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Interview with memoir author, Lisa Rose Wright

February 13, 2021

It’s a long time since I’ve done a weberview, but since this blog is devoted to memoirs, which are about the real lives of real people, I thought it might be fun to invite a few of the authors here to find out what made them start writing their stories and, because I’m nosy, what else makes them tick. To kick off, then, I’ve asked Lisa Rose Wright to join me here. Lisa has written some really lovely, engaging books about her move to Galicia in Spain with her partner (known in the books as S) and about the old country ruin they renovated into a beautiful home. I read and loved Plum, Courgette and Green Been Tart last year and as chance would have it, the sequel, Tomato, Fig and Pumpkin Jelly will be released tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, a book I Beta read and enjoyed hugely. So, as they say, on with the show, or in this case, the questions!

The new book Lisa will be releasing on 14 February

Me: Lisa, could you tell us something of your background and how you came to be living in Galicia?

Lisa: Oo, how long do you have? I’ll give you abbreviated version or we will be here all night. In 2001, I was working as a sales rep and fed up. One fateful night I decided to jack it in and go back to college to get an ecology degree so I could work with animals as I had always wanted. Not long after graduating I met S, my husband, in a pond, as you do, and together we set off to walk the Camino de Santiago through northern Spain. And we fell in love with Galicia at first sight. The rest, as they say, is history!

Me: For those who don’t know, Lisa’s former job was counting newts (as one does), but back to Spain. It really does sound like a lovely place. What do you find most inspiring as a writer about living in Galicia? 

Lisa: I find Galicia totally inspiring. There is a big cultural tradition of poetry and prose here. We even have a Writer’s Day Bank Holiday (17th May, el dia das letras Galegas). The peace and tranquillity are perfect for a writer and there is countryside right outside my door where I can take myself off to wander and contemplate. It really is paradise.

Lisa’s front door

Me: Well, that definitely sounds like the best environment for a writer, and it looks gorgeous there, but you didn’t set out to write memoirs, I know, so what prompted you to start writing? How long have you been writing?

Lisa: I have always ‘scribbled’, since I first learned to write. I recently found some of my very early poems which are suitably dire and a whole notebook of stories based on other planets. I had piles of notebooks and diary entries from our early life here and plenty of half-completed stories lying about but it was the discovery that Mum had kept all the letters I sent home to her in England that got me thinking that I could maybe use them as a basis for a book. I joined a writers’ group here in 2018 and haven’t looked back!

Me: This is just wonderful serendipity, isn’t it? Do you write anything other than memoir?

Lisa: I have only published non-fiction, travelogue memoir, so far… but I really admire those authors who can create whole worlds in their heads. I have had an idea for a couple of fictional books rattling around my head and in notebooks for years which I hope I will get round to writing up one of these days. One is a psychological thriller, the other a memoir/time slip story set in Colney Hatch mental hospital where I used to work.

Me: Wow, that sounds interesting. I hope you decide to write it! If you had to give the readers here a tip about how to get started on a book, what would it be?

Lisa: A tip? I would say to just write. Get ideas onto paper. You get always edit later but if you don’t get them down those ideas may just slip away. My best ideas often come at 3am and have then gone by morning! Also, the more you write, the more you want to or need to write. I’m a writing addict now!

Me: Funny how that happens, isn’t it? So what do you see as your greatest strength in life? And then (of course) what do you see as your weakest point?

Lisa: Dogged determination! I remember my ‘O’ level maths teacher telling me I had little aptitude but a dogged determination. I rather liked that idea! My hubby tells me I have no weaknesses that I will admit to… so maybe that is my weakness, though I think I just have too many to name!

Me: Oh Lisa, that did make me laugh. Okay, here’s a difficult one. If you had to live for a year with only one book, what would it be? And do you have any favourite authors? If so, why do you admire their work?

Lisa: Oo that is sooo difficult. I’m guessing my one kindle with all its 1000s of books on is out? The book I have reread most often is Colleen McCullough’s Thornbirds. I love her descriptions of the Australian outback and I could test myself on what dialogue is on which page if I got bored. If this were a desert island thingy though I’d have to swap my choice to Jean Auel’s fabulous Clan of the Cave Bear series as there is so much useful survival information in there as well as it being brilliantly written.  I have so many favourite authors that to choose one is almost impossible but in my own genre the one I really admire at the moment is Beth Haslam and her Fat Dogs series. She really does write so well and so engagingly. Her stories never seem to stall or become boring and that is quite a feat. 

Me: Ah yes, I love Beth’s books too. By the way, are you writing anything at the moment? Can you tell us what it is?

Lisa: I have just got my second travelogue memoir out there, Tomato, Fig & Pumpkin Jelly launches on Valentine’s Day, so now I am busy with the first draft of my third book, Chestnut, Cherry & Kiwi Fruit Sponge. (At least the cover recipe will be easier on this one!) I’m also adding to my notes for a couple more travelogue memoirs when inspiration hits!

Me: Ooh, that’s great to hear. I’ll look forward to those! Okay, one last question. If you had a bucket list, what would be in the top three positions?

Lisa: Oh! That one has floored me. In fact I’ll admit I had to Google ‘bucket list’. So, things to do before I die? You know I don’t think I’ve ever made a bucket list. Although I’m a big list maker in general (shopping, books etc) I have never really planned the big things in my life. For instance, moving to Galicia and renovating a ruin wouldn’t have been on my bucket list as I’d never even heard of Galicia until we walked the Camino de Santiago and then we just decided to move and that was that! Publishing a book, never mind two, was never on a bucket list either as I thought it was as likely as flying to the moon (now there’s one for my bucket list if Elon Musk is listening). I guess I’m more of a taking the unexpected side turnings to an alternative future type of girl! It’s worked out pretty well so far. I couldn’t be happier than I am here in Galicia. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a bucket list!

Thank you so much, Lisa. I’ve loved your answers and I’m thrilled you’re going to be writing some more lovely memoirs. For all the readers here, I reviewed Lisa’s new book on my review page, so you can find out a bit more about it here in the previous post, but if you click on the titles in the first paragraph, it will take you to the Amazon.com marketing page. I should say her books are available world wide, so if you’re not a dot com customer, go to your own Amazon page to find them. I can recommend them both very highly! If you love the country, self-sufficiency, foreign travel, gardening, food and just about anything else, you’ll love these delightful memoirs. Lisa’s warmth and humour positively bounce off the pages. It’s no wonder her neighbours in Spain love her!

You can also find Lisa on her website at: http://lisarosewright.wixsite.com
She is also a regular contributor on the We Love Memoirs Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/welovememoirs
As well as on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/lisarosewright.author
And on Twitter at : https://twitter.com/Galauthor_lisa

Charming house, charming setting, paradise indeed!
Both of Lisa’s books against the background of her lovely Galician home

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11 Comments
  1. What a delightful post to read, Val. I’ve put Plum, Courgette and Green Bean Tart on my ‘buy soon’ list as it’s exactly the kind of thing I like to read and I don’t think I’ve read anything about that area of Spain yet. (Though I did watch a group of slebs walking the Camino De Santiago trail on TV several years ago and saw how stunning northern Spain is.)

    I’ve also noted Lisa’s favourite books, it’s bit odd as I’ve been wondering about trying the Clan of the Cave Bear books just recently. A book I’ve just finished, Underground by Will Hunt, had an interesting section about cave paintings that have been discovered in various caves in France and it’s put me in that kind of mood. (Caves of Perigord by Martin Walker is also wonderful on that subject.) I will also add Beth Haslam’s Fat Dog books to my ‘want to read’ list. Pleased to hear that Lisa has thousands of books on her Kindle. I don’t feel quite so bad now! LOL!

    • Cath, thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Lisa’s personality shines through her books, and you can’t help but enjoy them. Interesting too that you have been wondering about the Clan of the Cave Bear books. I’ve never heard of them before, so I need to investigate them too!

    • Cath, Lisa can’t comment on my blog as she doesn’t have a WP account, but this is what she said: ” Please do tell.them how grateful I am and that I loved reading their comments”

  2. What a lovely interview. Thank you Lisa and Val.
    Lisa – your house really does look like paradise and I love that you just followed your dreams. I can’t wait to read your book.
    Curiously, it is languishing on my Kindle along with Clan of the Cave Bear, which I bought at the request of my mother in law – she loved them! I am even more interested now that you mention survival information, what with our future plans involving overlanding in an army truck…

    • Thanks for dropping in, Jackie! Lovely to hear you’ve got Lisa’s book ready to read. I think you’ll like her sense of humour. It’s sort of similar to yours 🙂

    • PS, Jackie, I’m about to review your French book. I finished it last night and loved it!

      • Thank you, Val. I have seen your review – thank you so much! I am so pleased you enjoyed my book. xx

    • Jackie, Lisa can’t comment on my blog as she doesn’t have a WP account, but this is what she said: ” Please do tell.them how grateful I am and that I loved reading their comments”

  3. Reblogged this on Judith Barrow and commented:
    Having posted Val Poore’s lovely memoir of her gorgeous dog, Sindy:http://bit.ly/3dEfjfi, I thought readers might light an introduction to anomer memoir author.

  4. Thank you for this great interview, and the interesting insight, in to the creator of the book. Michael

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