Published by Bloodhound Books
Available in ebook and paperback (27 August 2019)
I’m delighted to welcome Lisa to the blog on publication day of her debut crime mystery, Hidden – congratulations Lisa! Lisa has kindly agreed to take part in a Q&A but first some info about the book:
ABOUT THE BOOK
The truth lies in the darkest places…
Jen Taylor has a secret.In 1987 the body of fourteen-year-old Kelly was found on a railway track and Jen believes she was responsible for her death.
Now an adult, Jen is approached by Kelly’s mother, who asks her to help investigate her daughter’s murder.
But Jen is hiding more than anyone knows.
As the investigation is reopened by Jen, along with her former friend Claire, secrets from the past come to light and when another murder takes place, the case takes a sinister turn.
Did Jen really kill Kelly and can she ever right the wrongs of the past?
Lisa Sell’s Hidden is a crime thriller which you won’t be able to put down, it’s perfect for readers who enjoy books like Claire McGowan’s What You Did and C.L. Taylor’s Sleep. As well as for fans of authors like Louise Jensen, Rachel Abbott and Heidi Perks.
Welcome to the blog Lisa. Can you tell us a little of your background.
I’m a forty-something author. My debut crime mystery novel, Hidden is coming out on 27th August.
I started writing when I was 40. I used to be an English teacher and have always loved literature.
My fiancé bought me a beautiful pen and notebook, and urged me to start writing. It was something I’d considered for years but never had the confidence to start. I needed someone to believe in me. Now he’s my husband and continues to be supportive.
From writing my first novel to getting a publishing contract it’s been a whirlwind!
Without giving away too much can you tell us a little about your debut novel ‘Hidden’. Why did you decide to write a crime novel as opposed to any other genre?
I don’t agree writing what you know is the terrible thing some authors consider it to be. If you know something and have lived it, you’re the best person to tell that story.
The 1980s narrative of Hidden is set on an Oxfordshire council estate. I lived in such a place in the eighties.
I have many memories of growing up there. The residents were an eclectic bunch and there was a strong sense of community. What better place for rich characterisation, oh, adding the death of a teenager into the mix? As you do…
I didn’t think I was a crime writer. When I started writing, my work was bordering on literary. Because I’ve studied and taught literature, I thought this was my path. Maybe one day it will be part of my writing.
I’m an avid reader of thriller, crime, and mystery novels. When I had the idea for Hidden I was confused and nervous. Could I write the kind of books I’ve always loved? It turns out I can and I never want to stop writing them.
Killing people and writing twisted characters is fun!
Has life changed for you since becoming published? Do you have a full time job around which you have to fit your writing? If so, how do you best manage your writing time and is there any particular place you go to, to write, or any particular time of day that you find best for writing?
I am fortunate to write full-time. My husband believed in me from the start and he works hard to support us both. I know I’m lucky to be able to do this and never take him or a single writing day for granted.
Since I got my publishing contract, I’ve become far more disciplined. It’s too easy when you work from home to be distracted by the internet or a Netflix series!
Working to deadlines and promoting books is time consuming. I can honestly say I’ve never worked as hard as this. It’s worth it though. I’ve never had job satisfaction like it either.
My desk is in the lounge. I have my own corner with a stack of books next to me.
I work a normal office kind of day, working from morning until around 5.30pm. I need the discipline of viewing writing as work, because it definitely is!
What advice would you give to anyone trying to get their novel published? Is there anything that you wished you had done differently?
Buy the Writers and Artists Yearbook (if you’re in the UK) if submitting to agents. There’s an extensive list in there, along with some useful writing tips articles.
Unless you hit the jackpot early be prepared for many rejections. It will feel demoralising and you’ll want to quit. Don’t. That acceptance could be around the corner.
Consider all options and keep updated on social media with what’s going on.
One day a writer friend shared on Facebook that Bloodhound Books were open to submissions. I’d read some of their authors’ books. I decided this publisher was my last try at getting traditionally published. The rest is history.
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. The numerous rejections made the final acceptance so much sweeter.
Is there any part of the writing process which you enjoy the most (or find the most difficult) – i.e. researching, writing, editing?
When the ideas start flooding in for a new novel, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s so exciting. I can’t note my ideas down fast enough.
I love planning my characters, research, and outlining plot. I’m a mega organiser so outlining is important to me. I make sure I have the space to be flexible though. Nothing ever goes to plan when you’re writing a novel!
I hate editing my own work. The final draft before I send it to the publisher is a slog. At that stage I’ve written several drafts and could almost recite the book word for word. It’s an important process but so dull!
I enjoy working on my editor’s edits though. Working collaboratively to polish my novel feels like a privilege.
Are there any authors whose books have made an impact on you? What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure, and what are you reading now?
Wuthering Heights is my favourite novel. When I first read it at school, I fell in love with Emily Brontë’s writing.
This led me to the other sisters’ works and I developed a passion for Charlotte’s novels. I wrote my Masters dissertation on her works.
A few years ago I went to Haworth. Visiting the parsonage and walking the moors are experiences I’ll never forget.
The Brontës were pioneering women who still inspire generations of authors, including me.
I love a juicy crime, thriller or mystery novel. I’ve just finished reading The Woman at Number 19 by J.A. Baker. It has a brilliant twist. My fellow Bloodhound Books authors are a talented bunch.
Favourite childhood book – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
A book you would re-read – Anything by Karin Slaughter, particularly the Grant County series.
Favourite place to read – In bed.
Favourite film – I don’t have a favourite. There are too many!
Favourite holiday destination – My honeymoon was in Rome. I love Italy and would like to explore it some more.
Thanks so much for being my guest on your publication day Lisa, and wishing you all the very best with Hidden which can currently be downloaded from Amazon UK for 99p.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Sell is a thriller writer who also scribbles short stories. Throughout her writing career she’s blogged about the twists and turns on her site: www.lisasell.co.uk .
To combat writer’s bum and keep mentally fit, Lisa is a runner. The consequence is she’s now a running bore but is proud of her achievements.
When she’s reading, Lisa practically hoovers up books. The to-be-read pile has become a tower, threatening to topple on her when she’s sleeping.
Music rocks Lisa’s world too, particularly a good eighties tune. If lost, you’ll find Lisa in a DeLorean, headed for her favourite decade.
Lisa’s cats, Feegle and Wullie, try to help her write but often fail. The furry pests demand attention and desk space. Lisa is currently applying for cat wrangling to be recognised as an Olympic sport.
Lisa is a happy pup to be part of the Bloodhound Books team. Just don’t tell the cats.