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Meet The Author: Talli Roland

Today, I’m delighted to welcome author Talli Roland to my blog.    

Talli Roland - Web

Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories, complete with happy endings. Talli’s debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite.

Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States. 

Jane: Talli, please tell us a little more about how you came to be a writer.

Talli: Writing as a career was something I never considered until I’d tried (almost!) everything else, from teaching to recruitment to journalism. After feeling bored and restless in each position and longing for something more creative, I finally decided to get serious about writing. I wrote four ‘practice’ novels, two non-fiction books, and finally managed to get a novel published. I now have four books traditionally published, three books self-published, and I’ve recently signed a two-book deal with Amazon Publishing.

The Pollyana Plan - new 2

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Jane: You were born and raised in Canada but you have made your home in London. How does your home and its environment influence your writing?

Talli: I moved to London ten years ago, and I quickly fell in love with the city – so much that I ended up writing a London travel guide. I got married here, gave birth to my son here, and I plan to stay! Most of my novels are set in London. I love describing the streets, the markets, and the quirky little cafes.

Jane: Hilary Mantel says that a Catholic upbringing is the only qualification a writer requires. Do you have any writing qualifications?

Talli: Well, I’m not a Catholic! I was brought up Baptist, however, which also has a fairly hefty side-helping of guilt. I did train as a journalist – very helpful for teaching me to write quickly and to meet deadlines.

Build A Man - Talli Roland

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Jane: What is your ‘writing routine’? (I note that you will not sit down to write without a cup of coffee and that you reward yourself with a glass of wine.) Do you work to a set word-count for example?

Talli: Coffee is a crucial part of my routine, that’s for sure. I need it to kick-start my mind! These days, my writing routine is dictated by the napping vicissitudes of my one-year-old son. If I’m drafting, I try to write at least two-thousand words before collapsing at the end of the day. Without a goal, I’d waste too much time on social media.

Jane: You write fun, romantic fiction. Is your writing plot-driven or character-driven?

Construct A Couple - Talli Roland

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Talli: My writing is usually character-driven. I always plan the character arc first, then create events that will either hinder or assist them in what they want. I find that so much easier than trying to plot without relying on the characters’ transformations to guide you.

Jane: Who gets to sample your finished work before publication?

Talli: I have three very trusted beta readers who I’ve been lucky enough to work with for the past three years. They each bring their own unique perspective to my drafts and offer valuable feedback. I can’t imagine writing a book without having their input!

Jane: Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop or the rumble of a train. Do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?

Talli: I’d love to be one of those chic writers who pen bestsellers in a cafe, but I’d get way too distracted by others’ conversations. Plus, I’d probably imbibe too much coffee and get the caffeine shakes. I like the silence of my lounge, where I can clearly hear my characters’ voices.

Last Christmas - TALLI ROLAND - 1

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Jane:You have had experience of both traditional and indie publishing. How do the two compare?

Talli: The key word for indie publishing is control.  You can choose your cover, choose your editor, choose when you want to publish… basically, you can choose to do whatever you like with your novel. When you sign with a traditional publisher, you don’t hold the reins any longer. However, in return, you have a knowledgeable team to work with. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Jane: With mainstream authors such as Margaret Atwood championing Wattpad ( one of the key trends of 2013 has been a return to the serialisation of books. Have you experimented yet?

Talli: I have been a featured author on Wattpad with one of my novellas, Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts. To date, it’s had over 600,000 reads, and has prompted literary agents to contact me. However, it’s difficult to say whether those reads have translated into sales for my other novels.  Regardless, it has brought me a lot of exposure.

Jane: What do you like to read? Any authors you could recommend?

Talli: I’ll read anything! I’m a huge fan of memoires and travelogues, and I love psychological thrillers, too. Mel Sherratt’s Watching Over You was a fantastically scary read, and I enjoyed Gone Girl (although I hated the ending). I read in my own genre, too: Gemma Burgess, Miranda Dickinson, Michele Gorman, and Chrissie Manby are all favourites. 


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Thank you again for taking part in this blog interview. I’m really grateful that you took time out to answer these questions and wish you all the best with your future projects.

You can find out more about Talli on her website, blog, and Amazon Author Page or you can follow her on Twitter or Facebook

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