I have Lisa Reynolds with the Culture Vulture Express blog here with an inspiring guest post on writing! I love Lisa’s blog, it’s always so full of interesting and uplifting content. Today Lisa will share her writer’s back story, her books/projects, as well as some excellent advice for writers!

(If you’d like to be considered for a guest post visit here!)

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Now, lets welcome Lisa!

When Did I Start Writing?

It’s difficult to put an exact age on it. But it was from a young age. I was doing bits of writing by the time I was 7 or 8. I remember when I was 8 my short story about talking snakes in a forest won a competition in my class and the teacher asked me to read the story out. Daunting but flattering. The teacher who liked it was very encouraging about my writing and she said that she hoped I would pursue it. I love writing so that was lovely for someone to say. I really began writing more though when I was 11 and from there I was constantly putting stories together. Maybe someday some of them might see the light of day. Revamped by my years of writing experience since. At 18 I started sending my work to TV stations, publishers, magazines, newspapers and theatres with no luck. But at 22, I started my blog and continued sending my work to various places including websites now and my first article on the style and charity work of Grace Kelly was published on the website Miss A soon followed by my first piece for Eile Magazine who I still write for today. And soon I learned how Amazon worked and published my first of twelve books so far, a murder mystery called Blood which was a book I had in my head for two or three years before I finally wrote, revised and published it.

What Draws Me To Writing?

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. I always read a lot growing up and reading often tends to lead someone to write. I was also introverted and it has always been my way to express the things I find difficult to express in daily life. I also think I love creating characters and seeing how they interact, their inner emotions and how those emotions make them act outwardly in consequence. So maybe there’s a slight interest in human psychology there. I also have always been very passionate about social issues and through my writing I like to think I put my two cents in towards equality.

After all, by reading other peoples’ work it helped me be a more open-minded person and I hope at least one or two people can take something like that from my work. I do believe creative pursuits have been very instrumental in progress and I find as a writer it is a duty to not always write the same characters over and over again and give other people in our society voices because we all make up the world, not just a handful of people.

What Genre Do I Write?

I mostly write Mysteries and Romance. To narrow that down further cosy mysteries and contemporary romances. The two genres are what I read the most so that has naturally flowed into my writing. I’m reading more of other genres lately because I find it makes your writing more interesting if you’re coming from a variety of sources and it has been really interesting. I think the more I’m reading of different genres it’s improving my writing because at heart, the human element is the same no matter what genre you’re reading and I’m learning so much from writers from various genres.

Is There A Genre I Currently Would Love To Give A Go?

It’s probably best to take baby steps so the genre I would love to write a book in at the moment is Historical Romance. I do read Jane Austen’s books and absolutely loved Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I’m currently planning to read more and more historical romance by newer writers too. It’s not a huge jump from contemporary romance but a jump nonetheless. Someday I’ll write a historical romance. I think it’d be quite fun. I also like watching horror films and I have the start of an idea forming for a horror novel too so that will probably happen at some stage too.

What Advice Would I Have For Other Writers?

There is definitely writers more qualified to give advice than me. But there is things I’ve learned in my writing career. A huge one would be to keep going, keep at it. I’m not a writer who had a lot of writing contacts starting out and I’ve built up a few over the years. It’s a business where you get more rejection than success so keep sending to everyone and don’t take rejection personally. I have been published in a lot since I began but I’ve had far more rejections. If you don’t keep trying, or as I like to call it, pestering you won’t get the successful moments along the way. Remember the rejections are even part of the process and don’t take them to heart. Also believe in your writing and write what you feel you want to write.

Don’t write with market in your head. Your writer’s voice, that uniqueness where someone could tell it was your work without been told, is your selling point ironically because it’s authentic and people can feel that. So don’t copy the latest bestseller if it isn’t what you want to write. And also remember it’s the writing that matters, not where your publishing your writing. The amount of writers who run down blogging saying it isn’t ‘real writing’ is a lot. But while there’s good and bad blogs, there’s good and bad mainstream writing too. Don’t let that kind of snobbery get to you. Just keep doing your thing. Actually I think blogging is a really great thing because as I said I didn’t have writing contacts and it allows people like me who don’t an opportunity that we might not have had previously to get our work out there. And I personally think that’s wonderfully democratic. So yeah, take every opportunity you can and believe in your work.

What Is My Latest Book?

My newest release is a collection of six short Christmas stories called Ketchup & Other Short Christmas Stories. I wanted to write a Christmas book, which I hadn’t done before, so I set about writing a variety of Christmas stories. Ketchup was the story that came to my mind and gave me the idea for the collection so I thought it was only right I put in the title even though it doesn’t sound overly seasonal. Not too long before that, I released a novel called Defying Gravity which is a romance set in the world of ballroom dancing where dance partnership Ethan and Alan (or Eth and Al as they became throughout the writing of the book) fall in love and set the ballroom world on fire. Not literally obviously although I wouldn’t put it by Al to have a routine with fire in the middle of the ballroom!

What Will Be My Next Book?

I’m currently writing my next novel. It’s probably the hardest novel I have ever written which means I have no idea when it’ll be released or if it’ll even be the next one for that matter. It’s plot is set in London and is about Radical Islam and terrorism. With such a sad and sensitive subject matter I’m taking my time with it. It’s a very difficult and emotionally-draining book so I come away from it a lot. I think if I do it right, it could be a great book but it’s definitely a hard book to sit down and write. As writers, I think we have a duty to write about things that are happening in our world but they aren’t always easy to write about.

Where Do I See My Writing Career In Ten Years Time?

To be honest, I couldn’t tell you. It’s an unpredictable business. I hope I have plenty more books out but that’s as far as I could say. Otherwise I don’t know. So many unexpected and wonderful opportunities come up in writing out of nowhere when you dive right into it and that makes it quite an exciting profession to be in.

READ LISA’S BOOKS, AND EXPLORE HER BLOG HERE:

Ketchup & Other Short Christmas Stories

Defying Gravity

Blood

Lisa’s blog:  Culture Vulture Express

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