Interview with Lizel Harvey

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Fans are what makes my stories live, without fans my books would stay on the shelves and become dusty and forgotten. Fans can make or break an author.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Tom Clancy. Diana Gabaldon, Ken Follet, and the millions of Romance authors that I have read over the years. - Too many to remember all the names but their stories lingered long after I forgot who wrote them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. I have an amazing husband and three children who keep me on my toes. I also have an amazing job with wonderful people to work with each day so life is never boring.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love reading. I am not crazy about sad or intense books as I tend to hold on to them for too long after, so I usually escape into a light Romance or a Historical Romance or even a good old fashioned murder and mayhem novel. Life is hard enough without escaping into a book full of horror and sadness. (My feelings anyway)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do, it is a story that remains unfinished....but who knows, maybe one day I will resurrect it.
What is your writing process?
I lock myself away and write as much as possible. I try not to edit too much or talk about my story line until the full quota I have set out to do has been written, then the editing starts...and that is a process on its own!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There are a few, but one in particular that has alway remained with me was The Promise by Danielle Steele. I am not sure if it is because I read it when I was a teen or because of the story itself but I have always remembered the tragedy and the hurt when the two lovers were so cruelly separated. Two other books that have impacted me were Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna. These are two stories I would highly recommend any parent to read to their children, they are wonderfully uplifting and inspiring.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The entire series of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, purely because I went through something very difficult and when I opened the books I became completely submerged in the amazing adventure of two incredibly passionate and inspiring people. I loved how she grew her characters and how the relationship changes over each book. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet - I loved the historical aspect and the curse at the beginning and how everything turned a full circle at the end and tied up nicely. Hectic but a wonderful read.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Well, in all honesty, I still love the feel of a book BUT I am terrible in that I have collected almost every book I ever enjoyed (and that accounted to many, many, many boxes of books over the years. My husband (in his wisdom) offered me unlimited books if I would agree to switch to a Kindle. With great reluctance, I agreed to sell, donate and part with my family of books that I had collected from when I was about fifteen years old and in return, I was gifted with a Kindle. He has since upgraded me to a Paperwhite but I have hung on to my original Kindle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Africa in the 1980's and had a wonderful childhood. We had a large and varied family and when I left school I travelled to Europe where I fell in love with Italy and history and the architecture. South Africa has its share of wonderful places. I am from Kwa Zulu Natal which borders Zululand and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, home of the White Rhino and the Big 5. Having such glorious nature and wonderful people at my fingertips was sure to send me into a frenzy of writing. I have always written but never been brave enough to share before now.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My story is completely made up BUT the idea came from a 'what if' question. I knew someone who had been in a bad relationship, she had always said that if ever she and her partner were to separate, she would travel back to the one country in the world that she had fallen in love with - Austria. She had also had a brief romance while there, but as life is, she never did go back and her path went in a completely different direction. I started my story with a - 'but what if she had gone back?" and that was how Lissa and Roberto were born.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Fear and a little impatience! All the rules and things that I needed to do to send my manuscript proved much harder than actually writing and editing the book. I worked my nerves into a tight bundle that eventually I thought: "Why not?" I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The whole process had been terrifying and I think I would prefer to submit traditionally the second time around, but who knows what will happen.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is when a complete stranger remarks on how much they loved my story line or Fabri (the little boy in my story) or the descriptions of Italy. I feel a little thrill of excitement because it is almost like giving birth to a child. I am a proud mama!
What are you working on next?
I am actually working on two projects. One is Laura's story (best friend of Lissa in Love Rekindled) and the other is a little different - it is a historical romance, not something I am used to writing and lots of research involved.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I google the genre or read reviews of people who have enjoyed certain books that pop up when I am looking through the store.
Published 2017-09-12.
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