I am pleased to welcome Izzy Bayliss, author of The Girl I Was Before, to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books today to talk about her influences.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
Like a lot of people Enid Blyton kept me enthralled with the Wishing Chair series, Twelve Silver Cups, The Faraway Tree and then Mallory Towers and the Famous Five. I fell in love with the magic of fiction with Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce; it weaved a spell over me. Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon McKenna, a story about the plight of 3 children during the Irish potato famine, was the first time a book made me cry. As I got a little older I moved onto horror novels by Christopher Pike. As a teenager I devoured Viriginia Andrews’ books, reading them always felt like I was doing something illicit and Stephen King novels too.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I wouldn’t say I was particularly outstanding at English but looking back, I was good at essay writing. I was the girl punching the air whenever we got an essay title for homework. I can remember being asked to read some of my essays aloud to the class so they must have been okay.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love women’s fiction, which is obviously the genre I love to write in. I love an emotional hook in a book and I try to connect with readers in this way in my own writing.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’d love to try historical fiction. I’m not a big TV person but I enjoy a good period drama. I’m addicted to Victoria at the moment. I’d love to try and write in this genre but the level of research required is daunting.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
This is a really hard question because I’ve been inspired by so many talented authors. Perhaps Marian Keyes, her books showed me that it was okay to write the way people talk.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Maggie O’Farrell or Marian Keyes would be two authors that I always rush out to buy as soon as they release a book.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. I read it on honeymoon. I laughed and cried and despaired and then laughed again. I adored it and it is my favourite of all Marian’s books. As an author, Marian brings the reader through every emotion.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
No, I’m glad to say I’ve never walked in to find my husband in bed with another woman (phew…) but I think writers inevitably absorb characteristics of people they know and put them into their writing without even realizing, like the way your friend might flare their nostrils. Sometimes a story you hear on TV or read in a magazine might inspire the seed of a story but basing your story on somebody you know in real life would be risky plus as authors, our job is it make it up – that’s the fun bit!
A huge thank you Izzy for taking part.
When Lily McDermott walks in to find Marc, her husband of just three months in bed with actress Nadia, life as she knows it is over. Lily thinks things can’t get any worse when she sees photos of her husband and his new lover splashed across the glossy magazine pages, but when she loses her job too, she is at her lowest ebb and turns to baking to soothe her soul. Wounded and broken she has to try and pick herself up again with the help of her best friend Frankie and with her encouragement, Lily decides to turn her hobby into a business and sets up Baked With Love. However whatever Lily does, it seems disaster soon ensues and when handsome stranger Sam comes to her rescue, Lily isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage.
Can Lily risk opening her heart again or is she destined to allow Marc to shadow her life forever?
Izzy’s novel The Girl I Was Before is out now!
About Izzy Bayliss
Izzy Bayliss lives in Ireland with her husband, children and their dog. A romantic at heart, she loves nothing more than cosying up in front of the fire with a good book. Her motto is that reality is over-rated and she is happiest staring into space and day-dreaming.
Connect with Izzy