Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Please Welcome...the amazing Lilian Kendrick!

I have the extraordinary honor today of introducing you to an absolutely amazing author, Mrs.Lilian Kendrick! She's an accomplished author, and as you'll see, quite the wonderful woman besides. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Lilian!

Jess: Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What do you do for a living?

Lil: I was born and brought up in Birmingham, England; the middle one of five children. When I worked full-time I was Head of Modern Languages in a tough inner-city comprehensive school. Nowadays I work as a supply teacher 2 or 3 days a week, going wherever the agency asks me to and teaching kids of all ages. I also work as a freelance editor and translator. I’ve been married …forever, it seems.  I have two grown-up children and two grandchildren.

Jess: What started your writing career?

Lil: I’ve written for my own amusement ever since I could first hold a pencil. I wrote my first love poem at six when I had a crush on the boy who sat across the aisle from me at school. I never showed any of my poems or stories to anyone until I was teaching. They just piled up in boxes. I got the idea for my first novel in 2004. My widowed mother-in-law was very ill and I was the only person she trusted to do anything for her, so I was rushing around to her flat as soon as I finished work, then back home to sort out my own family. Sometimes I’d get a phone call in the middle of the night, or at work and have to drop everything to go and deal with some new crisis for her. Then the title “Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife” came into my head because I realised that a lot of women are trapped by their ‘job descriptions’ and don’t get to live for themselves. I wrote the book without telling anyone except my niece who was my first beta reader.

Jess: What is your book about? What did you want to accomplish when you wrote it?

Lil: My first book “Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife” tells the story of Josie, a middle-aged woman who has devoted her life to family duties at the expense of her own happiness. Finding that her selfish, overbearing husband is having yet another affair, she finally makes a stand, but has to reconcile her desires and her religious beliefs before she can find true fulfillment.
I wrote it because the story wouldn’t let me go until I did. I wanted to get it published as an inspiration to women everywhere. I ended up rushing into self-publishing because I had a heart attack in 2009 and in the aftermath I was afraid I might never see it in print. (As it happens, I’m still here and still writing thank God.)

Jess: Thank God you're OK! And your story sounds amazing. Is there a character you identify with? Who is your least favorite character and why?

Lil: Most of my stories feature a leading female character who has elements of me in her, but is not exactly me. Sometimes they fulfill my fantasies and on a good day they get my happy ending.  My least favourite character is probably Rick – the husband in SDMW. He’s selfish, nasty, violent and unfaithful.

Jess: Is your book based on real life or fiction?

Lil: The stories are always fiction although I use my experience and knowledge of real life situations to inform my story telling.

Jess: What do you want readers to take away after they’ve read your book?

Lil: I’d love it if they said “I enjoyed that! I wonder if she’s written anything else I can read.” I have no desire to be considered literary, or to teach my readers anything. I just want to give pleasure. I’ll save the teaching for the day job.

Jess: What is your favorite genre, and do you write in that genre? Will you ever write in a different genre?

Lil: My favourite genres for reading are horror and crime fiction, but I don’t write either. I write “Hen-Lit” – romantic stories for the older woman. I also write erotica at times, but I have to keep that well away from my own name because of my professional position as a teacher. It would never do to have my pupils googling and finding out that ‘Miss’ writes porn. (Yes, folks – kids often google their teachers!)

Jess: What’s the hardest part about being a writer? The easiest part?

Lil: The hardest part is finding the time to do it. The easiest part for me is actually sitting down and writing. The stories almost write themselves. I get ‘into the zone’ and it just happens, especially when I write poetry.

Jess: What advice do you have to new writers out there?

Lil: Get on with it. If you want to write you just have to do it. Don’t be afraid to accept criticism and be grateful for all the help you can get. Oh and learn to spell and write grammatically. A lot of editors can’t!

Jess: If you could start your writing career over again, would you do anything differently?

Lil: Yes. I wouldn’t give in to those who try to stop me. I was born to write – everything else is almost irrelevant.

Jess: Which person, alive or dead, would you like to spend time with? Why?

Lil: Hmm. That would really depend on how we were going to spend the time…Nobody famous, actually.  There are a few writers I’ve met online that I would love to meet in the real world, and one or two I’d love to work with.  I work as a freelance editor and a couple of my clients really inspire me; meeting them would be amazing.

Jess: Lilian, you are truly amazing, and I thank you so much for appearing on my blog.

Lilian’s books:
“Through My Windows”  (A collection of Short Stories and Poems) - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-My-Windows-ebook/dp/B005MATE6O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1346800599&sr=8-5

“Poeticising Chat” (Several poems included in a ground-breaking Anthology by a group of online poets) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poeticising-Chat-William-Holt/dp/1461131960/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1346800599&sr=8-4

My latest WIP is called “Unspoken”:
At fifteen, the whole world lies ahead of you...at forty-four, has it passed you by?

Lydia had forgotten all about the list she made thirty years ago.
Now she has just six months to make her teenage dreams come true, before she turns 45.
Determined to turn her life around and achieve her goals she embarks on a series of quests for happiness, aided and abetted by her trusty sidekicks Trudi and Des.
Stumbling from one disaster to another, will she ever make it on time?
Is it ever too late to chase your dreams?
The opening chapters of this are posted on Authonomy.com.
If anyone would like to take a peek : http://www.authonomy.com/books/45954/unspoken/

I also have a collection of Flash Fiction  “Flash in the Pan” which is due to be published in the near future by That Right Publishing.
My websites: www.verse-artiste.weebly.com (Author website and blog)

And www.liliankendrick.weebly.com (Lilian Kendrick Writers’ Services)

1 comment:

Michele Brenton aka banana the poet said...

Great interview Lilian! Entertaining and charming as always. Love the blurb for the new book - made me want to go read it immediately.