I am over the moon to be bringing you an interview with the author of Live to Tell, Livian Grey. Let’s see the synopsis before we learn about Livian…
While on tour promoting his latest book, writer Stephen Brooks encounters Jacinta Collins, a young woman from his past who has an idea for his next project: An exposé on her recently deceased father. Jacinta reveals her father was a member of a cult named The Brotherhood of Karden, who was involved in the disappearances of several children.
Refusing initially, Stephen eventually decides to help Jacinta with her personal investigation into her father, and this leaves him open to threats from Renata Williams, a twisted woman with a dark and disturbing history. Desperate to protect his wife and daughter, but burdened with the guilt of knowing Jacinta’s secrets, Stephen must now decide how involved he wants to become in bringing Renata to justice, and if the chance to write another best seller is worth risking his daughter’s innocence, and his life.
Rambling Lisa: Where did your inspiration for Live to Tell come from?
Livian Grey: Originally it was just centered around a girl asking an author to write a damning tell-all on her father to expose his criminal activities. I struggled to get anywhere with it, so it wasn’t until I saw Girl On The Train I was suddenly inspired to finish the story. The tone of the film and the narrative really sparked my inspiration, but I was at the movies with a friend so I had to wait to get home! I wanted it to be in the style of shows like True Detective and some of the British crime dramas that my dad really loves.
RL: Who is your favourite character and why?
LG: Jacinta would have to be my favourite character. She’s strong and decent, while not expecting anyone to swoop in and save her. I kept out of her head so she had more mystery around her.
RL: If you could sum up Live to Tell in one word what would it be and why?
LG: Intriguing – when I’ve described the book and sent around my synopsis, it’s a word that’s popped up a lot.
RL: When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
LG: Around age 11 I was writing stories but it wasn’t until I was about 14 that I knew I wanted to be a writer.
RL: What is your writing process?
LG: Very haphazard! One story might just come from nothing and I’ll start and finish it without any planning, others I’ll take time to develop the plot, but as loosely as possible otherwise I paint myself into a corner. I’m not into character bibles, I’ll make some notes but my characters tend to tell me who they are, and they tend to run away from me anyway. I’ll make lots of random notes too when I’m out and about.
RL: Do you have a target of an amount of words or pages a day or do you just write for as long as the inspiration?
LG: Definitely all depends on the day, I don’t set targets but I don’t tend to do any less than a couple of thousand words in a day. I don’t write every day but I do edit and revise often. Whatever days I haven’t written I’m making up on the days I do get the chance. I’m very lucky I have a lot of free time to dedicate to my writing now.
RL: When writing your first draft do you use pen and paper or prefer using a computer and why?
LG: I might do notes and jot scenes down that are in my head that urgently need putting onto paper, but the first draft is always on computer. I definitely won’t thumb out entire pages on my phone, just quick notes.
RL: Do you have a favourite genre and if so what is it and what is your favourite format (ebook, audiobook, paperback, hardback..)
LG: I tend to lean towards fantasy/horror like Clive Barker, or Strange fiction like Chuck Palahniuk. Ever since I got my Kindle Fire I’ve been all about the ebooks. (I’ve also posted some books on Smashwords, so I’ve had to learn how to correctly format ebooks for SW to accept them for publication. If you search Livian Grey on Smashwords, you’ll find my free self-published titles. Live to Tell is actually my first traditional publication.)
RL: What is your favourite book of all time?
LG: Music for Torching by AM Homes.
RL: Have you any secret talents?
LG: Most people don’t know I’m a reasonably good singer, and I used to get karaoke requests.
RL: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
LG: There is so much advice out there right now, and not all of it will work for you. Some of it is really based on opinion, so if one method from one person works, and another person makes a suggestion that also works, then take it all. No one has the absolute right way to write, all your favourite authors have different methods and break rules of convention all the time. At least when it comes to your imagination and vision, there are no rules.
RL: Thank you so much for joining us today and best of luck with your writing.
LG: Thank you!
I’m 35 and currently living in Perth. I’ve been writing since I was eleven, first as a hobby, and now as therapy. I’m kind of addicted to words and more addicted to writing than anything else.
I’ll always write whether I’m famous or not. I want to give my readers something more cerebral than what’s out there right now.
Currently my latest novella, Live to Tell, is in production with Kellan Publishing. This will be my first adventure with a traditional publisher. I can’t wait to show you the results.