Lily Brett is an accomplished author who grew up in Australia and is now living in the United States, her 6th novel has just been released and to promote the book Lily has been back in Australia on tour. We were able to ask her some questions about her latest release Lola Bensky.
Hi Lily, welcome to Australia and welcome to Beauty and Lace, we are so pleased you could chat with us.
Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a writer?
I got started because my mother said I’d have to get a job if I wasn’t going to go to law school. I think I got the job because I had a car, a second hand pink Valiant. The editors swear I got the job because they thought I was very smart. But I know they needed my car.
Lola is a young music journalist, as were you, were any of Lola’s experiences based on your time as a music journalist?
Parts of every character I’ve written, whether they are male or female or young or old, have had parts of me.
How did you come to write this book, what prompted it and how did you achieve it?
I’m not sure I could tell you what made me write any of the books I have written. I know I have something in particular I want to say but I often begin with a relatively vague idea of exactly what I want to say and only a vague idea of how to do it. The story I want to tell becomes clearer as I write the book.
Can you share a little about your writing process with us please?
I am very organized. And I love the accoutrements of writing. The pens, pencil, paper. I put aside a relatively long period of time in which writing the book will be the primary focus of my life.
Do you plot your novels before you start or sit down to write and see where the story takes you?
I do plot my novels, some more loosely than others. I usually know some of what has to happen and then when I start to write, the details come out and often some surprising characters appear.
Where do your story inspirations come from?
From life. Not necessarily my life. Just life and my imagination.
There seems to be recurring themes and elements in your novels that have been taken from your past, how much of your writing has an autobiographical basis?
Parts of every character I’ve written whether they are male or female or young or old have been parts of me.
Are you working on anything new that you can tell us about?
My new novel, set in New York and Shanghai is about two elderly men, neighbours on the Lower East side of Manhattan. One is Chinese and one is Jewish. They go to the same medical centre and rehabilitation centre together every day. One of them has a daughter.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means I could have children. And I am very pleased with the children I have. It means the man I love fell in love with me. I like being a woman. I can’t imagine being a man.
Thank you for talking with us Lily, Lola sounds like an engaging read.