Wednesday, 22 May 2013

An Interview With Author Zanna Mackenzie

I'm pleased to welcome Zanna Mackenzie to my blog today. Zanna lives in the UK with her husband, four dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!

Zanna has written two novels, The Love Programme(Astraea Press) and How Do You Spell Love? (Crooked Cat Publishing - see info on this novel below) and both were published in early 2013.

Tell us a bit about your writing – How long have you been writing? How many books have you written and in what genres?
I’ve written or made up stories most of life really. I used to think I was going a bit nuts but then spoke to other writers and discovered that we all have characters from our novels having arguments or doing romantic scenes in our heads! I’ve written four books so far. Book 1 is currently being revamped with a view to trying it with publishers. Book 2 The Love Programme was published by Astraea Press in Feb 2013. Book 3 How Do You Spell Love? was published by Crooked Cat publishing in March 2013. Book 4 is written but currently being edited.
Where is your favourite spot in which to write?

I prefer to write with pen and paper most of the time, it just gives me a break from the computer and my current favourite spot is the sunroom on the back of our house. My husband built it last winter with help from my dad, and me assisting where I could! It was built as a utility space where we can leave coats and boots and dry off wet dogs after walks but with the advent of some spring weather (at last!) it has rapidly become home to a comfy chair and is now referred to, rather grandly(!), as the sun room.
Do you ever get part way through writing a book and find the characters are leading the story off in a different direction to how you had envisaged?

Always! I was a bit worried by this at first and thought it meant I hadn’t thought and planned the novel thoroughly enough. Now I know that this is a fairly normal occurrence for most writers.
Is there such a thing as an average writing day for you and if so what is it?

Not really no. I’m self-employed and my day job is editor for several business publications for a chamber of commerce so that work comes first as it pays the bills. Depending on workload for the day job if I have time I then do some promo work for my two published novels and then, hopefully, some writing or editing on my current work in progress novels. I try to make Fridays my full writing day when I ignore everything else and just lose myself in writing or editing my next books.
How do you create the characters in your books?

They just evolve in my head. I have an idea of the type of person I want for my book, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and this shapes them the most. Then I choose a zodiac/star sign which suits them (for this I always use a great book written specially for writers creating characters and wanting personality info for star signs) and this shapes them a bit more. Then I ‘interview’ the characters about their car, home, clothes, family, education etc. and eventually end up with a full bio for each character – it’s great fun!
What is your favourite book of all time?

This varies depending on which books I have just read. My favourites from books I have read so far in 2013 (not books published in 2013 though) are:
Martina Reilly – Even Better Than The Real Thing
Roisin Meaney – One Summer
Mhairi McFarlane – You Had Me At Hello.
I gave five star reviews to each of these on Goodreads. If you’d like to know more about the books and my thoughts on them visit Goodreads.
7. Biggest myth about being a novelist?

That it is easy! It isn’t at all. It’s demanding, very time consuming – planning, writing, editing, promoting – but I love it.
Book: How Do You Spell Love?
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
Published on: March 1st 2013
Genre: Chicklit/rom com with magical theme
Book blurb:

Make A Wish…

Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?

Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.
When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.
Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.
Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.
Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…

Main buy links for book:
*Crooked Cat Publishing
*Amazon UK
*Amazon USA

Follow Links:
Find out more about Zanna at:
Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie
Facebook: mackenzie





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