LifeOfWriters.com is delighted to annouce our interview with author Rosanna Ley. Rosanna has written numerous articles and short stories for magazines, and her novels have been published in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania, Denmark, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Czech Republic. Rosanna has also worked as a creative writing tutor for over 20 years. She has led courses for colleges and universities in England, and runs her own writing retreats and holidays in the UK and in stunning locations in Europe. Get to know more about her writing style below.
What is a typical writing day for you?
It’s different depending on which part of the process I am at. Right now, I am combining finishing off my first draft of my new book with publicity work for my current hardback publication of Little Theatre by the Sea. So, most days I will start off with a half hour stint on Twitter. Then I will answer urgent emails, then usually start working on the novel. I’ll work all morning in my office at home with short breaks (that’s if I can tear myself away) to prevent hunch-back computer syndrome, until around 1.30. After that it’s lunch and hopefully a good walk to clear out the cobwebs, get some fresh air, think about plot problems or whatever… The rest of the afternoon I may do some chores and admin but will usually have another writing session for an hour or two, perhaps on a publicity article if not WIP, often working till around 7 p.m.
Do you write every day or use a word count?
When I am writing my first draft and not doing publicity or other work, I aim for 7000-10,000 words a week. That generally means writing every day and it’s when I’m at my most prolific. I am happy with writing one scene a day from conception through first draft in notebook to putting on to the computer. But I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage it. There aren’t enough hours in the day basically.
How long does it take you to write a book?
A year. This is because of my contract!! I would like to take longer and do more research and not work such long hours, but most publishers do like a book a year so that readers don’t forget you…
What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten and what advice do you give at your writing retreats?
The best advice is ‘never give up’. In my view, this drive (otherwise known as stubbornness) is what separates the professional writers from those who write for a hobby. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing for a hobby and for pure enjoyment alone. It just depends what one wants to get out of it. My second best advice would be to enjoy your writing – otherwise there’s not much point. I would add – don’t write about what you know, write about what you want to explore. And finally a double edged sword: listen to advice and don’t feel you always have to listen to advice. Go your own way!
You are represented by an literary agent, how did you get an agent and how do you benefit from her?
You can find lists of agents in publications such as The Writers Handbook and The Writers and Artists Year Book. I found my first agent through the RNA which I had joined (there is an excellent New Writers Scheme) - it’s often about networking. A good agent will support you, advise you, get you a good publishing deal and even help with editing. My agent Laura Longrigg at MBA is wonderful at all these things. I am very fortunate to have her.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Sitting with my back against a lovely flat rock writing in my notebook on a gorgeous beach in the sunshine. If that’s not possible - anywhere with a sea view!
Find her on social media:
Rosanna Ley's website
Find her on her Twitter profile
Her Facebook profile
Quercus Books: www.quercusbooks.co.uk
Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agency: www.mbalit.co.uk