On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author @Lizzie_Koch
Joining me today is bubbly Lizzie Koch, who has just published her first novel, The Adventures of Katie Button, with Crooked Cat Publishing. It’s shot up the Kindle charts and already has excellent reviews. Every author’s dream, you might say…
Vanessa: Hi, Lizzie, and thanks for joining me on the chaise longue.
Lizzie: Thank you for having me. It’s all rather exciting being here.
When did you start writing fiction and what was the inspiration that got you going?
My first attempt was when a short story for a uni module got out of hand, back in 2009. Then, I had to focus on the dreaded dissertation so the writing was forgotten. Once uni was done with, there was a void. A friend of mine started blogging and I thought it looked interesting so I had a go. I loved it.
But when I found flash fiction . . Wow! I loved this world even more. And the rest is history, as they say. My first flash fiction piece was for Five Sentence Fiction and, after the comments, I was inspired to continue.
You’ve just published The Adventures of Katie Button with Crooked Cat. Someone in real life inhabits Katie’s romantic dreams – but he’s not the ‘right’ person. Are your own dreams a source of fiction for you?
Good question. I often have brain waves, light bulb moments in the small hours which sometimes, by morning, are clean forgotten. I really have to focus to remember if I’m not organised enough or awake enough to write it down.
The last dream I had involved work and it wasn’t very pleasant, more of a nightmare and crisis of confidence. The feelings I got from that will definitely be worked into a piece of fiction somewhere.
I think this is your first novel. Tell us the story of how you got it published.
Yes, it is my first novel. It was inspired by my first flash fiction piece and the bulk written for NaNoWriMo 2012. After leaving it for a while, editing, leaving, chopping, rewriting and so on, I started submitting. After the rejection letters, I sat on it, taking stock, continuing the flash. It was then I came across Crooked Cat, after a fellow writer mentioned them.
Whilst I looked at Crooked Cat, I sent my novel to beta readers which was an invaluable experience. They really made me see how to improve the manuscript. A fresh pair of eyes is always good. By the time I’d finished their suggestions, Crooked Cat were open to submissions. It seemed perfect timing. And anyone who knows me knows I’m bonkers about cats! That email saying they were interested was just the best feeling.
You have written a lot of flash fiction. How did you experience the transition to writing a much longer piece?
I love flash but I’m not doing enough of it right now. The thing with flash is it makes your writing succinct, to the point and rich in description. It can also give you an idea for a longer piece. I have a few flash fictions which people loved that beg for expansion. For instance, with Katie Button, it started out from five sentences. For a longer piece, I can add to what’s already there, free from word count constraints. It’s actually very liberating, making that transition.
Who’s the Mad American?
(Laughing at this question!!) She is one of my besties. We’re two peas in a pod, twins separated by a continent and a few years. It’s spooky how alike we are. I met her when I started working at the school and we hit it off immediately. She always says she loves she can be herself around me. We always laugh until we cry. We even think the same.
When I started writing, the Mad American supported me with fantastic, inspiring comments. Even when it’s a genre she hates, like horror, she still comments about how well written it is. Anyway, the Mad American is rather accident prone so as a thank you for her support, I wanted to write about her rather ditzy moments, celebrating her uniquness. I do need to update the Mad American page as she has done something rather ditzy recently.
What are you working on now?
Now Katie Button is out there in the big wide world (scary but exciting), I really should be focussing on Katie Button, the sequel. I also have a YA I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2013 which I had forgotten about until my friends reminded me last night at my little celebration, saying they loved it and their daughters loved it. And the very first novel I wrote back at uni needs a look at too.
I have a notebook full of ideas. I need to focus and get on with it really. I have enough time off work not to make excuses. My hubby likes reminding me I have time off every six weeks when I moan about not having enough time!
What’s the funniest/strangest/nicest thing that’s happened to you as an author?
This could count as funniest and strangest. One of the first blogs I posted was about my cat, Indi. I just adore him. Anyway, I tweeted it and it was picked up by an online newspaper. But this online newspaper was more sex shop than pet shop. And all because I said something like ‘cute pussy cat’. Any exposure is good exposure . . . right? As a new, published author, I shall wait and see what happens . . .
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work full time at a local primary school as a Higher Level teaching Assistant which means I teach in the teacher’s absence. I help run the after school cooking club, am part of a team at a pub quiz where we still have the best table picnic, the loudest laughs and the most wrong answers. I’m a lousy housewife who hates cooking but loves baking. I love beach and forest walks with the hubby. When not doing any of that, you might find me on Facebook . . . just a bit . . . well a lot . . . I’m too nosy to ignore it.
Find The Adventures of Katie Button on:
Connect with Lizzie on:
Copyright © Lizzie Koch, Vanessa Couchman 2015. All rights reserved.