Monday, 18 July 2016

Blog Tour Q&A with Liz Nugent

Today its my stop on the Lying In Wait blog tour and I'd like to welcome Liz Nugent to the blog and thank her for kindly answering a few of my questions. Lying In Wait is available now and can be purchased from Amazon here. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a writer?

I was always a voracious reader from a very early age, and lost myself in different worlds and different personalities. I think I wanted to create my own world and my own characters. Slightly sinister stories appealed to me most and in fairly quick succession, I worked on a stage production of John Banville’s The Book of Evidence (I used to be a stage manager) and read Engleby by Sebastian Faulks. The central characters fascinated me, so I thought I’d write one.

Lying in Wait is your second novel, how does it differ from your first Unravelling Oliver?

Whereas Oliver was a man determined to be childless, in Lying in Wait, the protagonist Lydia is obsessed with being a mother. Unravelling Oliver spanned over fifty years whereas the action in Lying in Wait happens in three parts 1980, 1985 and very briefly, present day.  Oliver kills people indirectly but Lydia is ‘hands-on’!

What was your inspiration for writing Lying in Wait? A man once told me that he strongly suspected his father had murdered a prostitute in the 1960s. He had no evidence or no way of proving it. He never had the courage to challenge his father and went to his grave wondering. He told me this story about 25 years ago and he is long dead now. I always wondered what it would be like to grow up in a house where you suspect your father is a murderer.

Which was your favourite character in the book and why?

Even though Karen is brave, honest and strong, I really loved Laurence. He really tried his best to do the right thing, to make up for the mistakes of his parents. For most of the novel, he is blind to his mother’s manipulations. His struggle with his weight is entirely psychological. In writing his life, I realised I needed to give him at least one amazing day where he could see life’s possibilities, so I sent him to Rome!

Was it difficult to write about such unnerving characters?

It’s quite liberating to write really monstrous characters because they can say outrageous things that wouldn’t cross our minds normally. The plotting of the book is the hard bit. I find characterisation relatively easy.

Describe Lying in Wait in three word?

Mothering is smothering.

How did you want readers to feel after reading Lying in Wait?

I’d like them to be shocked and exhilarated and immediately recommend it to all of their friends. J

What can we expect to see from you next?

A new novel in late 2017, I hope!

Who are some of your favourite authors?

Way too many to mention and I know so many great writers that I’m afraid I’d leave someone out and offend them. I read across all genres. My favourite dead writers would be John Williams, Emily Bronte, John Steinbeck, Thomas Hardy, Daphne du Maurier, Truman Capote etc.

Which three books have you enjoyed most so far this year?

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell

The Diary of Mary Travers by Eibhear Walsh

How do you intend to celebrate publication day?

Penguin Ireland are generously hosting a launch for me on publication day so I expect to see lots of friends and drink some wine.

What advice would you give to anyone wishing to pursue a writing career?

Get off the Internet and read more books. The more you read, the more you learn about the craft of writing.

Quick fire questions:

Do you prefer:

Tea of Coffee? Tea. When I was a baby, my mother used to give me milky coffee in my beaker. When I was about fifteen, I stopped drinking it and now probably have two coffees per year. I don’t think I could write without tea!

Sweet or Savoury? Sweet. I don’t know how many times I have offered to be Cadbury’s brand ambassador. I think they have blocked me on Twitter.

Cosy fires or summer sun? Tough one. Winters are so long here and a cosy fire is so comforting, but our summers are usually miserable too, so I have to go for summer sun, just not Irish summer sun.

High heel or flats? I have a condition called dystonia which makes walking in high heels impossible so I have never worn them in my life. I am permanently jealous of other people’s shoes, but the upside is that I don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes. I live in Sketchers.

To drive or be driven? Drive. I need to be in charge. My car, my rules. I’m not actually a very good driver and once wrote off three cars inside one year (nobody injured thank God) but it hasn’t cured me. I still want to be the driver and if not, I want to be in the front seat. That will of course change when I get a limo and driver. Ha ha!

Thank you, Joanne, for the excellent questions, and for taking part in this blog tour. Liz x

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