Interview with Liana Olive Quinn

Published 2014-01-23.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Nova Scotia, in a typical bungalow surrounded by a great forest. But more importantly I grew up in a time and place of freedom, when a kid rose in the morning, devoured breakfast and then set off for a day of adventure either with friends or by themselves. I spent many happy hours alone, exploring the great forest and its rivers, streams and lakes. I spied on lynxes, squirrels and the slow porcupine. I climbed trees, dug shallow caves in hill sides and paddled canoes far and wide.

This freedom to explore gave me the opportunity to capture life and transfer it onto paper. All my senses were alive: touch, smell, taste, sound and sight.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I felt I had something important to record. I didn't share with others until I felt these important things were written in a fashion they would be comprehended and enjoyed.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Gardening for Her Life" came to me one morning while digging in the dirt of my own garden. I recalled the pet cemetery I had when I was a young teen. Little crosses marked the burial of my beloved pets, and little rocks made circles around the disturbed soil. Each summer I planted annuals to add colour. It was my garden of pets.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is to take an idea, one that might seem simple at first, and twist it into something amazing and unexpected. Working with words and crafting them into memorable stories, ones I hope leave a lasting impression on readers is my goal.
What are you working on next?
Good question. I have several story ideas rolling around in my head. The one I'm exploring the most is about a family who moves into a long-abandoned farmhouse. Shortly after their arrival a servant girl appears to clean their home without expecting payment for her deeds. Because the single mother with three children is busy settling in and with life, she doesn't question they young girl's motives and allows her to work for free.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Inspiration to get out of bed comes in many forms. It might be the thought of my first sip of tea, the sunshine, a character racing around in my head, begging me to record their story, an outing that promises adventure...there are many reasons to rise and start the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I enjoy playing in the garden, sailing on the ocean, travelling, collecting sea shells, exploring caves, hiking through dense forest, painting rocks and going for long walks along the sea shore. In Nova Scotia you are seldom more than an hour or so away from the coast line, so regardless of where my head has spent the night, I can reach the ocean shortly after breakfast.
What is your writing process?
The first inkling of a story idea usually reveals itself unexpectedly. It might be reflected in the dew drop perched on a rose hip or exposed in the shadows of a moist cave. The idea gets planted in my head and for several days or months it rolls around and grows until it can no longer be contained. Then I pour it out on paper. The first draft is the most exciting, written so furiously that all time and space disappear. I often find myself with eyes closed, watching the events unfold then frantically writing to capture the scene. It's exhilarating and draining and the best feeling ever.

Once the story is recorded, I set it aside for a week or more, sometimes a year. When I return to it, I read it with fresh eyes, sometimes wondering who wrote it. In my excitement to capture every detail, my mind does not register the facts. It's as if the story went directly from the create cavern in the brain directly to my hand without further thought or acknowledgment.
If you had an endless tank of gas and an entire month free, where would you go?
Newfoundland. Specifically the western coastline which includes Gros Morne National Park. I'd explore the mountains, the coast line, the fjords by foot, by horseback and by boat. I would continue my journey to the northern tip of the province and visit the first Viking settlement in North America: L'anse aux Meadows. Then I'd take the ferry across Port au Choix to Quebec and enter Labrador where I'd travel until I reached the end of the road.
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Books by This Author

Gardening for Her Life
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,810. Language: Canadian English. Published: January 24, 2014 by Quarter Castle Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Margaret Saunders is a professional gardener who undertakes a personal interest in the lives of her clients. She retains knowledge of their favourite flowers, which plants trigger their allergies and what secrets they require to bury perpetually. When Ralph Burgess’ lover disappears, the citizens of East Pleasant Harbour point fingers. One however looks for a more down to earth solution.