January 3rd, 2020 (Happy Happy New Year!!)
I asked Lydia where she would like to talk:
Outside, the long limbs of the trees scratch at the windows, flowered fingers rain blossom upon the forest floor. The air is chilled, almost frigid, but inside the fire burns hot and welcoming.
The scent of woodsmoke and Cinna drift around the inn, and candles dance upon aged tabletops, as if dancing to the tune of the panpipes. Mugs overflowing with mulled cider sit in front of us, placed with a wink by the waitress in a dress hewn from sunlight. Her hooves click against the stone as she walks away.
Laura Mae sits opposite me, waiting, a knowing smile on her lips. Just like me, she knows better than to touch the offerings of faeries.
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Lydia Russell: I have always loved books, they have been a huge comfort to me at a time when I was incredibly alone and lost. I wanted so much to be part of the worlds I read about, so the second best thing for me to do, was to create my own world.
LM: What are you currently working on?
LR: I am currently working on the sequel to my first book, Darling, there are wolves in the woods. A story of lost sisters and deep dark wood, it is a love story at its heart, and I cannot wait to share the second book with everyone.
LM: How long have you been writing for?
LR: I have been writing since I was very young, then dabbled in some bad poetry when I was a teenager. My current book has taken me about ten years to write.
LM: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
LR: Holly Black has always been a huge inspiration to me, I have loved her work for many years. I love reading fairytales, and have always preferred the darker side of faeries which Holly Black has written about to perfection. I could list so many books that have been a huge inspiration to me, but the entire world of Narnia has to top them all.
LM: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?
LR: Oh, my favourite writing trope is enemies to lovers. My least favourite is love triangles…big nope for me.
LM: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
LR: Aside from finding time to write in between my day job and family, the most challenging aspect must be marketing. As an indie author, it is fantastic to be in control of my book, but also getting the sales and advertising right is an uphill battle. Though I have learnt so much already in the short time I have been published.
LM: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
LR: I love reading, I carry a book everywhere. Books aside, I love spending time at the beach with my family, we go down nearly every evening in the summer and its magical. I do usually have a book with me…
LM: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
LR: I don’t have any regrets towards my writing, but I wish I had known more about marketing and how to create e-mail lists. It would have saved me a lot of time and headaches.
LM: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
LR: My absolute favourite book has to be A court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. The whole trilogy is something I could reread over and over…but they way Mist and Fury focuses on love and loss and friendship, just sings to me.
LM: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
LR: I chose to self-publish my books. My experience so far has been incredibly positive and I definitely feel I have made the right choice for me.
LM: What genre do you read?
LR: I read mostly Fantasy, and I always prefer to have romance in the books I read. What is life without romance? Though I do read a little horror now and again, but only with the lights on.
LM: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
LR: On an average writing day, I sit down with my coffee, pop on my playlist and write until its time to do the school run. I only get up to make more coffee, perhaps some toast, but like to stay huddled over my desk until my fingers cramp up. After the kids are in bed, and I’ve eaten a real meal, I spark my laptop up and answer emails, update social media, and then work on a few more chapters.
LM: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
LR: I would have to say Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier has to be my favourite literary character. Her journey is heart-breaking and the inner strength her character shows throughout the book is just tremendous. A close second would have to be Jane Eyre.
LM: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
LR: I have my own playlist for when i’m working. I listen to a lot of Evanescence, Amy Lee is my muse and I don’t think I can write without her beautiful voice playing in the background.
LM: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
LR: I don’t like the word Chillax….chill and relax mean the same thing, so bringing both words together doesn’t achieve anything.
LM: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
LR: Most of my inspiration comes from fairy-tales, stories where faeries are wicked and cunning and shouldn’t be trusted. The woodlands I grew up near are also a huge part of my what inspired my books, i spend countless hours exploring them with my brothers looking for beasties.
LM: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
LR: It’s a cliche, I know, but the best thing any aspiring writer can do is write and then write some more. It doesn’t have to be good, it just needs to be written. Read everything, always have a book at hand. Get loads of notebooks and never, ever throw your writings away. Just keep writing.
Lydia Russell grew up on a farm deep in the Dorset countryside alongside her three brothers, using the fields and woodland as their playground.As an adult with two young children, she has used the memories of the wild woods of her youth to write the first book in a planned trilogy, Darling, there are wolves in the woods.A tale of lost sisters, whispering trees and dark romance.
You can find Lydia on Twitter, Instagram and her website.
Darling, There Are Wolves in the Woods – The woods are dark and wicked, and perhaps some things would be better off staying lost… Teya Jenkins is ten years old when her sister is taken. Niven is never found, because no one knows where to look. No one but Teya that is, who heard the whispers of the trees and saw the beautiful creatures that dwelled in the shadows. It is only after another tragedy, years later, that Teya finally dares to enter the forest that haunts her dreams, determined to bring home her sister and mend the fractured remains of her family. But someone lingers in the shadows, tempting her away with veiled promises of the thing she’s always longed for….to belong somewhere. Tangled up in the lives of the creatures that stole her sister, Teya risks everything to bring Niven home. In a world of extraordinary monsters, Teya finds herself fighting for not only her life, and for her sister, but also for her heart.
Buy it here!