Liz was happy to chat to me about her novel and her writing life in general, and this is what she said:
"Recently, I returned from
where I’ve been researching the novel that is to be published by Choc Lit in 2013 - and holidaying a bit, too, of course.
There can be no more exciting way to research a novel than walking on the ground that your characters walked. In the case of my characters, it was the Savery area in
South Wyoming which lies in the shadow of the .
There can be few things more thrilling than to breathe the same air my characters used
to breathe. Admittedly, they breathed it in 1887 and it might have been recycled
a few times since then, but that’s a small point. Sierra
Yes, hands-on research is fantastic. But unfortunately, it’s not always possible.
The Road Back, available on Kindle and coming out in paperback this week, is partly set in
Happily, I had no research problems there - I was born and brought up there, and
still have family in the area. But it's also set in Ladakh, north of the Himalayas,
and that was a different matter. Since going to Ladakh wasn’t an option, I had
to research the novel in the only way that I could, namely through books and
The starting point of my research was an album compiled by my late uncle after he’d visited Ladakh in the 1940s whilst stationed in
India. It was reading his album that gave me the idea of writing The Road Back, and it was with his words
and photos that I began to learn about the country.
By the time I’d finished reading the album, I could see clearly the village in which my hero, Kalden, lived. I turned then to more books and the internet, which proved to be excellent resources for learning about a very beautiful high-altitude country in which its people are faced daily with the problems posed by living with a lack of rain.
We have only to think for one moment to realise how much we take having water for granted – to drink; for showers/baths; to wash our clothes and our dishes; for cooking; to flush our loos, and so on. It’s easy to see how difficult it would be if there were no rain to keep on filling our reservoirs and rain barrels.
My research showed me the way in which the Ladakhi solved their problems, an interesting solution which struck at the very core of their lives.
But of course, a novel is much more than just a geographical background and a revelation of how people lived in their environment – it is a story.
I love reading books that have strong stories and which feature characters who display the complexity of human behaviour, and I hope very much that I’ve captured real people in The Road Back, people whose story makes the reader want to keep on turning the pages to find out what happens next."
Good luck with the The Road Back, Liz - and with the next book, too!