Today I’m delighted to welcome Zanna Mackenzie to Me, My Books and I:
Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!
Zanna has written two novels, The Love Programme (Astraea Press) and How Do You Spell Love? (Crooked Cat Publishing) and a novella Back To Square One – all published in 2013.
To find out more:
Where did the idea for How do You Spell Love? come from?
I loved reading rom com novels with a magical element to them but there weren’t many such books around at the time so I decided to follow a popular bit of advice – write what you’d like to read yourself. I’ve always been fascinated by herbs and crystals so including them in the book meant I got to do lots of research in this field which I loved doing. I knew I wanted the book to follow two female friends – one a white witch and one without magical powers – to show how they each tackled life, loss and love, and the story evolved from there.
Who designed the cover and why did you go for that particular design?
The book’s publishers Crooked Cat designed the cover. We looked at lots of options and eventually decided on this particular design because it captured all the elements of the story – love, romance and magic. It was important the silhouettes of the couple fitted with the look of the characters in the book as well. Oh, and I absolutely love the shooting stars in the sky behind the couple!
Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?
That’s easy; it would be Alex from How Do You Spell Love? I loved writing his scenes in the book because, well, OK, I’ll admit it; I developed something of a crush on him! Imagine an architect/ builder/project manager who makes you laugh, is great company and looks like the gorgeous actor Paul Walker – who wouldn’t want to meet him in person?!
What do you hope readers will learn from How do You Spell Love??
They’ll get to discover bits and pieces about myths, folklore and magic along the way but mainly I just hope they like the characters, get drawn into their lives and enjoy the story!
What makes it stand out from the crowd?
Possibly the fact it combines normal people and normal life with elements of magic which are quite ‘practical’ rather than too fantastical. I wanted the magical side of the book to be believable and not far-fetched.
Do you follow a plan when you are writing or do you let the story guide you?
I start out with a plan but things tend to change here and there along the way. As the story, plot and people in the book develop I sometimes feel as though the characters would behave differently to how I had originally planned. This can have anything from a minor to a major impact on plot. On one occasion, a book took on a completely different ending!
Do you have any writing quirks?
Not that I know of! I do know I can get so engrossed in my writing I lose track of time and frequently burn the dinner….
Who are your favourite authors and do you think they have influenced your own writing in any way?
I don’t think I have favourite authors these days. Before I started writing my favourite authors were probably Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella but I have discovered so many wonderful authors in the past few years I honestly couldn’t name a favourite nowadays.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for a book where would it be?
I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights so it would probably be somewhere in Canada or Scandinavia during the winter in the hope I might be lucky enough to spot them.
Paperback or eBook?
Paperback definitely. I hope the day never comes when paperback books go the way of VHS cassettes and LPs and become obsolete.
Snow or sun?
Snow. I have to spend summer covering up and hiding under a giant sunhat as I have pale skin which starts itching and coming out in prickly heat if exposed to the sun for even a few seconds.
Sweet or savoury?
Savoury. I love, love, love cheese.
Listener or talker?
Probably listener, though my husband might disagree…
Dogs or cats?
We have 4 Labradors in the house so I’d better say dogs!
Any last words for your readers?
Thank you and I hope you enjoy my books! Oh, and I have a new book out in Feb 2014 from my publishers Crooked Cat. The book is called If You Only Knew and it’s a comedy romance about what happens when a woman discovers her new boyfriend and one of her ex- boyfriends (who was the love of her life) are best friends and business partners. There’s quite a bit of jealousy, lots of secrets and plenty of fun and games.
You can find out more about If You Only Knew below.
Thank you so much for being here today Zanna, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about how you got the idea for How Do You Spell Love?.
Now check out the book:
“Best friends Kat and Summer thought their love lives were complicated enough with Summer’s live in boyfriend Rob increasingly distant, and Kat’s long-term boyfriend Nathan having disappeared. Then Kat meets Alex, and Summer meets Tom. For lots of reasons Kat shouldn’t be with Alex and Summer shouldn’t be with Tom, but fate has other ideas and soon secrets are revealed, hearts broken and life will never be the same again for any of them…”
How Do You Spell Love? was published by Crooked Cat Publishing and can be purchased from:
Zanna Mackenzie’s third novel If You Only Knew is due to be released by Crooked Cat Publishing on 7 February 2014. The book combines comedy, romance and keeping secrets with some serious relationship and friendship issues.
“Would you have the courage to feel the fear and fall in love anyway…?
Faith owns and runs The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. It’s been a while since she had a man in her life but things are too hectic serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications getting involved with the male of the species brings.
When the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre gets two new owners, Zane and Matt arrive on the scene.
Dating Zane she soon discovers he’s not the Mr Perfect she thought he was, and why is he so reluctant to talk about his past?
As for Matt – well, to Faith he isn’t Matt at all because he was a completely different person when he broke her heart all those years ago.
With her new boyfriend and her first love running Carrdale as business partners, Matt out to cause trouble, and Zane keeping secrets, Faith struggles to keep the peace between them whilst trying to figure out how she feels about the two men now in her life…”