Our latest guest for 20 Questions is Laura Watts aka L.K. Watts to her fans 🙂 I asked a few questions and she was kind enough to trudge through them just for you. The reader. So sit back and enjoy another round of this classic game with a new author your going to love!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I live in England, and have done so for the majority of my life but Iwas born in Scotland. I am twenty six, live with my partner, and we have two dogs.
2. How long have you been writing?
I have only started to write seriously in the last couple of years when I first decided to write my first book, but I have always loved writing; it’s a hobby.
3. Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?
I like to read memoirs, chick lit, and crime. I like to read about things that could happen in real life, or have already done so. I’ve never been one for fantasy.
4. What is the title of your book and where can it be found?
My book is called: Secret Confessions of a Backpacker: My Adventure Down Under.
It can be found at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54060
5. Describe your novel in 15 words or less.
It’s a memoir about travelling Australia and New Zealand.
6. Where did the inspiration from your story come from?
I kept a detailed diary while I travelled, and I thought it would be a shame to waste all that material. I always liked the idea of writing a book, so I thought I would just basically re-write my diary and go from there.
7. How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?
It took me around 18 months to do everything. I spent a lot of time researching the publishing industry, trying to figure out which was the best direction for me to go in. I was going to try to publish my book traditionally but then I found Indie publishing and decided that sounded a whole lot better.
8. When you sit down and write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve?
I always have an idea in my head of what I am going to write. I read through basic notes and loose outlines. Because I am using the material from my travelling days, it’s not as easy as just re-writing it word for word. I have to think whether the stories I’m telling do actually make sense, and does the reader know enough about the characters to fully understand them.
9. Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
I can’t write when I’m tired. I have to be fresh and alert to get the best words down, otherwise I have poor sentence construction and no one wants to read poor writing. That’s why I have a professional copy editor to read my work.
10. Are there any aspects that you simply glide through?
I can’t think of any! It depends, some days are easier than others. I think writing is always hard though; you’ve got so many things going on at once and so much to think about.
11. What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?
I think of my book as a memoir rather than travel. It’s not got enough physical description to be classed as part of that genre. My book is basically about everything I experienced over in Australia, the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s very candid! I wanted to write a book from a backpackers point of view, rather than it being from a travel point of view.
12. I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me about it.
Okay. Well, I went travelling with my friend but we didn’t stay together for very long because we both wanted to do different things. I travelled in the southern part of Australia mostly, while he travelled up the east coast and the north. I describe what it’s like to share my sleeping space with a psychiatric patient, and someone who has just come out of jail. I also go on to share my experiences of the jobs I had out there, and the people I met. I describe what it was like to go camping in the Outback, and I share my experiences of travelling New Zealand.
13. What do you want your readers to take from your writing?
I want them to read about the real backpacking experience, I don’t want them to go overseas with the stereotypical idea of what it will be like. I didn’t have a clue of what to expect when I went travelling; it was all such a shock to me. I wish I read a book like the one I’ve just written before I went to prepare myself. I think this is why a lot of young people suffer from homesickness so badly because the reality is very different from what they have imagined.
14. Are there more books to follow or is this a stand alone?
I’m currently writing a memoir about travelling Canada this time. For those who have liked my first book, hopefully they should like this one too as it’s the same style of writing.
15. Where can readers find you?
I have a blog: http://lkwattsconfessions.blogspot.com
Or they can follow me at Twitter: @WattsLK
16. What are 3 random facts about you that readers might like to know?
I wanted to become a makeup artist once. That was my first job I wanted to do. I love the Australian band — Eskimo Joe. I regularly make cakes.
17. What do you do in your own time for fun?
I like to go swimming, although I haven’t done that in a while. I like to go to art galleries, and other places of interest such as old stately homes belonging to the National Trust.
18. Describe the highlight of your writing life.
Definitely selling my books on Amazon. That is fantastic!
19. Describe what you do when you receive criticism?
It depends what kind of criticism it is. If it’s something helpful, then I will take it on board so I can learn from it, and do better next time. If it’s someone just being nasty then I take no notice.
20. What other jobs have you had?
I once worked in a pub and a library. I’ve done retail work as well.