Who’s In The Garden On Monday?

Today our tour takes us across the water to our European neighbour, France, and to the new home of my erstwhile fancy-dress buddy. She’s taken some huge steps recently, as you will see below. Today’s guest from Virtual Swanwick is Liz Hurst.

Hello Liz and welcome. Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing

I didn’t start writing until I was 40, but it has been the most amazing and fun-filled journey! I started out writing erotic fiction under a pseudonym but I have since published books under my own name. The Lost Souls series follows the stories of a group of women living in a small village in the English countryside, solving spooky mysteries while coping with their respective emotional problems. I am also writing stand-alone historical fiction based on the tales of real-life women who have struggled for equality in their chosen fields. I have launched my own imprint, Sisterhood Publications, which will incorporate all these projects and more.

2019 has been an enormous year for me. I moved to the south of France in January, and I’m really enjoying the slower pace of life and the chance to improve my language skills. The stress of life in the UK has melted away, which I find is working wonders for my creativity. Since I’ve been here, I’ve joined writing groups and been a guest speaker at local retreats, with more engagements planned for this coming autumn.

When I’m not writing or speaking, I can be found tucked away in my little French townhouse, editing and proofreading other novels. I have even had the privilege of working on some Swanwickers’ work, which has been a great pleasure.

What is your link to Swanwick? Have you been many times in the past?

My first visit was in 2013. I felt such a fraud because I wasn’t yet published at that time, but I quickly learned that no one cared, and it was just so wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded creative people, and immersed in writing-related topics for a whole week. Unfortunately, I can’t be part of the 2019 school due to family commitments, but I am planning to be back with a vengeance in 2020, which will be my fifth visit!

What’s your favourite part of the Swanwick week?

Without a doubt, the best thing about Swanwick is the people. Meeting up with old friends and finding new ones means I am constantly smiling and laughing. White Badgers, be warned, by Friday your face will ache!

The after-dinner speakers are always a highlight of the week. Given an unlimited budget and access to all writers, living or dead, who would you book for next year?

Margaret Atwood would be a joy to listen to. I’ve seen her speak before and she is a fascinating woman.

And finally, share with us a picture that illustrates your attendance at VS 2019 and tell us why.

I try and visit the beach at least 2-3 times per week. I find it so therapeutic and soul-nourishing. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the sand between the toes, the warm sunshine…it’s perhaps the only thing for me that will go some way towards not being at Swanwick this year.

Thank you for dropping by, Liz, and enjoy the sunshine on the beach. We look forward to seeing you again in Derbyshire next year.

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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