Monday, July 8, 2013

Guest Blogger: Aoife Brennan

Welcome my guest Aofe Brennan to my blog today.


Lizzy
Please tell us about your latest book.


Aoife Brennan
It’s my debut novel but it’s really good, even my mum says so lol. It is called The Cougar Diaries; Part I. Parts

II & III are in the works. I have also written The Prequel which I am hoping to giveaway as much as possible - just so you can get a feeling of my writing.


I started off writing a non fiction book about divorce which suddenly segued into fiction - so I took all I knew about dating again and fictionalized it. What a hoot! I am the author of my own destiny now - I am writing the ending. So I can lead my main character through the valley of death, despair and trouble, but I am giving her a fabulous ending!



Oh the power of the pen!

So, when possessions depart – and bravery enters by the main door – then it is time to write!


Lizzy
What can we expect from you in the future?


Aoife Brennan
Book Two very soon and book three by the end of the year


Lizzy
How do we find out about you and your books?


Aoife Brennan
Well, I blog at http://thecougardiariesireland.wordpress.com


Lizzy
Why did you decide to write romance novels?


Aoife Brennan
I didn’t! My non fiction work segued into fiction and there was no stopping me!


Lizzy
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?


Aoife Brennan
I have to say 100percent. I have taken my life, if I was in bonk buster, and squeezed it through the fiction
mill. I’m loving it!


Lizzy
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?


Aoife Brennan
I have always wanted to write but I was too busy, well just living. Finally, when I hit my forties, I suddenly
realized I hadn’t written my books. I thought of Keats and went  - feck (polite Irish version of the F word). He was 24 when he died, I was 42 went I started writing.


Lizzy
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?


Aoife Brennan
My first children’s book, of around 40k words, took two weeks. My next, visceral novel, four years, then The Cougar Diaries took me about four months. I’m flying through book two now. A beta reader informs me I am growing in maturity and style. I love her! Lol


Lizzy
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?


Aoife Brennan
I am very busy but also unemployed. I write whenever I am not doing Mum-stuff or whatever. I am
constantly thinking about writing as I shop, meet friends or clean my house (only I never clean my house as I
am writing lol)


Lizzy
What is your writing routine once you start a book?


Aoife Brennan
I’m a full time single parent, that once had a business which collapsed in the recession in Ireland, so I I just
write whenever I’m not being a mum.


Lizzy
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant
interruptions?


Aoife Brennan
My kids wonder. They had read book one and while they think it ‘awesome’ their words not mine, they worry that I can support us by writing. That is natural and quite realistic.  I am consumed by my books which
worries them a bit. They would like more security of tenure and so would I to be honest.


Lizzy
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?


Aoife Brennan
I walk. I walk most days. On the road or on a treadmill. My brain sorts stuff out then.


Lizzy
What truly motivates you in general?  In your writing?


Aoife Brennan
I am consumed by writing. It has taken over my life. Everything I hear, do, say, feel or experience is all put
through my writing mill. I LOVE it.


Lizzy
Where do your ideas come from?


Aoife Brennan
A word or a phrase will start me off. Recently I was watching TV in a pub with friends and it was featuring
the start of the National Hunt Racing (over fences). A horse would not load so the helpers took him out and
tried to quiet him, get the jockey on board and both into the starting gate. There was such a palaver that my
friend said that horse was doomed, yet he won the race. But what stuck in my mind were all the helpers at
the gate. They were all wearing blue helmets in line with modern health and safety rules, despite being on the
ground. They reminded me of …smurfs. So I feel a blog coming on.


Lizzy
Do you feel humour is important in The Cougar Diaries, Part I__put your genre here comic erotica and why?


Aoife Brennan
Humour is key to my writing. I did not set out to write a funny book but it just happened. I also know the
value of humour and laughter. Sometimes on a really crummy day, a laugh will lift the mood. We are all only
one degree from a good belly laugh!


Lizzy
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?


Aoife Brennan
The first love scene I was going to write totally threw me. I stopped writing for three weeks. Then I took my
laptop into the bedroom and started writing. Once I started I could not stop.


Lizzy

What kind of research do you do?


Aoife Brennan
Lol that would be telling…


Lizzy
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?


Aoife Brennan
I already write in many different genres, but I really want to write a book my mum will enjoy. She enjoyed by
sex book but she knows I have better books to write, and so do I.


Lizzy
What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend  think of your writing?


Aoife Brennan
I’m single but my kids think my writing is good, but they just wish it was not me writing saucy stuff. I don’t
blame them


Lizzy
Do you ever ask him/her for advice?


Aoife Brennan
No, but in my first book my eldest child spotted a physically impossible move in a sex scene. That was funny. I laughed so hard.


Lizzy
Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)


Aoife Brennan
I have a masters degree from Trinity College Dublin. I ride horses, sing in a choir, go out with friends and do
a lot of volunteer work. I am also a latent activist on the issue of debt and suicide in Ireland.


Lizzy
Fill in the blank favorites - Dessert. City. Season. Type of hero. Type of heroine.


Aoife Brennan
Apple pie
Dublin
Summer – if we get one
Strong
Strong


Lizzy
What are some of your favorite things to do?


Aoife Brennan
Write, write, write. I also like to read, to ride my horse, to sing, to laugh and to go out with my pals


Lizzy
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?


Aoife Brennan
So many, Iris Murdoch, Cormac McCarthy, Iain Banks, William Trevor, Kevin Barry…
Atonement is my most favourite book


Lizzy
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?


Aoife Brennan
Many of them…


Lizzy
What do you think of critique groups in general?


Aoife Brennan
Hey, it makes sense


Lizzy
Where do you see yourself in five years?


Aoife Brennan
In Portugal in a beach hut writing …


Lizzy
How many books have you written, how many have been published?


Aoife Brennan
Im fully self published to date but I now have two agents and one independent publisher talking to me…

happy days…


Lizzy
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?


Aoife Brennan
Yes and I still love it!


Lizzy
Among your own books, have you a favorite book?  Favorite hero or heroine?


Aoife Brennan
Mr Darcy and and Erica Jong in Fear of Flying. Daft I know


Lizzy
What book for you has been the easiest to write?  The hardest?  The most fun?


Aoife Brennan
My current Cougar books are consuming me. I’m so excited and hope readers will be too.


Lizzy
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?


Aoife Brennan
I can’t tell you – I’m consumed when I write


Lizzy
What are the elements of a great romance for you?


Aoife Brennan
Stickability… is it real?


Lizzy
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?


Aoife Brennan
The hardest part is that it is part of my life, actually the centre of it. So everything else is secondary. My kids
don’t understand (great kids but I understand their not understanding)


Lizzy
Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?


Aoife Brennan
Not often but a walk is the best thing


Lizzy
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?


Aoife Brennan
Re reading some copy I had written and going … feck that it great. Only topped by someone saying the
same…but I knew it first.


Lizzy
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?


Aoife Brennan
I would be dead. I am not being dramatic. My life took a nose dive in the last five years and I lost my home,
business and husband. The last was a great freedom, but it brought with it huge stresses. I can honestly say if
I did not write, I would be dead. I am very lucky,


Lizzy
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?


Aoife Brennan
Live, breath, believe ….xxx

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