Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Liesel Schmidt
Liesel is the author of the superb ‘The Secret of Us‘ novel and kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog. Her books are:
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this book – click on the image or title to read my review.
Where did you get the inspiration for The Secret of Us?
I grew up in a military family and have lived in an area where the military community is a huge presence, so having characters whose lives are steeped in that culture seems natural to me. Obviously, with all that’s been going on in the Middle East over the past few decades, there’s been a lot of attention focused on war vets and wounded warriors, and I just really wanted to bring that a little more of a personal voice, so that more people could connect with the struggles that have to be faced. Being a woman in this kind of community can be a bit tricky at times, too, especially when you’re in the midst of a relationship with someone in the military, with a highly mobile job––and I can attest to that personally! Bringing all of that to the page was a bit cathartic, actually…
What is your writing process?
I don’t know that I’ve got an official “writing process.” That feels too forced, and I think forcing it definitely shows up in the results. People can read that––literally. I’d have to say that I start with an idea and let it unfold under my fingers. Sometimes I’m amazed at what happens in the story, and I’m the one writing it!
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I’d love to say I write with pen and paper and then type it up––it seems more poetic, somehow––but blank paper seems to make my mind go blank! And the idea of not having the Delete key at my disposal is overwhelming!
Who is your favorite character out of the book and why?
I’d have to say Eira is my favorite, even though that’s the predictable answer. I identify with her in so many ways, and even though she frustrates me at times (yes, I admit it), I still love her and love watching her grow.
What was your biggest challenge with this book?
From conception to completion, I had so many edits and rewrites and shuffling of events that it got a bit confusing for me at times. When I started the book, I really did have a different vision in mind; but after digging in and doing research, I knew that my initial idea wasn’t plausible, so I had to scratch it. I think the end results were well worth, it, though!
Why did you choose such an unusual name for the main character?
I like to have the names of my main characters be meaningful. In Coming Home to You, Zoe means “life,” and that’s why I chose her name. She was re-learning life, reclaiming life for herself. In The Secret of Us, Eira means “mercy,” and I chose her name because I wanted to speak to the fact that she was on a journey of healing and learning to have mercy––on herself, and others. It’s not always an easy thing to do!
Thank you so much for answering my questions. I’m off to read “Coming Home to You” after thoroughly enjoying “The Secret of Us” and highly recommend your books to other readers. I look forward to reading further books by Liesel in future!