If you’re in the mood for a fun rom com, go find yourself a copy of Loving Lizzie March, the debut novel from Sydney writer Susannah Hardy. I know I’m not the only reader relishing the rising tide of Aussie rom-com novels. In this current climate, where many things are out of our control, there’s even more joy to be gained from quirky characters who tangle themselves up in messes of their own creation.
Lizzie March reminded me of Bridget Jones, with her madcap adventures, hunt for the perfect match and infuriating yet lovable personality. Hardy does a great job of balancing humour, romance, and entertainment, and I found myself grinning about Lizzie and her antics long after I turned the last page. Out now in all good bookstores with Pan Macmillan. And in a coup for fans of author-narrated audiobooks, Susannah has also voiced the audio version of the novel.
Short and sweet questions
Current book on your bedside table:
There’s a pile, but ‘Dictionary of Lost Words’ by Pip Williams is currently at the top
Where do you do most of your writing?
At the kitchen table
Favourite Australian holiday destination:
Bunker Bay, WA – we went on our honeymoon so that may be why!
What’s your preferred drop?
Red wine, preferably French
Homemade chocolate chip cookies
Drivers who don’t indicate – it doesn’t take much to let me know what you’re doing
Favourite fictional couple and why?
Ross & Rachel – they’re gorgeous, hilarious, flawed, likeable and we’re so happy when they finally get together.
If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be?
Pen and paper (does that count as two?) so I could write.
Tweezers – if not I’d have a beard in a week!
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for:
Sarah Hawthorn – her debut novel A Voice in the Night is a great read (psychological thriller)
Book you’re most looking forward to reading in 2021?
Magpie’s Bend by Maya Linnell (*note from Maya: aww – thanks Susannah!)
Best thing about being a writer?
I get to spend my time writing, which I love.
Worst thing about being a writer?
Wondering if what I write is any good
Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence when writing? What song/channel/podcast do you have on high rotation? I love silence when I write. I don’t mind a bit of background noise like being in a café or a library, but I don’t usually listen to music when I work. I love listening podcasts in the car or walking the dog, my favourites are So You Want to be a Writer and Chats 10 Looks 3
Calvin Klein Eternity
Andy Samberg in Brooklyn 99 and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in anything
The best non-writing related prize I won was …
I never win anything – even recently at a school fundraiser, I was ecstatic to have won a $200 voucher for our (very expensive) local gourmet butcher in the raffle – until an organiser came up and quietly explained that while I had the right number, my ticket was the wrong colour – but not before I’d managed to tell absolutely everyone around me.
I did win most improved hockey player in high school – that was pretty awesome
Top three tips for aspiring authors?
• No one cares whether you write a book or not, so you just have to start writing and get your first draft out
• Don’t compare you’re journey to anyone else’s, everyone has a different path to publication
• Choose very carefully to whom you show your early work – otherwise it can be devastating
What theme do you hope shines through in your writing?
We’re all flawed but all deserve happiness
Proudest author moment?
Receiving the email from Pan Macmillan, offering my first book deal
My favourite thing about writing romance is ….
I get to create happy endings
If anyone gives me flack about writing romance, I tell them…
Romance is hugely popular! At least I’m writing, what are you writing?
Three fun facts about the author:
- I’m on a Nurofen TV commercial at the moment
- I was one of two singing Carmen Mirandas on rollerblades called Tutti & Frutti (I was Frutti)
- When I can’t sleep (which is often) I like to get up and tidy the pantry – put things in jars, throw out items past use-by date etc.
Find Susannah online:
Maya Linnell is the bestselling rural romance author of Wildflower Ridge, Bottlebrush Creek, Magpie’s Bend and Paperbark Hill (out June 2022 with Allen & Unwin). With a background in country journalism and radio, Maya also hosts the monthly online event Library Lovers for OverDrive and the Libby app, blogs for Romance Writers Australia and regularly interviews authors from across the globe, both online and in person.
Maya lives on a small property in country Victoria with her family, her menagerie of farm animals and the odd snake or two. When she’s not writing or reading, Maya loves baking up a storm, tending to her rambling garden and raising three young bookworms. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up to her monthly newsletter for behind-the-scenes news and regular book giveaways at mayalinnell.com