Is there anything better than finding out one of your favourite writers is from your hometown? That’s exactly what happened to me after I bought The Party by Robyn Harding, devoured it in a couple of days and read the author bio. I was so inspired to find out that a fellow Vancouver-ite had found international publication success.
Then I found out that Robyn would be presenting at the Surrey International Writers Conference later that year and offering blue pencil sessions. Turns out there is something better than learning one of your favourite authors is from your hometown. It’s finding out that they are also a wonderful and supportive person in real life. Robyn read the first few pages of my first (and as yet unpublished) manuscript and gave me valuable feedback. She also chatted with me after her seminar about the publication process and provided very helpful advice.
Since then, Robyn has supported my own debut novel with posts on social media (thank you!) as well as gone on to write two more bestselling domestic suspense novels (Her Pretty Face & The Arrangement). Her next book, The Swap, releases on June 23 (next week!) and it is so good. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy and wow. Get yourself a copy.
I am so thrilled to feature Robyn’s Q&A as she has so many great nuggets of advice for writers. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about you and the books you have written.
I published my first novel, “The Journal of Mortifying Moments” in 2004. As you can probably tell by the title, it was a work of humorous women’s fiction. I wrote three more novels in that genre, a YA novel, and a comedic memoir about the environment. I also wrote and executive produced the independent film “The Steps” that premiered at TIFF in 2015.
In 2017, my first domestic drama, “The Party” was published. It became an international bestseller and finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian crime novel. I then published the national bestsellers “Her Pretty Face” and “The Arrangement”. My next novel, “The Swap” will be out on June 23, 2020.
How long, on average, does it take you to finish writing a first draft of a novel? What does your writing schedule look like?
It takes me about ten months to write a first draft, but I edit as I go so that draft is usually in pretty good shape. I am most creative in the mornings, so I get up early and start writing as soon as I’ve had some coffee.
How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
I always say you will never enjoy writing a book as much as your first. Once you have a publishing deal, there is a lot more pressure to deliver. You start thinking about your editors and your readers and reviewers.
Do you get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it while on a deadline?
I don’t, really. But sometimes I get tired or burned out. That’s when I know it’s time to give the creative part of my brain a break. Sometimes I just need to go for a walk. Sometimes I need to give myself a day off. I usually come back to writing feeling refreshed and creative.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? What do you wish someone had told you before you got into this industry?
The advice I have for aspiring writers is simply: read, read, read and write, write, write.
I wish someone had told me that, unlike other careers that have a steady upward progression, an author’s career is like a rollercoaster: up one minute and down the next. If you want longevity as a writer, you have to be willing to grow, change, and adapt. And to just focus on the good part. . . the writing.
ABOUT THE SWAP
“No list of thrillers is complete without Robyn Harding,” proclaims Real Simple. Now the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party delivers a riveting tale about the toxic relationship between two couples after a night of sexual shenanigans, and the manipulative teenager with an explosive secret at the center of it all.
Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.
After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.
Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.
Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.
ORDER YOUR COPY USING THESE LINKS:
ABOUT ROBYN HARDING:
Robyn Harding is the author of several novels including the international bestseller “The Party” and wrote and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her family. Her latest novel “The Swap” will be on sale June 23, 2020
Author Website: RobynHarding.com
Facebook: Author Robyn Harding
Publisher’s Website (US): simonandschusterpublishing.com
Publisher’s Website (Canada): simonandschuster.ca