On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met Liz Hurst to find out more...
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
Like most children, I went through a phase at school where I thought being an author would be the coolest thing in the world. Then I decided I needed to eat, so I went off that idea and did something entirely different. It wasn’t until I was almost 40 that I gave it any serious thought and I haven’t looked back.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote an erotic short story that has never since seen the light of day, and this is probably for the best. It was, however, a good exercise in practicing the art of creating characters and writing about emotions.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
Ah. This is a good question. One review I have received uses the phrase ‘genre-defying’, in fact. The Lost Souls series is about a group of strong women who find themselves in an emotional crisis and somehow find the strength to put themselves back together. There’s some historical parts, and a ghostly mystery to solve too, so I like to think there’s a bit of everything.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
Siren Spirit is the first in the series. It charts the emotional journey of Emma McVeigh following her divorce and subsequent move to a small village. She learns soon after moving in that her cottage is haunted and things spiral from there.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
The second book in the series, The Plain Truth, is my current work in progress. It should be available some time in Spring 2017.
There will be a third too, and then, who knows…?
I also have an idea swimming around in the back of my head for a darker, dystopian novel, but that is some way off yet.
Where can people find your books?
Siren Spirit can be found on Amazon in Kindle format and in paperback (Kindle version:
Those who have a different eReader can buy it on Kobo:
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
Without a doubt, there was something very special about receiving a consignment of books from Createspace with my very own name on the front. I think I may have shed a tear. I think we forget sometimes just how much of an achievement it is, not just to write and finish a book, but to see the project through to the final stage and hold your own book in your hand.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
I’m a keen parkrunner, both taking part and volunteering. It’s such a great community thing to be part of, even when the weather’s not so good.
Obviously, I’m also a great reader, when I can spare some time, and I’m a member of a book group in the village, which is great fun. One or two of the ladies are my fans too, which is nice!
I’m also setting up a business in editing and proofreading fiction for fellow independent authors, so that’s taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I’m hoping to start getting some feedback very soon, so it’s a very exciting time.
Which novelists do you admire?
Margaret Atwood has been a favourite for some time. She’s coming along to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in October, for which I have tickets. Can’t wait for that!
I have been following Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) for some time too. She is a huge inspiration and a great motivation speaker. I met her at Bloomsbury publishing at the launch of her novel The Signature of All Things and I was transfixed. She has such a mellifluous voice, I couldn’t help but hang on her every word.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
There are two that I carry around in my head. The first is from the great Stephen King:
‘Read a lot; write a lot,’ he said. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
The late Maya Angelou left a profound mark on me with her memorable quotation:
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
This helps me when I am struggling to get the story out. I remember that it doesn’t matter how shabby it seems during the first draft, it’s better on the page than in my head.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
Try and write every day. Writing is not unlike yoga; it’s a practice. You don’t improve unless you keep practicing. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount. A 200-word blog post will do fine while you’re getting in the habit. The masterpiece can come later.