Elizabeth and I have known one another for four years through membership of Exeter Writers. She is a constant source of amazement to me with her boundless enthusiasm for writing and stamina enough for three in all the writing and related enterprises in which she’s involved such as Chudleigh and Exeter Literary Festivals and myriad conferences and writers’ events.
Elizabeth, so glad you’ve made the time to tell us us about yourself and your writing… Educated as a scientist, I worked for more than thirty years as a pharmaceutical manufacturing consultant and technical writer. In 2006, I began writing creatively and in 2012, I gave up the day job to write full-time. I write both fiction and non-fiction. I am proud to be independently published.
What first inspired you to write? I was always good at English and loved crafting precise, well-formed sentences. During my first career, I wrote millions of words in the form of reports, training modules, articles and text books. But it was my huge stock of travel experiences that inspired me to start writing creatively. Even now, I tend to start from a location and work outwards to characters and a plot.
What was your first piece of creative writing? How old were you? I wrote a short story and a poem as part of a four-week competition in one of the Sunday newspapers, at the age of fourteen. I won a ten day holiday to France, Spain and Portugal as a result.
Which writers do you particularly admire? Fantasy writers Robert Jordan and Brendon Sanderson for their breadth of vision and complexity; Robert Macfarlane for beautiful prose; and Stephen King for every word he writes.
What do you love about writing? That moment when the characters take over and do something completely unexpected but, on reflection, completely appropriate.
What do you hate about writing? Staring at an empty page, waiting for the words to start flowing.
Describe your ‘portfolio’ of writing… In fiction, I have one stand-alone novel, GORGITO’S ICE RINK, which I describe as a tale of love, loss and broken promise; the Suzanne Jones trilogy of thrillers: COUNTERFEIT, DECEPTION and CORRUPTION, all set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals; and three collections of short stories (one of my own and two co-authored with a friend). In non-fiction, THE BUSINESS OF WRITING is a series on writing skills for authors. Parts 1-3 are about setting up and running a writing business; Part 4, which is due out this summer, is about Independent Publishing; and Part 5 will be a workbook associated with the series. I also have a few other oddments that I have published over the years, but this is my main portfolio.
What is your current project? On the non-fiction side, I’m editing Parts 4 and 5 of THE BUSINESS OF WRITING, ready for launching in the summer. On the fiction side, I am taking a year off to research the history of the Romanovs, in preparation for novel #5, a time-slip set in Russia, which I will start writing during November.
Anything you’d like to add? I’m really excited about being an author at this time in the industry’s history. Being an indie is no longer the route of last resort for authors who can’t get a traditional publisher or agent. It is a positive choice, a realistic option, and there are a number of highly successful authors out there who have gone down this path. I’m delighted to be following in their wake.
My website: http://elizabethducieauthor.co.uk/