Some of my most creative thoughts happen when on a dog walk, as do my best conversations with my dog-walking buddy. So I thought I’d invite some of my author friends along to join me and my Ruby to see if I can find out a little more about them and the book they’ve just released.
My guest today is a writer I’ve been wanting to read for a long time and I’m delighted to welcome Elizabeth Ducie to the ploughed fields of Cambridgeshire. I eventually got round to picking up her book, two of them in fact, and you can read the reviews for Counterfeit! and its sequel, Deception!, which is released today, by clicking on their titles.
Elizabeth Ducie trained as a scientist and worked in the international pharmaceutical industry for nearly thirty years before deciding she wanted to make a complete change of direction. She gave up the day job, began studying the craft of creative writing, and has now writes fiction more or less full-time.
Hi Elizabeth, I hope you’re ready for a hike across the fields of sunny Cambridgeshire?
Hi Georgia. I certainly am. I live on the edge of a small town in rural Devon and am always saying I should do more walking!
Now that you’ve got our undivided attention Elizabeth this is your chance to tell everyone about Deception! and convince them to buy it and then move it up their to-be-read list?
Deception! is the second in my series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. The action takes place mainly in Brazil, although there is also a flash-back thread set in South Africa and Mozambique. Athletes fight for no apparent reason; a sprinter disappears. Is a new health drink to blame? Regulator turned investigator, Suzanne Jones, investigates and finds herself the centre of threats. Meanwhile sister Charlie is chasing counterfeiter Michael Hawkins. It’s Mardi Gras in Rio and danger stalks the streets. New friends. An old adversary. Faces and voices from the past. Will it all be too much for the Jones sisters to handle?
I always intended writing a series. I am a great fan of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club novels and I wanted to write about three strong female protagonists, with a different member of the team being the main focus in each of the books. So I started off with three stand-alone stories. But as I was drafting Counterfeit!, the closing line came to me in a flash, and I realised there was also an over-arching thread that would continue in Deception! and Corruption! (book 3, which is due out this time next year).
I know you’re an indie author Elizabeth, but we all need help at various stages of writing and I’d like to know more about the team you have behind you. Who helps you pull your books together until they’re ready to be published?
I’ve developed quite a structured approach to my novels and they depend on quite a large team of people. I work with my writing buddy, Margaret Barnes, on the initial couple of drafts. We are at similar stages with our novels and work through them chapter by chapter. When it’s pretty much ready, it goes to my wonderful beta team; a group of around eight readers – only one of whom is a writer. The final proofreading is done by Julia Gibbs. My covers are designed by Berni Stevens. And the printing is done by Hedgerow Print, Crediton. Plus, there are loads of people in this generous writerly community who offer advice, shoulders to cry on and general support.
If you could choose to be any character out of any book you’ve written, who would you choose? And why?
I think the character most like me is Suzanne Jones. She has had similar industry and travel experiences; she’s well-organised to the point of obsession, too pedantic on occasion, and always worried about not upsetting people. But the character I’d choose to be is Charlie Jones. She has a mysterious past, that we are starting to learn about in Deception!, she’s irreverent and knows how to kick ass when she needs to. I think it would be fun to be her.
A few quick fire ones.
India or Iceland?
India: I am a great lover of hot climates; you will never hear me say it’s too hot. I’ve been there a couple of times, but only to Mumbai. I would like the chance to see more.
Sunsets or sunrises?
Sunrises: I am a real lark and love sitting outside watching the sun rise when we are on holiday.
Which superpower would you like to have? And Why?
To be able to speed-read, really fast; and to keep the details of what I’ve read in my head. There are so many books out there I would love to read and it’s depressing to think that there’s never going to be enough time to do it.
What piece of advice would you like to give your 16-year-old self – if you were given the opportunity to use a time machine!?
Stick with it; it will get better. And just do everything the same way again. EXCEPT do not leave your suitcase unattended on the train from Paddington to Exeter on that Tuesday in October 2011; you’ll regret it if it gets stolen again.
I believe that perfect days are unplanned, BUT if you were to plan your perfect day what would it look like?
A leisurely breakfast and a wander in the sunshine with Michael; followed by a long lunch with friends at Gidleigh Park; and a car to drive us home afterwards. That’s how we spent our Ruby wedding anniversary recently; and it really was the perfect day.
Thanks for joining me Elizabeth and I wish you every success for the sales of Deception! 🙂
You can get you copy of Deception! here:
And you can find Elizabeth here:
Website (home): http://www.elizabethducie.co.uk/
Website (books): http://www.elizabethducie.co.uk/my-books/