comedy once it’s completed.
Tie-breaker question. Tell us the most outrageous/embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you. What were the consequences? A bonus of 5 extra points will be awarded to the best answer from contenders to the Authors Mastermind Crown.
My daughter learned the word for something her brother had but she didn’t. Well, she went to town saying that word all over the place, including the plane to San Francisco. I just kept trying to cover up by saying, “No honey, they are not bringing more peanuts.”
Thank you. Your time is now up. You managed to complete all these questions with no passes. However, you failed on Questions 2 and 3 as you didn’t complete the question.
Your overall score is 17. We shall see how you do against the other contenders.
Well done Lia Fairchild and thank you.
(Lia Fairchild is the author of In Search of Lucy – available on Amazon.) Please click on the book link at the top of the article for more information.