Saturday, March 23, 2013

Interview With Author of The Love Programme - Zanna Mackenzie

Hi Zanna! Thank’s so much for being a part of The Cavanaugh Connection! It’s so good to have you!

Please, tell the readers a little more about yourself and how you knew you wanted to be a writer!

So you knew you wanted to write, but what was the catalyst that made you decide to actually do it?

I know a lot of people who have the passion, but not the drive, or the self-doubt is too great.
I always wanted to write but thought I wanted to be a journalist! I wrote articles for various publications then thought I’d try my hand at fiction, beginning with short stories. After a while I just naturally progressed to writing a novel, I have ideas for plot and characters forming in my head so I started writing the book. Things took off from there!

Wow. Seems like you had a lot of experience behind you! And I know what you mean about the ideas, I always think of titles or characters, then have to figure out where they all belong! What has been your greatest obstacle to overcome?
Confidence, definitely.
Yeah. Somehow it seems as writers, we always feel more exposed than any other profession. How did you overcome it?
Just by the sheer desire to write. I’ve had times when things were going badly with my writing and I lost conviction, confidence, etc but after a period of time I’d always find myself starting to get the urge to return to writing, it’s just something I love to do, so I had to get on with it!

Good for you! And it looks as though you've got yourself on track. If your life were a movie, who would you want to play you?
Oooh, tricky… I’ve always fancied having long curly red hair and being a bit bohemian so I’d probably choose the actress Maria Thayer

Can you tell me a little bit about the first project you ever completed?
It was originally called – rather bizarrely! -Wishing for Wellies (as in Wellington boots!) and was set on a smallholding in the English Lake District, I got some brilliant feedback on it (despite the title) and it spurred me on to write my second and third books both of which have just been published.

Haha! That sounds fabulous! Now what about your novel The Love Programme, Where did you get the inspiration for this?

Two different ideas came together to create The Love Programme. I watched one of those American reality TV shows where the girl gets to go and stay in a glamorous location and be wooed by potential suitors and thought a variation on this theme could be a great concept for a novel. With The Love Programme, the girl, Lucy, gets to work out about relationships and her attitude to them and what she really wants romance-wise with the TV programme’s psychologist and she discovers a lot about herself in the process! The second idea came from another TV programme set in Scotland called Monarch of the Glen which was a comedy drama romance set in a castle in the gorgeous Scottish Highlands. In my book Lucy gets to stay in a five star castle on a private estate in Scotland whilst filming The Love Programme TV series!

Ooooh. Sounds charming! Can you describe The Love Programme in 10 words or less?
Ooh, another tricky one. I’d say:  “Learning all about love and life– set in a castle!”
Where can readers go in order to get their very own copy?
You can find it on Amazon, across the network, these are the links for:
How long did it take you to write it? Would you say it was in the average of how long it takes you to finish a book?
I honestly can’t remember. The Love Programme was first written a few years ago, then it sat on the ‘back burner’ for ages whilst I gave writing a break for a while. It has since been seriously edited and revamped and became the book it is today.  I usually take about five months to do a first draft of a book, then the editing, editing and more yet more editing starts in earnest.

I know what you mean about back burner... I think all writers have "back burner books"! Ah yes... all that pesky editing! What’s your favorite thing you’ve written?
I heard an author say that the book she was currently writing was always her favourite and I would have to agree with that.

Very diplomatic answer. ;) Do you have any other books out that readers can look for? If so, where can we find it?

Yes, How Do You Spell Love? has just been published by Crooked Cat. I love books with a magical element to them and I have studied herbalism, crystal healing and aromatherapy myself so I felt the urge to write a book incorporating these things but I didn’t want to go too heavy on this aspect, I wanted the book to be primarily a contemporary romance with some comedy, mystery and magic thrown into the mix – hence the birth of How Do you Spell Love!
You can find it on Amazon: 

Enchanting! Your books sound like they are right up my alley! What are you working on now? Or is it top secret?
I’m working on 2 books at the moment. I’ve completed the first draft of ‘book 4’ the tale of a very complicated romance set in the English Peak District and am now editing it. I’m also writing ‘book 5’ which has a hero struggling with being famous.

Wow. Yeah, I have several projects in the works! It's tough doing the balancing act sometimes! If you could go back and change one thing you did in your writing career what would it be?
I’d still take on as much advice and feedback as I could about writing and about my work but I’d be sure to also listen to myself and my gut instinct on my writing as well.

 Right! You can't make everyone  happy, so you might as well as make sure that you,  as the writer, are happy with what you have finished. At the end of the day it's your name going on the book! If you could have lunch with any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Can I only choose one person? Can’t I have a little dinner party?

Hmmm... I suppose, but shhh... don't tell it was okay! ;)

People I admire include the author Katie Fforde who has offered some great words of encouragement to me via the Romantic Novelist Association’s New Writers Scheme which I was in a few years back. There are a few TV presenters I’d love to meet too including the effervescent Kate Humble, who always seems so bubbly and down to earth standing in the middle of a farmyard on live TV dressed in jeans, fleece and wellies, and also Iain Stewart, the sexy geologist who makes rocks and landscape very interesting TV viewing, especially with that lovely Scottish accent of his.
As a writer, I’m sure you’re also a reader! What is your favorite genre to read?
It always used to be modern chicklit but in recent times I’ve been tempted in to reading a wider variety of genres including romantic suspense, thrillers, Mills & Boon and crime.
Who are some of your favorite authors?

There are lots but the main ones who spring to mind are Christina Jones, Jill Mansell, Nell Dixon, Sophie Kinsella and Nicholas Sparks.
Have you made any connections yet through one form of social media or another, where you got to have even a quick exchange with an author who you look up to or has inspired you?
Yes, loads, and I’m still in awe of how nice they all are! As a new writer on the scene I feel like I’m a bit of a fraud and don’t really belong in these writing groups and forums amongst such fantastic established authors!

Haha! Yes! I had my first OMG moment last week with paranormal romance author, Amanda Ashley! I thought i was going to die! Thanks again so much for being here Zanna! Is there anything else you want to add before we say goodbye?
Just thanks for letting me be here!

Where can readers keep up with you? (You can include links to blogs, websites, twitter, FB profile, FB fan page, Goodreads, etc.)

Amazon Author Page
Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

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