Alice has landed her dream job, searching the Misterley Manor archives for tales of the elusive Gilbert Fox-Travers – life should be perfect, if only she could untangle her complicated love life…
Caroline is desperately trying to keep Misterley from falling down around her ears, and it’s a tough enough job without throwing a stroppy teenager, a difficult ex-husband and a cantankerous father into the mix.
When disaster strikes, Caroline and her family must pull together to save her beloved family home…Can Alice uncover the mystery of Gilbert Fox-Travers in time to save the Manor?
Delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for The Manor on the Moors by Liz Taylorson and the author has dropped by to tell us a little about how she came to write this particular book. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on to the tour and to the author for talking to me today.
The road to “The Manor on the Moors”
“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer. I still remember the excitement of being given a new notebook as a young girl because all those blank pages meant that I could start writing a new story. My writing was very heavily influenced by what I had been reading. I read Daphne Du Maurier and wrote historical stories or I read “The Lord of the Rings” and wrote fantasy – but always at the heart of these fictions was a love story, usually featuring a thinly disguised version of me!
In my twenties I tried more seriously to write novels but I had a problem with finishing them. I’ve got about three unfinished romantic novels somewhere in a shoebox – and one of them might get unearthed and rewritten one day – but then real life intervened and instead of writing myself as the heroine of a romantic novel I actually fell in love, got married and had children, and then had no time for anything else. It was only when the children got older and less dependent on me that I found I had the time (and the energy) to write again.
And this time I knew this was it. If I wanted to achieve my life-long dream to “be a writer” I had to do it now and do it properly. So, I set about writing another novel and this time I made sure I finished it, which felt like a major achievement. I also joined the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme so that I could get some help with what to do next. I submitted my manuscript, so lovingly and carefully created, for appraisal, and that’s when I had one of the hardest tests of my writing life to date. Because it isn’t enough just to finish – there’s a lot more to it than that, as my manuscript appraisal revealed. You can’t just write what you want, if you want commercial publication – you have to write what other people want to read, and I hadn’t done that. I had a lot of work still to do.
This is where the hard work began. I did courses, I read books, I took advice, I learnt more about the craft of writing. And finally I wrote a novel that was good enough to be published – the lovely people at Manatee Books liked my slightly awkward heroine as much as I did, and there I was with my first novel in my hand. Now, that was great. But as soon as the first novel was finished, I had to come up with another idea to follow it, and, as any published writer will tell you, that second novel is HARD.
You feel that you have to write something BETTER than the first novel – and yet you’ve spent years perfecting and polishing novel one. It has to be similar to novel one – now is not the time to switch genre – but not too similar to be repetitive. “The Manor on the Moors” went through, I think, five complete rewrites as I tried to get it perfect! But with a second novel, there is more help. There’s an editor, for a start, to help you develop and polish the story, and by now I had writing friends to turn to with dilemmas that needed advice.
I feel like I’ve travelled a long way from those early days scribbling stories in notebooks and dreaming of being a writer. However one thing remains constant – I’m still writing love stories (though these days the heroine is only very occasionally based on me …), and in the case of “The Manor on the Moors” there are three love stories for the price of one!”
Thank you, Liz, for sharing your writing story with me today. It is so nice to see someone having success ahead on the same path I am currently treading with my writing!
If you would like to get your own copy of The Manor on the Moors, you can buy a copy here.
If you would like to read some reviews of the book and other great content, make sure you follow the blog tour below:
About the Author
Liz has always surrounded herself with books.
As a child, she was always to be found with her head in one and she still has a bookcase full of her childhood favourites to this day. (As a thirteen-year-old she read The Lord of the Rings twelve times in a row, cover to cover!) All this reading led, unsurprisingly, to a degree in English Literature, (and another book-case full of books) and then a job as a cataloguer of early printed books for a major university library. This meant spending hours sitting in a beautiful, ancient building looking at antique leather-bound tomes – although as so many of them turned out to be rather boring volumes of sermons she wasn’t tempted to read them! She went on to train others to catalogue books and her earliest attempts at writing anything as an adult consisted of instructions on how to work out the correct form of an author’s name to use in a library catalogue.
Children (and then cats and chickens) interrupted her bibliographic career, and having given up library work Liz found herself doing more reading, and increasingly she found herself enjoying novels by writers like Trisha Ashley, Katie Fforde, Milly Johnson and Lucy Diamond. Inspired by their example, she started writing fiction and hasn’t stopped since, joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s wonderful New Writers’ Scheme to try to learn how to write novels properly in 2015. She has also attempted writing some short stories, with one The Second Princess winning a competition in Writing Magazine which led her to think that maybe publication wasn’t a pipe dream after all.
Liz owes everything to her tolerant and long-suffering husband Ben and her tolerant and long-suffering children, but very little to the cats who are neither tolerant nor long-suffering and keep sitting on the computer keyboard and messing up her manuscript if she forgets to feed them on time.
When not reading or writing Liz is often to be found on stage (or behind it) with her local amateur dramatic society, drinking tea, or visiting one of the several North Yorkshire seaside villages which were the inspiration for the fictional Rawscar, the setting for her debut novel The Little Church by the Sea.
Connect with Liz: