Today we sit down with UK author and blogger, Lucy Brazier. Lucy is going to tell us a bit about her work, her inspiration, and a bit about herself.
Please enjoy this edition of 20 Questions:
Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember ever not wanting to be a writer! I was quite young, probably about eight or nine.
Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?
That is a difficult one to answer, as my new book is a re-write of my first book, which took me about a year to complete. I am hoping I can get the next one from draft to final edit in about six to eight months.
Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I make sure I put aside specific time for writing, usually on a Thursday and Friday, and I will stay offline as much as possible to avoid distractions. I don’t mind where I write, but I do like to have some music playing in the background.
Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have been told that my writing transports the reader right to the heart of the story, which is quite something. I tend to observe the things and people other writers overlook, and it is perhaps that that gives my style an unusual feel.
Q5) How are your books published?
I have one self-published and now one traditionally published.
Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?
The PorterGirl books are inspired by my brief time ensconced within the esoteric world of Cambridge University. I have been lucky to have led a very interesting and unlikely life and most of my writing comes from my own experiences.
Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book and how old were you?
When I was small, I was forever writing little books, complete with hand drawn front covers! I used to write a lot of stories about a rabbit who was always getting into trouble. When I was about thirteen, I wrote my first trilogy (a science fiction adventure heavily influenced by Red Dwarf) and I also wrote a book about the imagined adventures of my school friends, called Best Days – stemming from my mother drumming into me that school days were the best days of your life (not true).
Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
If I am not writing I will likely be doing something musical, or eating. I like eating more than anything else in the world.
Q9) What is your favorite book?
Tricky one this, as there are so many to choose from and my favourite often depends on my mood. The Third Policeman by Flynn O’Brien is up right up there, but you would be hard pressed to beat Homer’s Odyssey.
Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?
I am very lucky to have endlessly supportive family and friends. They seem to think it’s pretty good. But then, they would say that, wouldn’t they?
Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I don’t recall there being any surprises. Creating a book is pretty much what you would expect it to be.
Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?
I don’t hate anything about the writing process. I am not a fan of the marketing and promotion that comes afterwards, however.
Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written just two completed, published books. Ask me again when I have a few more under my belt.
Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
Be sure to really experience and embrace all of life, good and bad. Never turn down the opportunity for adventure and listen to the people everyone else ignores. There are stories everywhere, just waiting to be discovered. Fine them, then write them.
Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?
I am fortunate to have a very verbose readership on my blog and they are generally most enthusiastic. This is very handy, as I quickly get a feel for which characters work and which don’t, and also for aspects that really capture the readers’ imagination and which ideas have fallen by the wayside. My readers are not shy about making their own suggestions too and I have used many of these in my writing.
Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?
Anyone who can read is fine by me.
Q17) What do you think makes a good story?
A simple premise – complex and convoluted plots can be dreadfully tiresome – populated by unusual characters and unlikely goings on.
Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer or a drag car racer. I still haven’t given up on the latter.
Q19) Where can we find your books?
Amazon is probably the best port of call.
Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?
“The belly’s a shameless dog, there’s nothing worse. Always insisting, pressing, it never lets us forget — destroyed as I am, my heart racked with sadness, sick with anguish, still it keeps demanding, ‘Eat, drink!’ It blots out all the memory of my pain, commanding, ‘Fill me up!”
from The Odyssey
About Lucy Brazier:
Lucy Brazier is in her 30’s and lives in the university city of Cambridge, England.
She started writing from the age of ten when her primary school teachers were at a bit of a loss as to how to contain her effervescent personality.
They tasked her with writing stories for the younger children in a bid to keep it from disrupting her peers.
Lucy developed her skills throughout her teenage years, when she was inspired to read the words of Homer, Livy and Virgil. These formative years also saw her develop her other great passion of music, where she hardly through the self into several years of misbehaving and playing bass guitar in unsuitable rock bands.
She widened her literary horizons through the works of Terry Pratchett, Oscar Wilde and Flann O’Brien – the latter of which remains to this day her favourite writer.
Lucy develop a penchant for the unusual and the absurd, something which was exacerbated by her time serving in the Police where the many varied experiences and characters she met had a profound effect on her outlook on life.
After seven years on the front line and driven by fascination with Inspector Morse, on a whim Lucy applied for the job of Deputy Head Porter at one of the foremost colleges of Cambridge University. To her great surprise, and that of many others at the time, she landed a role as the first female to don the iconic bowler hat in the college’s six hundred year history.
Having left formal education at the tender age of sixteen with little to show for it, being thrown amongst the academic elite was something of an eye opener. Documenting the quirks and fables of College life on social media, Lucy was soon persuaded to start a blog – Secret Diary Of PorterGirl. Acutely aware of the dim view taken by College officials of any slight upon their reputation, she wrote anonymously and in such a way as to disguise the true identity of the now notorious Old College.
However, being quite possibly the worst Deputy Head Porter of all time made her decide to hang up her bowler hat and peruse her dream of becoming a writer. Lucy considers this is the best decision she has ever made.
In December 2015 Lucy signed with Kensington Gore Publishing and Secret Diary Of PorterGirl was rewritten and republished in the summer of 2016 as PotrterGirl The First Lady Of The Keys.
Kensington Gore Publishing see this book and others to follow a great glimpse into the unique world of college life. A world that never seems to change, more evolve into a world of its own.
Lucy Brazier’s books are works of fiction but are really inspired by her time as a very square peg in an antiquated round hole – a world of tradition, farce, mystery and secrets.
PorterGirl The First Lady Of The Keys is thrilling, fast paced, at times witty at times irreverent laugh out loud funny.