This week LifeOfWriters.com is pleased to share our interview with author Tilly Tennant. She is the author of several books and is represented by Philippa Milnes-Smith at LAW. Tilly Tennant has a degree in English and creative writing with first-class honours. One of her books is A Wedding in Italy and A Very Vintage Christmas is released in September. Read her interview below.
Let us know how you spend your writing day.
As I have a family the day starts with all the necessary duties like breakfast and the school run. I’ll watch the news and have my own breakfast when I get back home and then I’ll start work. I tend to work quite solidly on a first draft, getting 2-3,000 words a day down at least but this often depends on the amount of research that gets in the way. Sometimes you don’t even know you need to do research until you get to that scene and realise you know nothing about it! I tend to be lazy around food and housework while I’m in first draft territory because if I stop writing I’ll find it difficult to start again, so it tends to be snacks while I’m working and I only eat a proper meal once the family are home and I’m forced to stop working.
Where is your favorite spot to write? And why?
I don’t have a favourite spot to write really, I only have the dining table so I suppose by default that’s it!
You have written 7 books. How long time does it take you to write a book?
It can take around 3 months to do a first draft, at least that’s what I aim for. The turnaround times for my current publisher are really quick so I have to be disciplined in that respect because if I get behind schedule on one then it messes up the schedule for the subsequent books I’m contracted to do. Obviously there then follows extensive editing and proof reads so I’d say about 6 months in all. With my publisher working the way they do I tend to be writing a new draft as the edits are coming in from the previous one and the only way to keep up is to juggle, so it probably seems as if I write a lot faster than I do due to the rate the books are released.
What is your editing process?
My editing process used to be a lot more extensive than it is now, mostly because I now have a fantastic editor who takes a lot of what I used to do when I self-published away from me. I can show her a very early draft of a book and she saves constant re-drafting by telling me straightaway what I need to be focussing on instead of me second-guessing where the problems might be. I do have a very good friend who edits freelance too and she often does the same on books I’m working on separately from my publishing schedule with my publisher.
What is the best writing advice you can give for aspiring writers?
I’m the worst person for giving advice but I can say that the best thing I did when I started to write and publish was to make friends in the business. Those early connections have helped enormously in every area. Your friends look out for you, give you heads up on opportunities, give welcome advice from their own experiences, cheer your book when it comes out and are generally amazing. It goes without saying that you return all the support and everyone benefits. And because they’re all building their careers at the same time as you when you come through and finally make it together you get to go to some amazing launch parties!
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