ZOE LEA – IF HE WAKES
1.Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
I got the initial idea for If He Wakes, and that very early idea would just not leave me alone. I wrote about it because I couldn’t not write about it, and I realise how corny that sounds!
The idea of complete betrayal appealed to me, and although If He Wakes is similar to a lot of other books out there in this genre, I think the way it handles female friendship is a little different. In so much as it’s the central characters friendship that’s the narrative spine of the book, not the horrific acts that surround it.
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
I usually think about a topic for quite a while before starting to write about it. I like to keep a note book and write down the initial premise and then continue to add to it until I’m pretty sure the structure the book will take, by that time, I know if I’ve got a whole book or not.
- How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
I’m lucky in that I have several friends who work in the force and one in particular that is happy to answer all of my questions!
- How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
Too many times to remember! I’ve been writing in one from or another for years so getting rejections is part and parcel of it all.
- Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
This is hard one because there are two schools of thought, I know people who have an amazing online presence and because of that, have been approached by agents and publishers. However, if the book you write isn’t up to scratch, I don’t think it will make any difference how big your audience is. It always comes down to the quality of work in the end.
- What do you read when you are ill in bed?
I like to read a good escapist novel when I’m looking for a book to nurture me, something that will help me forget where I am and transport me to a different world.
- What is your favourite genre?
Mystery and crime. It can be any genre, so long as there’s an element of mystery or crime to the plot, I like to read something and try to solve it.
- Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
Stephen King has had the biggest influence on me and my writing. His book, ‘On Writing,’ is a must read for anyone who is writing at the moment or thinking of becoming a writer.
Links to Book:
Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.