Meet an author: Aziza Eden Walker
1. When did you start writing and why?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. My mother has my first efforts (complete with illustrations!) framed up in her laundry room. Little stories I made up when I was seven, for school. I always got good feedback from teachers so I kept going and won a bunch of prizes. Plus, I really loved it. English was my favourite subject and I majored in at (together with Drama and Psychology) at university. In 2014 when my son started play school, I committed to writing full-time. Since then I’ve published 3 romance novels, and written 7!
2. At what point do you know that a story/book is complete?
Let’s face it, it never is. I’ll be happy with what I send a publisher but in some ways that’s when the real work begins. Behind every good writer there’s a brilliant editor who’s noticed that the hero’s shoes change colour halfway through a scene!
The uncertainty can be tough - I realise I'm not in charge of the story at all. - @edenwalking. Click To Tweet
3. What’s the hardest/easiest thing about writing?
The hardest is my tendency not to prioritise it. Then it becomes a guilty pleasure while I’m doing Life (not a good feeling, and not enough time.) The uncertainty can be tough – I realise I’m not in charge of the plot, the characters, or the dialogue, not at all – but I like that too. In some ways that’s the best bit. I need to say something about rejection here, for writers who are starting out – it’s nonsense. It’s just an illusion. Don’t buy into it. Every book has a home.
4. What books would you say shaped your writing?
Funnily enough, books completely unrelated to romance (which is my genre)! The Wind in the Willows, Gone with the Wind (is there a theme here?) More latterly, I’ve loved Marian Keyes and books like Room and The Fault in our Stars. Just brilliant. I guess what’s inspiring me across these very different books is the absorption that these authors evoke. I have been known to wake up in the middle of the night and open my Marian Keyes. Bliss.
5. Are you working on anything at the moment?
Always!! I just wrote a story that takes place in the Maasai Mara in Kenya – Absolute Elsewhere – a romance across a huge cultural divide. I’m currently writing a hot one-nighter set in Bali. And next February I’m getting on an ocean liner so I can write two books about love in Maputo and at sea! Whooooo-hooooo!
6. How do you feel about bad reviews?
Thankfully I haven’t had any of those, though I’ve had reviewers who didn’t quite “get it”. I hope that doesn’t sound conceited. It’s just that what I write may not be to everyone’s taste. My books are hot, funny and very romantic. They’ll make you feel good, and hopefully add a special little something to your life. Reviews that say this is too fairytale are missing the point. Life’s a fairytale. Didn’t anyone notice that yet? 🙂My books are hot, funny and very romantic. They'll make you feel good. - @edenwalking Click To Tweet
7. If you could be a character in a novel you’ve read, who would you be and why?
Aw, I would be Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love. Okay, I would just be Elizabeth Gilbert, full stop. What that woman did in her life using FAITH is incredible. I salute you, Liz.
8. If your life was a book, what would the title be?
I was going to say Naked and Alone, but that’s just too sad. Almost Normal. Which is also the next book I’ll be writing for Ankara Press.
9. Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t know.
I now unschool my child, age 6. This means that he’s basically free-range at home, in charge of his own learning and destiny. With great freedom comes great responsibility. This world needs more people like that.