Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

And what do YOU have to say? – LE Fitzpatrick – interview no.31

on 25/01/2016

It has been a tremendous pleasure to meet so many wonderful authors, trying to find their spot in this huge world by putting their work out there, for all of us to judge, fairly or subjectively. I met amazing people through several authors’ groups, such as the very supportive and amazing #Awethors.

One of the #Awethors I have been honoured to read (fantastic Safe Haven, my review here) and even collaborate with on two anthologies (Awethology and December Awethology, is the tireless, multi-talented LE Fitzpatrick – author, editor, proofreader, mother, pal, joker, and overall a very kind person. It is such a huge pleasure to introduce LE Fitzpatrick right here on my blog. Enjoy LE’s words and grab her fantastic new book The Running Game fast!

INTERVIEW TIME

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1. Why do you write and who are you when you are not writing, if ever?

I’ve always written. Mostly I started writing for myself and afterwards I started writing for people like me. I am me when I am writing, at other times I’m just an imposter pretending to live a normal life.

2. What came first – the novel or the novella? The Running Game has a fantastic intro in Safe Haven, but how did the process of creating the whole thing go?

I’m not very good at notes and research, if I’m trying to work things out in a backstory I tend to write a few short pieces of dialogue or a few paragraphs of scene setting. The Running Game joins the characters after a lot of significant events have happened to them, mainly because this series is about them as a collective, rather than individuals. But I had to work out where they all came from and what shaped them into who they have become. Charlie, the hero (if you can call him that) has lost his wife and daughter, he was once a super criminal and now he’s just a shell of his former self. Rachel too, my starring girl, had a sister and a family, we join the story when she’s alone. The Running Game is about the characters coming together but also it focuses on Rachel’s past, so when I was writing it I was constantly working on what happened to Rachel and more importantly to her sister. By the time I had finished the novel I had so much written about her sister I felt that she needed a little bit of the spotlight too, hence Safe Haven.

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3. Apart from you, who else gets to see and handle your writing before the actual publication? How much do you rely on and trust beta readers, proofreaders, editors, cover artists, etc.?

First off everything goes to my partner to check. He tends to be fairly muted in his responses but I can normally tell if I’m on the right track by the tone of his hums. In the past, when I was self-publishing, I relied on lots of beta readers, who were incredible at helping me polish the story and now I’ve published with a publishing company I was given a whole team to take care of me. Now for the rest of my series I’m sticking with team work all the way and I’m very pleased to tell you my manager, editor and incredible cover artist are all onboard for book 2 in the series, Border Lines.

4. How do comments and reviews affect you? What part of the whole process of ‘getting the book out there’ is the most difficult for you personally?

I’ve been ridiculously lucky in that nearly all of the feedback I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot) has been really positive, but when a critique comes through it does hit you hard. I think the hardest thing for any author is to put themselves out there, you risk getting negative comments, or worse – no comments at all. For me I’m often conflicted between putting myself out there and just knuckling down to write. It’s a tricky balance and I probably haven’t got it right yet.

5. What do your friends and family think about you as a writer? Who is your strongest supporter and/or critic?

Most of my friends have been very supportive. I’ve always written so I think it was sometimes difficult for some family and friends to see my „hobby“ as my chosen career. For the past few years I’ve been moving towards becoming a full time writer and it was only when I took the plunge that I felt the full support from the people around me, but I think this comes from the fact that I had to truly believe in myself before they did. It’s all well and good saying, „when I write a best seller“ – I had to see the potential in The Running Game and just go for it. But even in the darkest times my partner has always been the biggest supporter of my writing. He’s always seen this as the path I would go down and had more faith in me than I ever thought possible.

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6. Being an indie author can be quite difficult, but we do get support in places we might least expect. What surprised you most pleasantly about author networks?

When I started out as an indie the communities were brutal. I’ve always been ultra conscious of my social presence online so hopefully you will always see that I conduct myself with a degree of professionalism. But that’s not the case for a lot of writers. There are groups on Amazon, Facebook and Goodreads which are minefields for trollers and haters. I probably avoided a lot of „socialisation“ because of this and I doubt I’m the only one. But then last year through author DM Cain, I was invited to join a group called the Awethors. This collective of multi-genre writers has been one of the most supportive and positive places I could have stumbled across. The people I met, writers, poets etc. Have become some of my dearest friends. We share our work, work together, and promote each other. This is the first place I have found where you can rely on your fellow writers to help you, console you and encourage you.

7. What do you think makes your writing unique? What makes you write and publish? Do you have a specific audience and message when you write a novel?

I try to give my stories a little piece of me, most of my books tend to be touched with dark humour, slick dialogue and a lot of drama. I like intense, realistic characters, that are often broken and tormented. And mostly I like to push the boundaries of my imagination. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t written and I can’t imagine not writing. It’s like a compulsion, some people like to play music, like to cook, like to walk – for me it’s writing. But publishing became a later ambition when I realised that the reason I was writing was for an audience. And the audience? Well like I said above, I write for people like me. I write the books I like to read, creating characters I can love. Who are people like me? I guess people who love good, dark stories.

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8. What is the one genre you think you would never write and why?

I don’t like the idea of confining yourself to a genre and I’m always open to new directions. I think though I would struggle with just a straightforward contemporary romance. I like romance in my stories, but I also need to blow up stuff and shoot people.

9. If you could live in any book and be any character in any book, not your own, which would it be and why?

My favourite series is the Charlie Parker books by John Connolly, but I wouldn’t like to live there. I guess a fun place to go would be Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series, they’re a great fantasy series of novels set in a really quirky world, complete with pirates.

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10. What are you hoping for with The Runing Game?

I really hope to get The Running Game to as many people as possible. I am very proud (even though my modesty is trying to make me say otherwise) of this story. I love this book, these characters and this series. So that’s my mission.

11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

The Reacher Series is big and there are lots of free short stories and snippets available. If you like them please share them with your friends and other readers. Authors rely on readers and fans to spread the word and encourage their work, although we don’t get the opportunity to thank you personally we are forever grateful for everything our readers do for us.

Thanks for your time, LE. Best of luck with The Running Game!

Psst… short blurb for The Running Game…
On the surface Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John have been hired to find Rachel, but on discovering what she is they decide to turn against the gangster that hired them and help her.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

Meet LE Fitzpatrick:
Website: lefitzpatrick.wix.com/lefitzpatrick
Blog: l-e-fitzpatrick.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lefitzpatrickbooks/
Twitter: @L_E_Fitzpatrick
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