I much enjoyed ‘bringing to life’ the characters I created, and discovering they came to life for others too.
The Liffey Flows on By, Niki Phillips

The Liffey Flows on By, Niki Phillips

Please can you tell our readers about your current project?

At the moment I’m very much occupied with planning Book Launches and Author Signings here in UK, in USA and in Dublin. It’s all very exciting. It starts on 1st March, the official publication date of my novel The Liffey Flows On By. That day there will be a Book Launch here in the village where I live. It is being hosted by our village school, where I am a Governor. In school they are very pleased about having a Governor who has written and published a novel.

Where did the inspiration come from for the novel?

I had written quite a lot of an academic nature, but no fiction. I had some original and unusual archival material from family sources, so I thought I would like to try writing a ‘family saga’ as a work of fiction but using this material. I felt that basing large parts of the story on real events and real people would give the tale a degree of authenticity.

What is your favourite thing about being a writer?

Creating a story that others enjoy reading, and a story which to an extent ‘immortalises’ those family members who are models, however tenuous, for the characters. A number of those who have read the book have said how much they have enjoyed it. I also much enjoyed ‘bringing to life’ the characters I created, and discovering they came to life for others too.

What advice could you give to aspiring writers?

Once you get started, which can be the hardest part, ‘hang in there’! Don’t let yourself be discouraged by criticism or by rejection from agents and publishers. Refuse to give up or to be defeated – just keep telling yourself you can do it. It works! Patient family members and friends, who will read your manuscript and give you honest feedback, are worth their weight in gold. It is also well worth having your writing professionally assessed - this is so helpful.

What is your writing process?

I was lucky in that once I got started I enjoyed it so much that I just wanted to keep going, so motivation was never a problem. I have various responsibilities which involve quite a lot of paper work, so I used to bribe myself by saying that if I did so much of that work in an evening then I could spend the rest of the evening writing. It was a very good system – really worked. I find that I tend to be at my most creative in the evening, so prefer that time of day for writing anything. I’m not really a morning person!

What future projects have you got lined up?

I have written two children’s stories. I need to edit these and then would like to get them published. Some who have read my novel have suggested that I might think about writing a sequel.

Where did the inspiration for the characters come from?

Some from family members as described above. The others were mainly figments of my own imagination, underpinned by the rich experience of growing up and living in Ireland.

Can you tell us about how it makes you feel as a writer to become published?

Absolutely marvellous – I’m way up in the clouds!

What activities to you involve yourself in to promote your work?

I have either organised personally, or others have organised for me, various events, as described above, to promote the novel.

Lucy Walton

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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