Elizabeth Cooke

How did you become a writer? I wrote bad poetry as a child, a worse novel in University. But I won a short story competition in 1987. That set me off writing stories and serials for IPC magazines. I wrote hundreds, of which about a third were published. Then I wrote two novels, which were rejected - my third was accepted.

Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.). My first love was D.H. Lawrence - thought him spectacular. I'd been brought up on the classics and here was someone so different. I cant say my teachers ever inspired me - in fact, an English teacher at school specifically told me to stop writing stories!

When and where do you write? I have an office in town, but this is a recent (and much needed) retreat. For 20 years I wrote in a spare room at home. I start about 10am and work ’til about 6pm.

What are you working on now? I'm just finishing a thriller and then I'm hurrying back to the third in the 'Rutherford' series. I also have another non-fiction on the back burner.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I've suffered from lack of confidence in the early days, but never - ever - writer's block. I won't allow myself to feel that way. You just have to grip it and get on with it.

What’s your advice to new writers? My advice to new writers is to read. See how it's done. And to listen to people. Then forget all that and let yourself off the leash in your head.

Bio: I was born in the UK (Nuneaton, Warwickshire). I travel a lot and have moved house a lot. My daughter was born in 1986. I live in Dorchester, Dorset, UK. Lots more on my web site www.elizabethcookeauthor.com.