Saturday, February 23, 2013

Interview with Lily Byrne


Thank you for having me!

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I am a mum, editor and writer, I live with my family in Southern England. I have written under my real name, Catherine Chisnall, but when I changed genre to Historical Romance, I invented Lily Byrne, which sounds more like a writer, I reckon.

do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

I do find it hard to juggle writing, editing and parenting. Luckily my daughter is now at school, so I get the daytimes to write and edit. It was very difficult when she was a toddler, well in fact I didn’t start writing til she was 3 and at nursery school. I get frustrated in long holidays when I want to write something but have to do sociable things instead. That sounds selfish but when there’s a story boiling up inside me, I need to get it down on paper/ screen, so I ask my husband to take daughter out somewhere so I can get a couple of hours done. Its like an obsession to write when I have a story ready to go.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I suppose, it’s that people are, and always have been, people. We’ve always had the same problems: finding love, keeping love, recovering from heartbreak. I wanted to look at the more human side of medieval/Dark Age life, not the ‘going off pillaging and raping’ side. My Vikings have settled in Britain, they are finding out the hardships of getting along with the locals and setting down.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

I love films, and watch as many as I can, and get into endless geeky discussions with my fellow fans about who starred in which film, who was Darth Vader’s father and such things.

I am also a passionate fan of motorsport, especially motorbikes. I have been to a few events at Brands Hatch and Thruxton and always watch MotoGP and Formula 1 on TV. I used to watch Superbikes but they aren’t shown on TV anymore… I even had a Rally driving experience for my birthday a few years ago, it was exhilarating. I jumped up and down with excitement on the spot for 10 minutes when I got home, I nearly fell through the floor!

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

Anything by Alex Beecroft, she is a talented writer and also cover designer (she designed the cover for my M/M romance, ‘Ragnar the Just’.)

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

Well, I wanted to tackle M/M romance, just to go out of my comfort zone and see if I could do it. So I did. Not sure what my next ‘out of comfort zone’ excursion will be…

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The Ragnar series is: ‘Ragnar the Murderer’; ‘Ragnar and the Slave Girls’; ‘Ragnar the Just.’

I think there will be a fourth book, not sure yet. It will be about Ragnar finding out who his true father is, his ancestry and probably going on a quest. Not sure yet. And one of my main characters will have to die…

What book are you reading now?

‘Kiss and Tell’ (a romance) by Fiona Walker (whose books I love) and ‘Self Editing for Fiction Writers’ by Renni Browne and Dave King.

What is in your to read pile?

Oh gosh! I have a MASSIVE  list of ‘to reads’. I must say I like non fiction books, as a change from my own writing and my editing of fiction. So I have:
‘Save the Cat goes to the Movies’(an innovate guide to how to write film scripts)  by Blake Snyder.

‘Women in the Viking Age’ (for research) by Judith Jesch.

‘How We’d Talk if the English had Won in 1066’ (really interesting and quite a funny book) by D. Cowley.

‘Old Peter’s Russian Tales’ (I love this book but for some reason, I gave my copy away when I was a child, so I bought this copy from Ebay for my daughter) by Arthur Ransome.

Ragnar the Murderer
Lily Byrne

Publisher: Taylor Street Books

ISBN: 13: 978-1463698379

Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 40,000

A tale of love and treachery.

It is a time of uneasy truce, of two races living side-by-side, inter-marrying even, but forever on the look out  for treachery among their neighbors.

They meet, they bathe together and they consort. Life is short, fun is likely to be brief, and opportunity has to be seized wherever it can be found without unleashing long-held rivalries and carnage.

Then the youthful Dane, Ragnar, falls in love with Aelfwyn the Angle who is already promised by duty to one of her own village.

Ragnar and Aelfwyn's passionate love affair is a secret which will never be hidden for long, but theirs is not the 
only secret around.

When Ragnar finds himself charged with murder, he and Aelfwyn are forcibly parted. But is Ragnar really a  cold-blooded, cynical killer or is there a more sinister plot being played out?

Lily Byrne

I faffed around at writing for many years until I had my daughter, but becoming a mum seemed to kick start something in me: I realised that I now had a purpose and time was limited, so I must get on with it.

The winter of 2009 was severe and as I and my family live in a small village, we were house bound by unusually deep snow for southern England. So I settled down in my office (i.e. the corner of our bedroom) and began my first book, which was published in 2010.

I haven’t stopped writing since. I go through phases of planning my story, writing furiously, or editing it. It is much easier now my daughter is at school and I get a few hours of work done each day.

My daughter has truly been an inspiration to me: she has had severe health problems in her short life but is always smiling and laughing, planning for the future, full of ideas. Working at home writing and editing has been ideal, I love my life.

1 comment:

Lily Byrne said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me! I'm sorry I didn't get here til now but you know what Saturdays can be like. :)