Interview With Author Lisa Rose Wright

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hi! I’m Lisa Rose Wright and my books are travelogue memoirs. I used to catch great crested newts and frogs for a living then I met my prince, dumped the rat race and ran away to beautiful green Galicia in the remote northwest of Spain. Here we set about renovating a 200 year old stone farmhouse and trying to be self-sufficient. Our adventures here were so unlikely that I wrote a book about them, Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart – seeking la vida dulce in Galicia. In 2009 we decided to get married here which spawned a second book, Tomato, Fig & Pumpkin Jelly – wedding bells in Galicia. And in 2014, not content with one house to renovate we bought a second for my 84 year old mother. My third travelogue memoir, Chestnut, Cherry & Kiwi Fruit Sponge – and mother makes three in Galicia, is due out in autumn 2021.

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

As my books are travelogue memoirs, they are 100% true – unlikely as it sometimes seems. My inspiration for the Writing Home series was the discovery of eight years’ worth of letters home to my mother in England when we were packing up her house in anticipation of her move here to Galicia.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

My beautiful home here in Galicia is my inspiration and the theme of my books. I could never have written a best-selling series if Galicia had not come into my life!

# How do you deal with creative block?

I sometimes have days when I just cannot write. Those days are the ones I spend in my vegetable garden, weeding or planting, or in my kitchen creating new recipes. Usually these simple pleasures remind me of some incident or some event I want to write about in my book and start the creative juices flowing again.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I’m probably the last person to give advice on titles and covers. I apparently broke all the rules with Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart, as the title gives no indication of the genre. In addition to that I used a vegetable which half the world calls something else (it’s a zucchini by the way, if you are one of those people). I also chose a drawn cover, from a fabulously talented artist Maayan Atias, when the trend was for photographic covers but I haven’t regretted any of my choices and would probably make the same ‘mistakes’ all over again.

# How did you choose your book titles?

Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart came about after a comment I made in one of my letters ‘home’. We had such a glut of those things in the garden the first year we moved to Galicia that I suggested to Mum I should make a tart with them. The name just stuck when it came to thinking of a title, despite many efforts to encourage me to change it. Once I had done one, I decided to follow the theme through. Each book is titled after the three things we had the most of in the year the book covers. It has made for some interesting titles! As a point of interest I set myself the challenge of making every titular dish. The recipes are included in the books along with a collection of traditional Galician recipes.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

When I first published Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart, I would check Amazon and Goodreads every few minutes for reviews and I panicked about any which were less than five stars. I have been lucky in that I have had few bad reviews and, as time has gone on and I have two, well-received, books out there, the occasional bad review worries me less than it used to. Equally, when I first started writing I was unsure of myself and my abilities so worried more about any negativity. Now I can take comments as an opportunity to learn and to improve my skill.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

At first I wrote very slowly and in a more stilted, formal style. As I wrote more, listened to feedback and edited my work I developed my own style. I now write the basics very quickly but spend an inordinate amount of time revising and editing the books until I feel they are the best they can be.

# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

The most surprising thing I found was that people I didn’t know actually enjoyed my writing! That was the best thing too and still makes me overjoyed today. The worst thing for me is the marketing process. It’s endless and our internet connection is so bad that a simple thing can take me days to achieve.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I think both are essential. I couldn’t write a book if it didn’t satisfy me personally and I couldn’t sell a book if it didn’t satisfy my readers.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

When I am writing about past events I become totally immersed in them and they have the power to make me laugh or cry, to feel happiness or anger in the same way as they did at the time. I hope my writing makes my readers feel those same emotions.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

I start my writing process by reading through my letters ‘home’ for the particular period I’m writing about and transcribe them to the page. This gives me a feel for what was happening at that time. I then check through my diaries of the period and begin to weave a story around these two types of media deciding on a beginning and an end point. My books normally cover a year in Galicia though my current project will be a bumper book covering two full years. Once I have my theme and my start and end points, I write, edit, chop, re-edit and re-write until something readable emerges… hopefully!

# What are your plans for future books?

My third travelogue memoir Chestnut, Cherry & Kiwi Fruit Sponge is due out in autumn 2021. I have a second trilogy of travelogue memoirs planned, and a cookbook too. I am also honoured to be a contributor to a series of travel themed anthologies by author Alyson Sheldrake. The first of these, Chasing the Dream, releases at the end of June 2021. I even have a couple of fictional stories I’d love to write one day.

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

Well, when we first moved here to Galicia our home was a total ruin with no facilities, and not many floors either. We spent about a year with a toilet in our living room, behind the sofa. This always confused guests. Why? You’ll have to read on to find out!