Interview with Lisbeth Foye

About the book

Today I’m delighted to welcome Lisbeth Foye – author of ‘The Biggest Lie’ and 'Luca'. 

The Biggest Lie, The Hague, Holland 1976 

 After a procession of hapless relationships, 23 year-old Lana Milton finds herself recklessly falling for a man who should be out of bounds, but despite fighting with her emotions the affair begins, an affair which can only cause pain and heartache; not only to Lana but - more importantly - to the innocent party. 

Coming face to face with the one person she is hurting the most, Lana has to make a decision which breaks her heart. She knows that she is the only one to make the choice, something she can only do by lying, a lie which betrays the truth. Lana’s distortion of the truth closes the door on the only real love she has known. 

In life’s ups and downs even her best friend Tess, is not what she seems. Tess turns on her, leaving her and their friendship in tatters.

From Holland, Lana moves on to a new start in London where she meets rich, tormented Howard Marshall. Howard is frustratingly aware that his love for Lana is not reciprocated. Slowly, over-time his attempts to control her with his furtive mind-games and calculated derisory tactics only serve to curtail the chance of her ever loving him back in return.

After nearly 20 years of manipulation, Howard’s desperate struggle to break the woman he loves finally backfires when Lana, now middle-aged and fuelled with the still-burning embers of her long-ago love, confronts Howard. She stands up to his bullying and devious malicious ways, her anger fills her with a renewed strength in which she finds the courage to leave him to start her life yet again.

Now in her late fifties and living in a calm, non-disruptive world close to her family, Lana is content and yearns for nothing more in life. 

But fate has other ideas as it smashes through the door to bring her life around, full circle.

The Biggest Lie – a tale of love, friendship, hope and strength is set in the era of glitter-ball discos which grows to maturity in the 21st century. Proof, that it’s never too late for anything...

The BIGGEST LIE is Available from Amazon

LUCA is a free download available from SMASHWORDS

 

About the author

This is what she has to say about herself.

I was born in York, England in the early 1950s and lived there until the 70s when I took off to go travelling around Europe. I spent the decade living and working in Paris - France, Spain and many years in Holland before returning to England in 1983 where I settled in London before moving to Cambridgeshire where I now live; close to my niece and her family. I believe that there's still another location or two I have yet to move on to...

I’m a nomadic-hippy at heart; my experiences have been a big influence contributing to the colourful characters and incidents in my books.

JC, my OH lives in the States, we’re still working out how we will be together but as I’m a great believer in fate, I don’t worry. After all that we’ve been through, I know that the time will come. It’s not a problem for us being so far apart, we’re both secure in our love and I feel him with me constantly. Picking up the phone to each other is so easy these days with Skype – it’s as simple as calling your friend in the next town. The miles between us hold no intrusion into our relationship.

I like other people cooking for me, JC’s a much better cook than me and I love being in the kitchen with him, I wash up and make a salad as he cooks the dinner.

I get emotional at the most obscure things; when I see horses frollicking around a field, I well up with emotion…I look at pictures of our beautiful planet and I feel a strange kind of homesickness...I don’t like vacuuming though, the noise and the way that tube thing bangs against your leg, it jams itself behind doors, I really cannot stand the things. Gardening’s another thing I despise, despite my love of nature – I feel that all that weeding is a waste of time.

I look forward to the day when I pack up, move to be with JC and I can say, ‘Well, that’s no more mowing for me…’

  

Thank you Lisbeth, now if you’re sitting comfortably, let’s get the interview started.

Can you summarise your latest work in just a few words?

The tale of Lana Milton spans nearly four decades of her life; kicking off in liberal Holland of the 70s through to the present time when she is back in England, her homeland. Lana learns that after all the love, tragedy and despair she has gone through, it’s fate which holds the cards and brings her life full circle.


Luca is a short story; an off shoot of The Biggest Lie. As it’s linked to tBL I don’t feel it justifies readers having to pay for it.
Luca a short story in its own right, is free to download from Smashwords, Wattpad. Goodreads and my Blog.

  

What was the inspiration for this book?

I relied on my experiences to bring a story to the book and life to the characters, my imagination then took over to embellish - often innocent – experiences, to shift them into a dramatic storyline. Although, there is one aspect of the book, the heart of the story, which is totally true to my life…

  

Did you do any research for the book?

Yes! I love doing research, I love learning new things. I spent hours, even days making sure that certain situations, places, dates and incidents which are mentioned in the storyline are correct. A part of the book takes place in Singapore in the early 1980s, although I have been to Singapore it was several years after the storyline takes place, by which time it had changed considerably. So I studied videos, photos, documents and memoirs from that time, before Singapore went through its rejuvenation, so that I knew exactly what it was like.

I also spent a lot of time researching facts which I later scrapped from the finished manuscript – but, never-the-less, I don’t feel it was time wasted as I learned something from it.

 

How do you decide on the names for your characters?

Lana was the easy choice, I named the protagonist of my debut novel by the name I have always wanted for myself!

I changed some of the character’s names several times; I realized that some were too alike and could cause confusion to the reader as to who was who – halfway through the book Jules and Jennie became Tess and Fran.

I have a tattered old book of Baby Names which I love to flick through - I do that with my World Atlas too - I often lay in bed studying these names and places in the world before I go to sleep.

 

 

What are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?

I have two projects; little worms in my head…the first is a story of a young English woman giving birth to her daughter in a squalid, rat infested prison in India. The story has many twists and some of the characters aren’t quite what you believe them to be.

 

The other project is something totally different, a fantasy adventure on a remote island where a mixed bag of humans find themselves living in a community alongside, erm…non-humans would be the best way to describe them.

 

What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?

I just love writing. I always have. Being an author - a writer - is all I’ve ever wanted to be. When I’m writing I am able to create the best and the worst in people, I can mould life and if I don’t like it I can go back and change it. How wonderful is that?

 

The worst has been all the marketing and getting my books published online, I didn’t have a clue how to go about it, I had no idea how much work it entailed – I’m still unsure and don’t know if I have it all covered. I’m not good at self-promoting myself, I need to toughen up a bit, but it’s difficult.

 

I had help with formatting of the manuscripts though, which saved me a big headache. There’s a lot of useful information on the internet but actually getting it done? Well, it’s been an experience!

 

Blogs like allthingsbookie are fantastic and an excellent podium for authors to promote their book. It’s a great help to fledgling authors like me, to get a foothold in this virtual world of books.

 

Reader’s feedback is such an important tool to help in the promotion of books, once they have read the book it is so helpful if they go back to Amazon or Smashwords and leave their feedback. Whenever I watch the X Factor (for example) and Louis (or whoever) stresses that people should pick up the phone to vote for their favourite act, that we should not assume that the act is safe – they need the votes, I always think that it’s the same for books.

Feedback please readers…  

 

Most writers have some quirks – what are yours?

I have different coloured Cartesio notebooks which I carry around the house in a small bag; I know straight away which one I need to make notes in – different colours for different stories.

 

I also have a very old plastic mouse, which I’ve had since goodness knows when, he sits on my desk and I twiddle him around when I read back what I’ve written, my thumbs sit snug inside his ears and my fingers run around the grooves in his body. These things are the comfort blanket which I cherish.

 

Do you plot your novels or allow them to develop as you write?

I like to think that I plot them, I write copious notes but when I start typing, the story often takes on a life of its own and runs away with itself. When I read my notes afterwards concerning a certain chapter or situation there’s hardly any resemblance and then I think “Oh well, I’ll use those notes, snippets and quips later on…or in my next book…” I tick them off as I use them; make sure I don’t keep repeating myself.

 

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

 I’ve spent the last couple of days reading Mark Coker’s (fromSmashwords) The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success and his Marketing Guide which have been a fantastic help in getting to grips with ePublishing. I’m halfway through reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty which, incidentally, is the first real book on my Kindle. It took a while to get used to the Kindle but now I’m hooked and The Husband’s Secret is a great book to get lost in. 

 People remember the first CD they bought to replace their vinyl collection don’t they? I reckon, in years to come it’ll be the same with their first book on Kindle.

  

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Enjoy every minute that you write and feel proud when you put that last full stop at the end. But, be aware that the hard work now starts, all the advice about editing, revising, slashing and cutting that you read about is essential.

Once you’ve finished writing, leave your book for a couple of weeks then go back and start with the edit and revising, then go back again and again…

It took me over six months to write The Biggest Lie and another six months to edit, revise, slash and burn. I still want to go and tweak bits here and there.

You may be eager to get it out there and start on a new project but DO NOT cut corners with the edit/revise and do-it-all-again stage. 
I quite enjoyed that part of it actually…

 Thank you so much Lisbet for a fascinating interview.

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Julie Ryan | Reply 05.12.2013 08.15

Thank you Sian - so gald you like the site and Lisbeth's book. It's great to get positive comments. Thank you.

Sian | Reply 05.12.2013 02.34

Great interview! You've really sparked my interest in "The biggest Lie" and it's great to get to know Lisbet. I'm also loving your snowflake background.

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