Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Guest Blogger - Liz Fenwick

I'm delighted to welcome Liz Fenwick to the blog today. Liz is a long time writing friend and fellow RNA member and her first novel, The Cornish House is out now! Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer....born in Massachusetts, and after nine international moves now live in Dubai with her husband and two mad cats. She made her first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought her home there 7 years later and although she lives in Dubai, her heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories. her debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE is published by Orion and German, Dutch, Portuguese and Norwegian editions are being prepared.
When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter Hannah desperately need.

Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, a rambling house steeped in history. Maddie is enchanted by it and determined to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers the stories of generations of women who've lived there before, Maddie begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.

But Maddie's dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces. Still struggling with her grief and battling with Hannah, Maddie is unable to find inspiration for her painting and realises she may face the prospect of having to sell Trevenen, just as she is coming to love it.

And as Maddie and Hannah pull at the seams of Trevenen's past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations.

Excerpt... It was nearly eleven and Maddie had been behind the wheel of the car for over eight hours. She yawned and forced her eyes open wider. Slowing the car she approached yet another blind bend. Moonlight silhouetted the twisted trees against the sky. Their tortured shapes rose from the hedges, forming a tunnel. It seemed to be closing in around them. A shiver went down her spine. The engine stuttered.

“Come on old girl. It can’t be much further to Trevenen, and once there, both you and I can have a much deserved rest.” Maddie stroked the dashboard. Smoke seeped from the edges of the bonnet.

She glanced at her stepdaughter asleep in the passenger seat. Hannah looked sweet with her blonde hair in spiky disarray. She changed position and a tattoo appeared on the teen’s arm. Maddie shook her head. Hannah had disobeyed her. She’d had to call on all her patience reserves when Hannah had displayed it last night. Maddie had just let it go. She too had been a teenager. However she’d obeyed her parents.

Turning her attention back to the road, Maddie knew if the map was accurate they must be near their new home Trevenen. This, of course, assumed she’d followed it correctly and she’d no idea whether she had or not. The last thing she needed was to be stranded on a remote country lane.

When she’d visited the house back in April, the solicitor had driven her there. It hadn’t seemed confusing then, but maybe she hadn’t been paying attention as well as she should have. That was no surprise. She hadn’t done anything as well as she should have since her husband, John, had died.

1. Most authors are also big readers. Do you read the same genre that you write? and which book has influenced you most in your desire to be a writer? I love reading and I do read in the same genre that I write, but not when I am writing a first draft…don’t want to find I have lost my voice and begun using another person’s. I’m not sure any one book has influenced me to be a writer. I have always had stories going on in my head and eventually I felt the need to put them onto a page and share them.

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing your book? A total panster – I begin with a title, a heroine, a setting and hope I will come out the other side with a complete story.

3. If you were giving a dinner party which four fictional characters would you most like to invite and why? This is so tough…OK starting with the most recent – Matthew Clairmont the Vampire from The Discovery of Witches, Professor Snape from Harry Potter, Julian from Regency Buck, and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice…but can I have them one at a time please…

4. What are you working on next? I’m working on my next book, August Rock, for my publishers in the UK. It, like The Cornish House, is set on the Lizard and is about Judith who flees her wedding in the States when she realizes she is living life my other people’s directions…but what happens when she starts taking control?

Available from Amazon and all good etailers Hardback also available - paperback to follow. Many thanks Liz for visiting and agreeing to be interviewed!


Sherry Gloag said...

Your book sounds fabulous and is on my wish list as I write :-)
I'm a pantser too, which at times can be a pain, lol.
Good luck withyour latest wip.

liz fenwick said...

Thanks so much for having me as your guest!

Nell Dixon said...

You're very welcome, Liz.

Christina Courtenay said...

Ooh, Professor Snape - me too! Just love his voice :-)

Great post - can't wait for August Rock, Liz!

liz fenwick said...

Thank you Sherry and so pleased I'm not alone on pantser side of writer :-)

Christina - it is the voice...

Sheryl said...

I have this! Read the first chapter - the first few pages, in fact - and you'll be hooked. It's good! Love it!:) xx

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Sheryl!