Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m chat to mystery writer Liza Miles on the launch of her book, Murder on Morrison . Liza is having a launch party tomorrow so if you would interested in joining her here are the details for a zoom launch party at 2.30pm this Sunday February 28th. https://us05web.zoom.us/j/82488142319? Meeting ID: 824 8814 2319
Welcome to the tearoom, Liza. Let’s start by asking you did you try to be more original when writing this book, or deliver what you felt the readers wanted?
Thank you for allowing me to join you in the tearoom. This was my first foray into a longer story in the mystery genre. I wanted to be original and the female protagonist is very different from the characters I have read about in other works, but she has characteristics that I think readers of cosy crimes will like and expect.
Did you feel energised or exhausted after writing this book?
Definitely energised. I was happy to type The End, but I loved hanging out with the characters. I actually wanted to start the next book in the series, and I am working on the plan/plot.
Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or are you building a body of work that are interconnected? Whether that be a theme, a set of characters, a setting, etc. Explain more for our readers.
I am doing both. Murder on Morrison is the first in a series of novels featuring Rose McLaren, but my other works are stand alone. That said, one of the short stories in Love Bites called Grace, is the sequel to a novel I have been working on for the past two years. It is a dark story. There may be a longer sequel to come as Grace ages. The YA Fiction y Life’s not Funny which is being published by Scaramouche Press in April is currently a stand alone, but I have a sense that the brother of the protagonist may feature in a second book. As a writer I am very much led by my characters.
How do you balance your demands on the reader with taking care of your readers? In the book did you spell everything out so your reader just had to read it, or did you rely on their emotional response to your words?
Great question – I hope the readers are engaged with the characters and want to read about what happens to them, so definitely an emotional response to what is happening in the story. In Murder on Morrison I wanted to go back put in more clues, but then I realised that if I were a reader I like to keep guessing who the murderer is until the end.
Do you hope your book will deliver you literary success and how will this look to you?
For me literary success would be to have readers who enjoy my work want to share their enjoyment and tell their friends. I am a very private person, and it is a privilege to share my words with readers and get to know them through online forums, reviews, emails etc. Having said that I was private I realise I am happy to write about myself and make jokes out of some of the dafter or more serious aspects of my life. Having readers respond to that is in my mind success.
Was there anything you edited out of this book, you wanted to keep in, but you knew it would be a better book by cutting it?
Some of the clues and keeping it really tight. It could have been longer, but I felt it read better at the current length.
How long did you spend researching this book’s subject matter, or was it a book you had already planned?
I knew the character as soon as she came to me in a dream. We had a sit down over a breakfast cup of tea and she told me all about herself. She was older, but the first time readers meet her she is thirty five. The setting, Morrison Street in Edinburgh is a favourite place of mine and it seemed like the perfect fit, which was lucky given I wrote it during lockdown where travel et al is not permitted. I have read a lot of Agatha Christie and other mystery writers, so I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve from studying their work and what I felt worked for the genre.
What was the hardest scene to write in the book?
To be honest every scene was enjoyable, except for one and I don’t want to say too much about it and spoil the story for readers. Initially it was a murder, but it changed to attempted murder because the character became so dear. A beta reader and the character protested loudly at being murdered.
How will you cope with bad reviews on this book?
If the book is not to someone’s taste I can accept that. If a review is bad is there something I need to learn from it?
What’s the one thing you would give up to become a better writer?
Having to work outside the profession of writing. Although the experience of the outside world gives me food for thought and opportunities for mining, being able to write full time, attend courses and engage with mentors would be heaven.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Liza. Good Luck for with the sales.
For more information check out the links below:
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.