A few weeks ago I read a fabulous book, Flying by the Seat of My Knickers in Eliza's Watson brand new series The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw. I loved the book and the way Eliza developed her fabulous characters and sent them on a journey full of unexpected turns, twists and sweet surprises.
So when I finished Caity's story I was very eager to ask Eliza a few questions and find out more about her life and writing journey.
So without further ado I welcome Eliza Watson to Sparkly Word for cup of tea and chat:
Do you prefer Tea/Coffee when you are writing?
Tea. No cream or sugar, just a tad of honey. Several years ago my grandma passed away and I received part of her teacup collection. My latest addition to the collection is a cup and saucer from a trip with my dad to Istanbul.
What do you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I always read my manuscripts out loud while walking around the house. If someone came in and saw me they would probably think I was rehearsing lines for a play. This is how the characters come to life for me.
Who inspired you to become a writer?
I attended a Romance Writers of America conference in Chicago with my sister Penny, who was a finalist in the organization’s writing contest. I met some wonderful women and loved the camaraderie they shared. My sister and her friends encouraged me to write about my often humorous, and a bit crazy, travel adventures for work. So the journey began.
What is the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
I’m a panster. I don’t plot my books in advance. I write by the seat of my pants. This would shock anyone who knows me well. I’m an extremely organized, and somewhat anal, person in every other aspect of my life, especially in my job as an event planner. However, I recently started forcing myself to do some plotting in advance to make my writing time more efficient and less chaotic.
How did you come up with the idea for The Knickers book series?
It’s my memoir. Just kidding. I never write about actual real-life experiences. However, when my friends and family read the series they’ll discover that, despite the travel, my event planner job isn’t so “glamorous.” I no longer do the planning part and only execute events same as Caity’s new job. I’ve been in the industry for twenty years and no matter how well you organize an event, once you are onsite, you have to be able to troubleshoot issues and think on your feet. Poor Caity is in for some surprises.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Plotting. Hmm... I’m seeing a pattern here with plotting. So instead I’ll say the hardest part is finding the time to write. I know many authors have this same issue, since writing often isn’t a full-time job. I travel about 140 days a year for work, so I don’t have a “typical” writing schedule. When I’m traveling, I’ll brainstorm story ideas or do line edits in my hotel room or on an airplane. Late night is my creative time, so when I’m in my hotel room and can’t sleep it gives me something to do. When I’m home, I try very hard to stick to a schedule, writing daily.
What do you enjoy most about being a published author?
I love talking to readers and aspiring authors about writing. I published a young adult book in 2013. I spoke at several schools and really enjoyed it. I once spent two hours having teens drill me with writing questions. I was impressed by their knowledge and interest in becoming authors. I was nervous they were going to ask a question I wouldn’t be able to answer.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Genealogy research. I’m obsessed with Ancestry.com. I used to often be on the website until 2 a.m., no exaggeration. I’ve been researching my Irish and Scottish ancestors since visiting Ireland in 2007 with my parents and cousin. My mom is almost 100% Irish and my dad is part Irish and Scottish. The only thing we knew about my mom’s ancestry was the town where her great-grandfather was raised. We visited there and found his brother’s grave. I said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice to come back here and visit some living relatives?” So I went home and subscribed to Ancestry.com and several other research sites.
At times, it was a very frustrating endeavor. I encountered a lot of roadblocks, but it was well worth the effort in the end. I’ve tracked down numerous rellies in Ireland and now have a vacation home there. I have also helped several friends trace their ancestry. It’s like being a detective solving mysteries.
Thank you so much, Eliza!
Find out more about Eliza Watson and her books:
Amazon US / UK
Books on a #BlogTour
Professional Reader Badge
On my reading shelf in autumn #amreading