Today I am welcoming Lisa Rose Wright into the Indie Spotlight.
In 2007 Lisa left a promising career as an ecologist catching protected reptiles and amphibians, and kissing frogs, to move to beautiful green Galicia in the remote northwest of Spain with her blue-eyed prince (who has since become her blue-eyed husband but that’s another story).
She divides her time equally between growing her own food, helping to renovate a semi-derelict house (or actually two… but that’s another story too) and getting out and about to discover more of the stunningly beautiful area she calls home.
Lisa is happiest outside in her huerta weeding, watching the antics of her chickens, or in her kitchen cooking interesting recipes on her wood-burning range.
Lisa is the author of the Writing Home trilogy of travelogue memoirs which follow her adventures in Galicia.
Hi Lisa, welcome to my blog!
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
When I first wrote Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart, I felt that I wanted a traditional publisher to take it up. I thought this was because it gave a certain kudos to my work, but in reality, it was that I was terrified of the whole self-publishing/Indie thing. I had no idea where to turn. A small publishing firm offered to take on my book however, some months in, I realised the relationship wasn’t working. Their ideas were very different to mine and the two just didn’t jell. We agreed to part ways.
An Indie published friend of mine then offered to help me publish Plum through KDP, the publishing arm of Amazon. Within a couple of months, we had sorted the files for kindle and paperback, the covers and the blurb. I’d got a couple of newspaper interviews and I’d written a short story ‘reader magnet’ to bring in subscribers. Now I really enjoy being ‘in charge’ of my books. From first draft to publishing, success all rests on me
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
I love writing about Galicia where I have made my home. I enjoy showing other people our life and our beautiful area of Spain and hope they may one day visit this largely undiscovered region. I really admire people who write fiction and I would love to do it someday (I have an idea for a timeslip novel) but for now travelogue memoir works for me and it’s something I feel confident about and enjoy writing.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
No, not at all. I love many genres; in fact, as a child Mum would tell me I’d read the sauce bottle if I had nothing else. With the exception of horror and violent true crime, there is nothing I won’t read providing it’s well written. I do enjoy memoir most of all though and especially finding new authors through my favourite Facebook group, We Love Memoirs.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I usually have two or three books on the go. I’m currently reading Valerie Poore’s ‘Walloon Ways’ from her lovely series of books charting her life on a barge in the Netherlands, I also have a couple of beta reads on the go and an ARC read. I need more reading hours in the day!
As for TV we don’t have TV as such though we do have a ‘film’ night where we watch DVD box sets. At the moment we are watching Game of Thrones with Mum, who calls it the ‘death series’. A surprisingly accurate description!
I don’t listen to music while I’m writing as I get distracted too easily and end up singing along rather than writing, but I have hidden a few titles from my favourite artist in my three books if anyone fancies a treasure hunt!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I hate giving advice as I sort of fell into writing my travelogue memoirs, but I’d say that the most important advice is, don’t give up. Whether it takes days, weeks or years, if you have a story to tell, then keep at it. Then put it aside for a few months before rereading the whole thing. If, at the end you think you have a good story, publish it. If you like it then in all probability, someone else will too.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I’ve published my third book in the Writing Home trilogy and am now having a little break before starting on my next series, which will be called Travels Beyond. It will be another three-book series of travelogue memoirs, beginning in Galicia but then travelling beyond our borders to new adventures in Japan, Australia, Chile and New Zealand.
I am also working on a book of allergy -free baking. I started this a while back because one of my friends is gluten and dairy allergic and complained at the lack of cakes and desserts easily available. I felt I wanted to write a book for the ordinary cook who would like to produce something delicious for friends or guests (or just for themselves). There will be gluten-free, dairy-free, low GI and auto-immune recipes in there and I think I can confidently say they will all be delicious for everyone to eat whether they have an allergy or not.
That sounds like an interesting series, Lisa and I’m sure the cookbook will be very useful and successful! Thank you very much for visiting my blog today and good luck with all of your projects!
The Writing Home Trilogy
Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart
The first book in the Writing Home trilogy, Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart tells the story of the first 12 months living la vida dulce (the good life) in this beautiful but remote area of mainland Spain.
This fly on the wall account uses genuine letters home and diary entries to tell a true story: a story of battles with Spanish bureaucracy; of struggles to self-renovate a derelict home before the bats and the weather reclaim it; of gardening in bizarre weather conditions; of discovering how to cook delicious and sometimes interesting meals on a finally mouse-free wood burning stove – and of falling in love.
Tomato, Fig & Pumpkin Jelly
In Tomato, Fig & Pumpkin Jelly, Lisa and partner ‘S’ decide to battle Spanish bureaucracy once more – and get married in their adopted country. With a partly renovated but still mainly derelict house, an allotment which is proving too big to handle and some very bad experiences with Spanish paperwork this intrepid couple are not making life easy for themselves.
Chestnut, Cherry & Kiwi Fruit sponge
The third book in the Writing Home series, Chestnut, Cherry & Kiwi Fruit sponge was published in October 2021. After seven years living in the remote northwest of Spain, Lisa and S are finally getting near to completing their dream house. They have no intentions of buying another house, never mind another ruin but that is exactly what they do.
It’s all in a good cause – Lisa’s mum, Iris, has finally agreed to move to Galicia.
And this time they have help, in the form of an army of volunteers from all corners of the globe.
In hindsight, deciding to walk the Camino de Santiago carrying everything but the kitchen sink was probably a mistake. Realising the chance of reaching their destination in three short weeks is a big fat zero, Lisa and partner S do the only thing they can: they turn inland to the beautiful and bounteous land of Galicia – and fall in love.
A sort of prequel to Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart, this short story follows our intrepid heroes on a camino journey along the stunning north coast of Spain from Gijón in Cantabria to Ribadeo in Galicia and thus inland to find the sort of beauty and derelict houses they had only ever dreamed of.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
Donna O’Donnell Figurski is a wife, mother, granny, retired teacher, writer, playwright, actor, director, stage manager, photographer, former picture-book reviewer, and caregiver for her husband and best friend, David. Pheww!
Donna is the author of her three-time-award-winning memoir, Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Tale, a heart-wrenching love story. She is working on another book about brain injury (Conversations) with a coauthor who is a survivor of brain injury. Donna can’t wait to share her love of teaching, complete with anecdotes from her career–in which she taught first and third grades–and tips for teachers, in her new manuscript, If I Ran the School: A Play Yard for Learning, which is next up for submission. She implores you to cross your fingers for her!