I found this on the blog Romantic Novelists' Association Blog. The interview was conducted by Freda Lightfoot and Kate Jackson and the author is a friend.
Author Dee Williams was born and bred in Rotherhithe, south-east London, where her father worked as a stevedore in Surrey Docks. Having left school at 14 to become a hair dresser's apprentice, she claims her father accused her of not not being able to spell.
Q: Tell us how you sold your first book and if you had any rejections before getting that exciting call?
A: I have been very lucky. I have never had any rejections. I sent my very first m/s to Headline and after a couple of rejigs it was accepted.
Q: Where is your favourite place to work?
A: My study, it overlooks my lovely garden. When we first moved here after returning from Spain we had an extension added so it was purpose built.
Q: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
A: The middle. I'm full of enthusiasm at the beginning as I know where the story's going and how I want it to end, but sometimes I feel the middle lacks a bit of get up and go, so I throw another problem at my heroine or bring in another character. This must all tie up with the story and all be resolved properly at the end.
Q: How do you relax? What interests do you have other than writing?
A: Reading and gardening. Gardening is great for just going over your story in your mind. It also helps to keep you fit and get a bit of exercise and it's cheaper than going to the gym.
Q: What advice would you give a new writer?
A: Stick at it. Never leave your work at the end of a chapter. It's best to leave it when something interesting is about to happen and you can't wait to get back to it.
Q: What do you think an editor is looking for in a good novel?
A: A different, thought-provoking well-written story.
Q: What draws you to your particular genre?
A: Headline only like me to write about the years between 1900 and 1960. This is a wonderful era for writers as there were two World Wars and a depression, so there's a wealth of stories to draw on. As I lived through part of World War II, I can use my own experiences like in my latest book LIGHTS OUT TILL DAWN, which is about children being evacuated from London. I too was evacuated, although I wasn't as old as Hazel.
Q: Is there a particular period of history that you enjoy writing about?
A: I love writing about the 1920s for its fashion and hardship.
Q: Do you enjoy research, and how do you set about it?
A: I enjoy research very much. I phone people who might help. Go to the library. I've been to Tower Hamlet's and Southwark research library to go through old local newspapers. Be wary of the internet which can be really great and helpful, but it can be misleading sometimes.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, how do you cope with it?
A: Not really. Perhaps when I'm trying to find an historical fact and rather than hold me up for too long I put a row of XXXs and move on.
Q: Tell us about your latest book and how you got the idea of it.
A: LIGHTS OUT TILL DAWN comes out in paperback in October (2011). It's about a brother and sister who get evacuated and the things that happen to them. It's something I know about first hand.
Q: Can you tell us something about your work in progress?
A: I've gone back to 1924. The fashions and lifestyles of some of the young things of the day were very interesting, and then the depression came which is rather topical at the moment.
- Debolina Raja Gupta