Lynda Renham is famous for her romantic comedy novels. She has been called A Comedian in a Book, Chicklit Royalty and A Comic Genius. Her writing style has been likened to Sophie Kinsella but is refreshingly down to earth with characters that become your friends. Lynda is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.
Lynda lives in Oxfordshire with her second husband and cat. Her web page: http://www.renham.co.uk and Twitter: @lyndarenham
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I can’t really remember. I’ve just always wanted to tell stories. I think boredom during school lessons was a great motivation for me. I wrote my own soap opera during one term. I titled it ‘The Happenings in Beechwood.’ I filled six exercise books until my teacher caught me writing under the desk. My parents were called into the school and my notebooks handed over. It didn’t stop me and I was writing again within a few weeks.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Oh dear, this is a bit embarrassing. The following is it but I’m not sure you’d call it structure.
I usually go into my writing room which is called The Beach Hut at about nine. I had it specially designed. I love it. I light candles and sit down to write except I somehow find myself (unwillingly I have to tell you) on Facebook and Twitter. Then my fingers seem to stroll towards You Tube and before I know where I am it really is time for lunch. I normally have a break at lunch time (yes I know, a break from what you ask?) I then spend some time with my cat and finally start writing.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Yes, yes and yes. I think most writers do although many say they don’t. I hate it. I spend a lot of time in the fridge at those times and an awful lot of food goes into my mouth. It’s not a good time at all. Although if I’m honest an awful lot of food goes into my mouth whether I have writers block or not. Thankfully my writers block seems to go if I push on with my writing.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I’m certainly not a plotter. I don’t do post it and stuff. I’d lose them all knowing me. I tend to have a vague idea what I’m going to do, however, and jot a few notes in a notebook so I guess I have to say I am a punster. I’m rather slap dash but it works well for me. However, I doubt my working pattern would suit others.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? This is a complicated question for me and one I have difficulty answering. I’m with a small independent publisher which came out of self-publishing who is partnered with a larger company who handles my paperback distribution. I have an agent and had a traditional publisher interested in my work. After a long discussion with my agent I have decided not to go ahead with them. The difficulty for me with traditional publishing is the time line and many seem to slash the prices to compete with other low priced books. I’m not happy to do that. That’s not to say I wouldn’t consider it in the future It’s hard to advise other writers because everyone’s goal is different. I think gaining an agent and publisher at present is very hard which leaves self-publishing as the only route. But there are many digital publishers. Again I’m not happy to use them as my ambition is to get more books on shelves.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Being head-hunted by an agent. That was a nice feeling indeed.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. I’d love to share my new novel with you which is released on July 28th. It’s titled ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ and here is the blurb
Roxie Brown loves erotica and her friend, Sylvie, loves crime … novels of course. On a girls’ night out they meet the Great Zehilda, the tea leaf reader, and suddenly Roxie’s Fifty Shades fantasies about her millionaire boss, Ark Morgan, look about to become a reality. But then she looks through the telescope and her life is turned upside down. Roxie and Sylvie, with help from Sylvie’s flatmate, Felix, set out to crack the case. Can Ark Morgan save her or is he the man she should be running from? Then enter Sam Lockwood and her heart is shot with another arrow. Come with Roxie Brown on her hilarious crime-busting romantic adventure and discover if the love of her life is the man of her dreams or if the man she loves is her worst nightmare.’
I also have my previous bestseller on sale for 99p as a special offer to celebrate the release of my new novel. It’s titled ‘Croissants and Jam’ It’s a fun romantic comedy.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? I would say they are targeted at 25-55 but I know all age groups read them. The genre is romantic comedy.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Ooh, I like these questions. I love reading, especially philosophy type books. I also enjoy walking. Since I got a Fitbit I’ve gone a bit crazy about walking. I’m also learning to play the piano. I like pottering in my garden and petting my cat.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) The best thing to do is set up a blog. I believe it is important that readers can find you and secondly you need to have a presence on social network sites. I answer every email or message I get. It is enjoyable for me to interact with my readers. Marketing is not something I am good at. I really only use social networking and ask people to feature me on their blogs. As you have so kindly done today, thank you so much Sophie.
11.How long on average does it take you to write a book? Decisions, decisions. I’ll go for the fifth one. It takes me about four to five months to write a book and then about four weeks to do the edits. They are the hardest four-five months ever though. There is no break. I work in the evenings, bouncing ideas off my husband and weekends going over the book and checking all is okay.
Facebook author page
Amazon link to ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’
Croissants and Jam