Today’s Author in the Spotlight is Liz Treacher. Thanks for joining me Liz. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Liz Treacher and I am a writer, a Creative Writing teacher and an art photographer. I have written two romantic comedies, The Wrong Envelope and The Wrong Direction, set in 1920,and now I’m working on a contemporary novel with a slightly darker, almost dystopian theme.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’d wanted to write ever since I was a child but didn’t know what to write about. Then I discovered a tiny suitcase of letters sent to my grandmother around the time of the First World War. It was tied up with a green gingham ribbon and it was stuffed full of letters from two soldiers. The style of writing fascinated me, a sort of cheerful bravado, and it led me to reading a lot more letters from the early twentieth century. Then I got an idea of writing a novel where letters play an important role in the plot and, shortly after that, my first novel, The Wrong Envelope was born!
Tell me about your journey to publication
When I finished writing The Wrong Envelope, I was very lucky to find an agent who had been an editor in a previous life, so they really helped me knock the novel into shape. When they didn’t manage to place it with a publisher, our relationship ended, but by that time I had written a sequel and I thought, if I don’t do something with these two books I’m going to get completely blocked – like a drain! So I looked into publishing independently and I haven’t looked back. It’s hard work marketing your own work but I enjoy being in control of the whole process – what the book cover looks like, etc. I have a wonderful editor, formatter and book-designer, so that makes a big difference.
In a nutshell, what is ‘The Wrong Envelope’ about?
An impossibly impulsive artist from Mayfair, Bernard Cavalier, arrives in a quiet sleepy Devon village and immediately falls in love with his post lady, Evie Brunton, but of course nothing is straightforward! That is the basic plot-line, but there is an exploration of other themes as well. In 1920, the shadow of the first world war still hung over everyone and everything. It was particularly difficult for working women like Evie, who had stepped into jobs during the war and were now having to surrender them to returning soldiers. I tried to use humour and irony to explore this and other themes from the time.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
It was a process of elimination! The book was initially called Evie, after the heroine, but there seemed to be lots of books called that already. Then I tried Do Write Soon which was a phrase used a lot in letters from that time. Then I considered The Letter Thief but that felt like I’d lifted it from The Book Thief! Finally, I decided that The Wrong Envelope had an intriguing ring to it. Although it sounds like it might be a spoiler, it isn’t really…
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I’m working on a darker contemporary novel, which at the moment is called A Hell of a Journey, but that title may change! It’s about what happens when a middle-aged commuter is arrested on a train for fare-dodging and forced to commit to three sessions of coaching with a mysterious life coach. The action takes place over a five-day period.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months?
The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick
What are you reading just now? (April 2019)
The Overstory by Richard Powers.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I’d be Leo Gursky, from The History of Love, a Polish locksmith, living in New York. He is old and crotchety and eccentric and lonely, but he spends his whole life loving two people in such a moving way, even though it’s all impossible. I thought he was a complex character full of humanity with an amazing depth and superb sense of humour. He’s a sort of heroic anti-hero and those sort of characters are always my favourites!
My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for inviting me to take part in this blogblitz. The Wrong Envelope is available now in paparback and as an ebook. You can order a copy online here: The Wrong Envelope
From the back of the book
Summer 1920. Two worlds are about to collide. Evie Brunton loves her job. Twice a day, she spins along the narrow lanes of Devon on her bicycle, delivering letters from a heavy post bag. When the flamboyant London artist, Bernard Cavalier, drops like a meteor into her sleepy village, everything changes. Bernard is supposed to be painting for an important exhibition, but the countryside has its own charms, in particular his young post lady…Light and witty, and full of twists and turns, The Wrong Envelope is a charming romantic comedy. It captures the spirit of another age – when letters could change lives.
More about the author
Liz is a writer, a Creative Writing teacher and an Art photographer. She lives in the Highlands of Scotland with a view of the sea. Her love of images influences her writing.
Her debut novel, ‘The Wrong Envelope’, is a romantic comedy, set in 1920 in Devon, England. It tells the story of Bernard, an impulsive artist and Evie, his beautiful post lady. You can watch the trailer on this page, under ‘Videos’. Light and witty, and full of twists and turns, ‘The Wrong Envelope’ captures the spirit of another age – when letters could change lives.
The sequel, ‘The Wrong Direction’, follows Evie and Bernard to London, and charts their further adventures in Mayfair’s high society. Wild parties, flirtatious models, jealous friends – Bernard and Evie must negotiate many twists and turns if they are to hold on to each other.