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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Elise Williams talks about her new book, A Lock Up On Crete, inspired by her own experiences of traveling.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Elise Williams about her new book, A Lock Up On Crete, the experiences that inspired her to start writing, and the advice she has for other authors.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m Susan but I write as Elise, an anagram of my late Gran’s name Elsie. I will be the big 60 next year and quite frankly, I will be embracing it. I live in the rolling countryside of Lancashire and frequently visit Crete where I have some connections. In 2004 I was hurtled into the world of Education and continue to work as a pupil mentor in a high school where I focus on supporting pupils with literacy difficulties.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
After I had made lots of memories while traveling in my twenties, I knew then that I needed to keep them alive by novelizing them.
When did you take a step to start writing?
It was only when my 2 children started to play out with their friends that I had a few hours to lock myself away in the office and furiously tap away on the keyboard. It was the summer holidays and one of those inclement British summers so it was a good excuse to stay indoors and start my writing.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It was about 12 months in total.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
My latest book took about 12 months also.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write A Lock Up On Crete?
After working and living in the south of Crete in the winter of 1983, I felt a novel coming on, loosely based on my observations and experiences. The plot developed further into a work of fiction with various fictional characters added to the mix.
What were your biggest challenges with writing A Lock Up On Crete?
Because I was getting my inspiration from my own memory and experiences, I had to be careful not to go off on tangents and stick to a definite plot and structure. Otherwise it may have read as a travelogue, which I didn’t want.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
In this novel there are 3 main protagonists. They are all loosely based on myself and my 2 female friends whom I travelled to Crete with. However, as the plot developed and fictional events unfolded so too did our characters and personalities. I would say that the character of Zoe (me) is the main protagonist though.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
My main antagonist was inspired by my experience dating a Greek male at the time (1983). Although the novel is loosely based on real events, I have been mindful to protect their integrity and identity.
What is the inciting incident of A Lock Up On Crete?
The inciting incident of my novel is the LOCK UP! Does the double entendre title suggest that a character is sent to prison or does it suggest a character may have a second property they Lock Up and leave till the next time they visit?
What is the main conflict of A Lock Up On Crete?
The main conflict of my novel is the deceit and events caused as a result of the antagonist’s jealousy. The main issue being the defacement of the protagonist’s passport by the antagonist and the consequences that ensued.
Did you plot A Lock Up On Crete in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
With it being loosely based on true events, I was able to write from memory and freely. However there were plenty more fictional plots along the way with the other characters.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did A Lock Up On Crete need?
My book needed a lot of editing. I did a lot of the editing myself, editing on the computer then on paper then back to the computer. After I self-published on Amazon, I ordered an author copy and a work friend edited it with fresh eyes. To be honest, it was when I received a negative review on Amazon with reference to some dates that I had mixed up and a mention of poor editing did I re- edit the whole novel again. Up to date I have received 10 reviews with 8 of them positive.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Honestly, just get your thoughts down on paper or computer. The rest will follow. Be kind to yourself. If it doesn’t go any further than a draft, at least it is yours and no one can take that away from you.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Yes. I have already started a series entitled: ‘The Greek Adventures collection.’ The collection will combine Greek holiday themes with a splash of Greek mythology. Again, they intend to be light-hearted easy reading novellas.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes! I am most definitely proud of my accomplishments. I never thought I would be able to self-publish and receive up to date, 215, four-star customer ratings. And yes it was worth the effort as I would rather be writing my novellas and using my brain and imagination than watching something for the sake of it on TV or similar.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Facebook: Elise’sEasyreads Williams
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