Landra: Today I welcome Freda Lightfoot and she's graciously willing to submit to an
My first question is: What has your journey to publication been like?
Freda: It was filled with rejections like all would-be authors, but finally I learned to target my market, read and learn more about the genre I was writing and as a result acceptance followed. First with historical romances for Mills and Boon back in the 80s, and then with historical sagas for Hodder. Practise, patience and persistence pays off in the end.
Landra: Wow! That's a pretty awesome career. I like those 3 P's. What about advice, maybe for those just starting out?
Freda: It’s a different world now. When I started I learned my craft through short stories and articles before moving on to historical romance novels. It was never easy to get published but it’s even more difficult today. Choosing a genre you love is important, and writing from the heart is essential. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions on the page. Reading a novel is a much more intimate experience than watching a play or TV drama. And always look for that plus factor, something of yourself or your life that you can add to give it your personal brand.
Landra: Couldn't agree with you more. The personal brand makes your books yours. Now, self-publishing, traditional, or hybrid?
Freda: I started out in traditional publishing, naturally, since I’ve been in the business many years. But later became hybrid when sagas went out of fashion for a while and I was dropped. Fortunately I moved on to work for two other publishers but also managed to get the rights to my back list reverted, and self-published them as ebooks. It was seeing how well these were selling which brought Amazon Publishing knocking on my door, or rather they rang me up from Seattle, which was so exciting. Self-publishing is definitely an option these days, as it can open doors.
Landra: What would you say is the biggest risk you take with your writing?
Freda: I do seem to constantly challenge myself as that helps to keep my mind fresh. The Amber Keeper was certainly a challenge as it is set mainly in Russia before and during the revolution so demanded a great deal of research. Fortunately I love research although the story must always come first. There always comes a point when you have to set all those books aside and sit down and write. I also had to work out in what way events of the past had affected life for my heroine and her family fifty years later. That was even greater fun.
Landra: It's exciting to blend history with your characters. Would you care to share any writing rituals you have (certain cup, certain spot, etc)?
Freda: I prefer to work in my office which feels like a womb to me, with the door shut fast against the world. I start each morning by visiting facebook and twitter, and dealing with emails from loops I am on, which all helps to get my brain going. Then I revise whatever I wrote the previous day which soon has me motoring with new material. I’ve written over forty books but starting a new one doesn’t get any easier. The fear kicks in and I wonder if I should bin it. Fortunately I manage to resist that urge. I mentally bribe myself to keep writing even if it is rubbish at first, with the promise I can revise it later, once it exists. I write through the pain, then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until I’m happy with it.
Thank you Freda for stopping by and chatting with me. Now here's some more information on Freda's latest release, The Amber Keeper
Blurb: Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Russia, The Amber Keeper is a sweeping tale of jealousy and revenge, reconciliation and forgiveness.
English Lake District, 1960s: A young Abbie Myers returns home after learning of her mother’s death. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken to hear that they blame her for the tragedy.
Determined to uncover her mother’s past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. As the old woman recounts her own past, Abbie is transported back to the grandeur of the Russian Empire in 1911 with tales of her grandmother’s life as a governess and the revolution that exploded around her.
As Abbie struggles to reconcile with her family, and to support herself and her child, she realizes that those long-ago events created aftershocks that threaten to upset the fragile peace she longs to create.