Freddie: So, Liane, was it tough to write the book?
Liane: Yes. I love Joya and all of you. So much so that when I was writing the first draft I started panicking because I didn’t want to leave, so I slowed right down. The editing and subsequent drafts were tough because I was growing as a writer and being pushed constantly to dig deep for the best I was capable of.
Freddie: Who pushed you, man? I’ll sort them out.
Liane: (Laughs.) Me mainly. I love to grow and I wanted the book to be the best I could give. But Renni Browne was phenomenal in helping me stretch to painful heights.
Freddie: What made you want to write?
Liane: I’ve always wanted to but thought it was like a dream. Not something you could really do. A few friends and students kept saying I should write a book and I eventually began to believe them.
Freddie: What made you want to write about us?
Liane: Who wouldn’t? You’re fun and you have so many secrets and there is so much going on. I wanted to write a book that would be an exciting and fun read. I love reading and wanted to give that wonderful feeling I get when I read a book to someone else.
Freddie: Anyone in particular?
Liane: Everyone who wants to. Especially my husband, Lee. He’s a harsh critic and I thought if I can write a book he likes, I’ve done well. And he likes it—phew!
Freddie: I’ve agreed to share our info with you, girl, but, hey for anyone reading who’s thinking of coming snooping for our planet, we’re fictional, know what I’m saying? So how did you make us seem real?
Liane: You’re all so vivid in my imagination and anyone who knows me knows how much of an imagination I have! I dream and daydream about you a lot. Maybe you did a switch with me and I spent a few weeks up on Joya.
Freddie: Shh, man. You don’t remember nothing, right?
Liane: (Covers her mouth with her hand and nods.)
Freddie: Who’s your favourite character in the book?
Liane: I like you all for different reasons.
Freddie: Yeah. I’m your favourite, though, right?
Liane: I don’t have a favourite.
Freddie: Come on, man. I won’t say nothin´.
Liane: Okay. You’re one of them. Who could not like a rapper ferret?
Freddie: My thoughts exactly. So are we like any people you know?
Liane: Absolutely. There are similarities to some friends and family and bits of myself in most of you.
Freddie: What’s it like writing about us?
Liane: Emotional. I was sobbing over one part that was in an early draft and I had to stop writing because I couldn’t see the screen. I scared myself with Julius in one scene and had to go back and rewrite it when I was brave enough! I’m there living it with you which is a fantastic thrill and it takes me a while to be back in the now on this planet. I walk into doors, have glazed eyes, and a grin is plastered across my face long after I’ve left you.
Freddie: Some of us get pretty sick in this first book of yours. I don’t wanna give away no clues but you planning to kill any of us off in the future? A ferret needs to be warned, know what I’m saying?
Liane: You’ll have to wait and see.
Freddie: Don’t you get rid of me, girl!
Freddie: So what else you up to?
Liane: I’ve just finished the first draft in a new series. I’m very excited about it. I would love to be the protagonist because he gets to do some amazing things and I would love to have the gift he’s been given. I’ll get back and edit that in a few weeks. I’ve also written the first book in a series of four and the characters are very close to my heart and great fun. It’s been edited and I just need to tweak it a bit more to ensure it’s the best it can be.
Freddie: So they’re not about us, then?
Liane: No, but don’t worry. I’ve started the second book about you guys.
Freddie: So what else do you do when you’re not writing about us?
Liane: I write a weekly column for the Costa Blanca News and I freelance for Writing Magazine. I’m also an NLP practitioner and a singer in a band like you.
Freddie: Did you just start writing or did you do a course?
Liane: I wrote, then went on a self-editing course, did a proof reading course, read books on the subject, subscribed to writing magazines, worked with an editor and learned heaps.
Freddie: So what tips would you give to people who want to write?
Liane: Read books. Once to enjoy the story and then to note what you loved about them and why. This is a great way to learn from people who’ve already done it. Write a bit every day, even if it’s only a paragraph. This stops any fears popping in like “Oh, I can’t write anymore” and conditions your mind to treat writing as a habit. Write as you speak. Your personality is what makes your book special, not copying someone else. And the last thing is accept criticism. It’s a gift to unwrap, and a great way to grow and develop your talent. If someone says a character should be taken out and you love him, be objective. Think about why they said it. If you want to keep the character, how can you make him more interesting to the reader or more involved in the story?
Freddie: So what do you do in your spare time, man?
Liane: I read—to go on a journey into another world while sat on my sofa is the ultimate treat for me. I also love to dance, play guitar, dabble in diabolo (I’m a novice and have the bruises to prove it!), play a bit of piano and paint.
Freddie: How do you fit it all in, man?
Liane: In snippets! I’ll write for forty minutes then take ten minutes out to play on piano. I also meditate and do Reiki which gives me extra energy.
Freddie: So, man, you know I’m into music. What’s the music all about?
Liane: My husband and I used to be in a band. Lee (my husband) got itchy fingers to get back into it again.
Freddie: I know that feelin´, man.
Liane: He makes all the music and I come up with the lyrics and sing. The song Dreams of Joya—which you hear a snippet of when you open this website—he wrote after being inspired reading the book. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to get the lyrics down.
Freddie: I love it, man.
Liane: Thank you.
Freddie: So you planning to write more music?
Liane: Yes, we may write a couple of songs for each book like we have for THE CHRONICLES OF JOYA. Because Lee edits everything I write, it´s natural that he’s inspired to put music to some of the ideas. We also write songs not related to the books. I love words and singing and Lee loves to make music so it works well.
Freddie: Okay, man, a ferret’s gotta fly. Don’t want Darcy catching me down here. Thanks for the info. (He runs up his custom-made Harley, revs the throttle and flies into the sky.)