5 minutes with author Lily Malone
In 5 minutes with author, Over60 asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Lily Malone, a writer based in Margaret River, Western Australia. Following her 2016 debut trade paperback The Vineyard In The Hills, Malone launched the Chalk Hill three-book series set in the titular fictional Western Australian town. The last addition to the trilogy, Last Bridge Before Home, is out now.
Over60 talked with Malone about writing during school hours, the wonders of the outdoors, and the one thing that makes for great romance.
Over60: What is your best writing tip?
Lily Malone: My best writing tip is a very simple one. The darn book won’t write itself so you have to put your butt on the seat and start somewhere, and you have to commit to turning up and writing even on the days you’d much rather go for a walk or go fishing!
What was the last book that made you laugh?
Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley was just beautiful and had many tender moments that made me chuckle.
What do you think makes for great romance fiction?
Chemistry between the characters. That doesn’t have to be sexual chemistry all the time, but you need things to make it believable that these two would fall in love and stay in love.
What does your writing routine look like?
I am lucky enough to almost be writing full time these days, so for me, that is four days a week. Monday to Thursday are my writing days and I do a day’s admin work at a local business on a Friday. On weekends I try to keep for running around after my kids – swimming lessons, sleepovers at mates et cetera – making sure we have food in the house, catching up with friends and more.
I try to hit my writing room from 9.30am and work through the school day. I can only write when the house is quiet, so school hours suit perfectly. I don’t write on the school holidays, so generally I set myself writing goals accordingly. For example, I could aim to finish a first draft by the end of Term 2, finish editing by end of Term 3, and get the book out to my beta readers, incorporate feedback and finish the whole book by end of school year.
Do you deal with writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
If I’m stuck in a story I go for a walk or do something outside. I can solve the plot problems of the universe when I’m out walking.
Which author, deceased or living, would you most like to have dinner with?
Tess Woods (author of Love at First Flight, Beautiful Messy Love and Love And Other Battles and very much alive), because she’s a hoot (and she can cook). So I’ll be inviting myself to Tess’s place for her to cook me dinner!
Is there a trope that you can’t help but love?
I like reunion romances or second chance romances – I think it’s why I loved Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley so much. Many of my books will have second chance/reunion elements to them – for example Fairway To Heaven, The Vineyard In The Hills and also my latest one, Last Bridge Before Home.
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