I'm back chatting with another fantastic author today about the highs and the lows, the past and the future!
Check it out...
Writing fiction about women was neither a conscious decision nor an accident - an all girl’s school and a sizeable chunk of adulthood in the beauty industry dictated the genre for me.
I also find us fascinating: what we love, what we fear, the many things we find infuriating or delightful. Writing it all down just seems like the logical thing to do.
I live in Dorset, England with an assortment of other humans and a sock stealing spaniel. I studied creative writing at Bournemouth Arts University.
‘You’re an angry insomniac with night sweats and memory loss… Hello?’
When a friend has the audacity to suggest that forty-five-year-old landscape gardener Eliza Hamilton is hurtling toward menopause, she is naturally appalled. Menopause is something that happens to other women, older women.
As Eliza tries to negotiate this new and confusing landscape, she also embarks on the biggest challenge of her career so far. But she soon discovers that juggling erratic mood swings with motherhood, demanding family members and domestic drudgery is not the harmonious scenario she’d envisaged.
If Eliza wants to embrace midlife without the crisis, she must first make some grown up choices and face some rather uncomfortable home truths.
Relatable and uplifting, this fresh and funny tale of midlife angst is grabbing the attention of women worldwide.
Who are you and what do you write?
I’m Betsy Price and I write funny and uplifting female fiction.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
Overgrown is my first novel and was published in April 2020, a month before my fiftieth birthday. I’d always loved writing but, as many aspiring story tellers, was always missing that key component: confidence. Before becoming a full-time writer, I worked for many years in the beauty industry. I’d been very fortunate to travel and move around with my career, but once I’d settled down and had a solid routine with children in school, I became restless and the urge to write continued to tap at my heels so I enrolled on an evening course in creative writing at my local university. I was apprehensive at first but it was an amazing journey where I met so many different types of people with a vast range of age and experience. I would work late into the night to complete assignments and would eagerly read them aloud in class the following week; something that a younger version of myself would struggle to do.
One of our assignments was to write about a subject we felt was often overlooked in fiction. At the time there was a lot of talk around menopause, with both clients and friends. It was spoken about freely in the most part, and with light humour. But the deeper I delved, I found that there was also a lot of ignorance and with that of course, comes fear – this was when I gave birth to my protagonist, Eliza.
The assignment, a witty short story about a woman in denial of reaching middle age, was never intended to grow into a full blown novel, it just evolved over a few years. Eliza’s story became an itch which had to be scratched and somewhere around 30,000 words, I decided to make the commitment to turn it into a novel.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part, and I know I speak for many here, is finding the time to write around work and family commitments. And once you finally reach that magical milestone moment of writing ‘the end’, the realisation of the mammoth task of editorial work can be overwhelming. The most enjoyable part for me is getting to know the characters and putting their words down on paper.
Would you go back and change anything?
The learning curve has been immense and I’ve loved every bit of it. The only thing I would go back and change is the crushing self doubt. If I could have believed in myself a little more then the whole process would’ve been a lot smoother and I’d probably be outlining my third book now instead of my second! But on the flip side, learning and growth is an important and ongoing journey in every writer’s career.
What are your plans for the future?
In the next five years I plan to write at least three more novels, all in a similar genre. I love listening to women’s stories and feel privileged to have the ability to weave these anecdotes into fictional tales that others want to read. After that, when the kids have flown and we are free, we plan to travel a lot more. I still want to write, but maybe the genre may shift, I’m not sure yet.
Any advice for new writer?
Advice to new writers? Believe in yourself and enjoy the process. Remember that writing is subjective, not everyone will like your work and that is absolutely fine. Find any international bestselling, Booker prize winning, critically acclaimed novel and you will always find negative reviews; don’t let it hold you back. And write from the heart, listen to what your characters have to say and put all of their grubby, annoying, embarrassing failings down on the page and don’t worry about what your grandma might think.
Ketchup or Mayo? - Mayo
Day or Night? - Day
Inside or Outrside? - Outside
Facebook or Twitter? - Both
e-book or Paperback? - Both
Sun or Rain? - Sun
Keyboard or Notebook and Pen? - Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? - Comedy
Chips or Chocolate? - Chocolate
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
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