I do believe we reviewed the page-turner Cold As Ice by Lee Weeks earlier in the week. As you know, we like writers here, and we’re keen to learn from them, and Lee has kindly agreed to allow us to take the temperature on her writing process.
Lee spent seven years working her way around Europe and South East Asia. She returned to settle in London, marry and raise two children. She’s worked as an English teacher and personal fitness trainer and her Sunday Times bestselling books include the DI Johnny Mann series and her new DC Ebony Willis series. She now lives in Devon.
What’s your writing process? What comes first – plot or character?
Definitely plot for me. I think of the ending first. I tend to visualize things in a filmic way: scenes rather than chapters.
Take us through a typical writing day for you.
I’m up and showered between 7-8am. I check my emails first then I start writing. I write basically till I go to bed about eleven, but I will stop during the day to walk my dogs and to go to the gym. When I stop to watch telly in the evening I will continue working on my Ipad.
Who are the authors you love and why?
I find this such a tricky question because I don’t have particular favourites. I like John Burdett, Elmore Leonard, Jo Nesbo, Lee Child. So many people are good at certain things but not good at others. I think being an author has spoilt my enjoyment of reading.
What’s the hardest lesson you ever had to learn about writing?
When I tried to let a story grow organically – big mistake. I have too many ideas in my head! I need to stick to a strong outline and refer to it constantly. It’s another case of knowing your strengths and recognising your weaknesses.
How do you deal with feedback?’
If it’s constructive I learn from it and welcome it. After all, I am striving to be the best I can be.
How have your own experiences shaped your writing?
I don’t think that I am even aware of the extent that they shape it. I have a massive resource library of emotions and physical experiences that I can call on. It is invaluable.
Give me some advice about writing.
Think of your book as a product rather than a baby.
Don’t wait to write whole books – send agents a well thought out synopsis and few first chapters.
What’s next for you?
I have a contract with Simon and Schuster for at least two more Willis/Carter books. During which time I will resurrect Johnny Mann 😉