Sunday, June 11, 2006

Celebrating Writing Friends 4 - Liz Fielding

True confessions time number 2 -
I wish I wrote like Liz Fielding! Every time I open one of her books and I read an opening like :

Fleur Gilbert hesitated on the registry office steps. This was not how her
wedding day was supposed to be.
Or

Funerals and weddings. Sebastian Wolseley hated them both.

I wish I could write with that cool, clear – and somehow very English sort of style. But perhaps I shouldn’t say English as Liz has lived in Wales for as long as I’ve known her. Her writing style – very like the lady herself - is warm, often humorous, and with an emotional depth that grabs you and holds you to the very last page. The tag line for her web site says ‘sparkling, emotional, feel good romance’, and that just about sums it up.

Liz writes for the Tender Romance line. A line that is being revamped ready for a relaunch very soon. One of the problems with this line is that it can have the image of being old fashioned, staid romance. Not with writers like Liz Fielding in it. Liz writes the sort of books that grab hearts, make you laugh and cry in the same chapter – books that win awards. You only have to look at the list on her web site to see that.

The most prestigious of these awards are the RITA in 2001 for The Best Man and The Bridesmaid and the RNA’s Romance Prize 2005 for A Family of His Own. This year, her wonderful book The Marriage Miracle (more about that in a minute) is also nominated for a RITA. Liz is also an innovator. She broke the ‘rule’ that romances are never written in the first person with City Girl In Training which again was nominated for a RITA in 2003.

But in spite of the fact that Liz’s name appears on so many winners and finalist lists, she is one of the most modest, down to earth and delightful people I know. When I asked her if she would like to contribute a book to the Bag of Books prize and asked if there was anything she wanted me to say in this post about her, her reply was:

Apart from the fact that The Marriage Miracle has been nom'd for a Rita and that
I hate the title -- it implies this is a pick-up-your-bed and walk
get-out-of-jail happy ending, when its the second chance at a life that's the
miracle -- I've just blogged about that -- I can't think of anything.

Which really encapsulates Liz and her writing in one sentence. So , as The Marriage Miracle is one of the books that Liz has donated to the Bag of Books The other is The Five Year Baby Secret) - I’ll just say a bit more about TMM as to me it sums up where people go wrong in dismissing Tender Romances as being lightweight and old fashioned. And it also says a lot about Liz as a writer.


When I first read TMM, I wrote about it in a blog I then had on eHarlequin and this is what I said:
And finally, last but not least in a list of good things that I’ve enjoyed this
week – I read a wonderful book. Liz Fielding’s The Marriage Miracle which is
also a December release (in Tender Romance) in the UK.

What a great book – warm, emotional and absorbing. Matty, the heroine, is a very
special lady (no details – they would be spoilers) and it takes a very special
man to win her carefully defended heart. And Sebastian is very definitely that
special sort of man. I loved every page of this book – it’s the sort of heart
wrenching, emotional story that in the wrong hands could become mawkish and
sentimental but, believe me, Liz’s hands are very definitely the right one (or
should I say – the write ones?) for this book. I smiled, laughed, had tears in
my eyes – but above all else, I enjoyed it. The perfect relaxation after working
to meet my deadline.

Thank you Liz – and everyone else, if you get
a chance to read this book – grab it. It’s not a Presents-type romance but
that’s what I love about this genre – there is so much scope for so many great
writers for us to enjoy.

If you want to read Liz’s own story of the way Matty forced her into writing her story - because Liz tells it so much better than I do – then you can do so here.

The point is that Matty is in a wheelchair as a result of an accident three years before the book begins. But that Miracle in the title is so misleading as is the UK cover where the heroine is standing straight and tall at the altar when in fact she has struggled her way up the aisle to the man whose love has given her that second chance at life that Liz speaks of. As she says, Liz writes romances not fairy stories – there had to be a happy ending, not a miracle cure. The real miracle is the love that Mattie finally lets into her heart and into her life - and the miracle of that love that changes Sebastian's life for ever as well.

That’s the sort of book that Liz writes. The sort of book that in her own
words -
Worse, it was going to be seriously Hard Work. It would involve
research
(which is not my favourite thing) and an intensity of emotional input that I knew would drain me dry

Well all I can say Liz is that Hard Work was well worth it – and I’m not at all surprised that Matty’s story has been shortlisted for yet another RITA. I shall have my fingers crossed that you win. I’ll be jealous of course – but there are few writers and few people I’d rather be jealous of. Good luck!

10 comments:

Liz Fielding said...

The cheque is in the post, Kate...

Kate Walker said...

You don't have to bribe me Liz! Your friendship and your books are reward enough

Anonymous said...

The story sounds beautiful. I'll be rooting for you at the RITA's, Liz! :)

Anonymous said...

What an excellent and inspiring post!
The Marriage Miracle and Liz Fielding's work is the main reason why I have decided to submit my work to the Tender Romance Line.
The awards and acclaim are well justified.
Many Thanks - Ray-Anne

Anonymous said...

What an excellent and inspiring post!
The Marriage Miracle and Liz Fielding's other work is the main reason why I have decided to submit my work to the Tender Romance Line.
The awards and acclaim are well justified.
Many Thanks - Ray-Anne

Anonymous said...

Liz is one of my favourite HMB writers, too. I've yet to read TMM but it's on my TBR shelf, waiting its turn.

Anonymous said...

Seconded all the way. When I'm having a seriously bad day, I reach for a Liz Fielding book because they're such feelgood reads. And Matty's story was so good it managed to knock my previous favourite of Liz's (Gentlemen Prefer... Brunettes) into second place. I tipped the book for a RITA the moment I read it. Fabulous read.

Liz is also another writer who proves my theory that authors are like their books - warm and funny and good to have around.

...and no, I'm not on commission :oD

Liz Fielding said...

Aw, shucks! Now I'm blushing!

blueberri said...

Thanks for the post about Liz's writing, Kate. I have a few of her books on my shelves and my eyes always light up when I see her name now. I enjoy her writing very much. :) She writes page flippers.

I'm reading your signed book THE HOSTAGE BRIDE again and am in love with love! Have I told you how much I admire your writing? I bet I've mentioned it more than a few times!
Love it! Love it! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Yes--Liz is one of my major influences in writing category romance, largely because of her voice, which I find effortlessly engaging. (I'm sure it's not effortless to write, but it's a dream to read.) Always an auto-buy for me.

 

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