About the Author:
Byddi Lee grew up in Armagh, Ireland, and moved to Belfast to study Biology at Queen’s University when she was 18. She made Belfast her home for twenty-one years, teaching science and writing for pleasure. In 2002 she took a sabbatical from teaching and traveled round the world for two years, writing blogs about her adventures as she went. She returned to Ireland in 2004 and resumed teaching. In 2008 she and her husband moved to San Jose, California where she made writing a full-time career. After the publication of her short story, Death of a Seannachai, she decided it was time to write, March to November.
She is currently writing her second novel, a science fiction story set in a future where the earth’s icecaps have melted and Armagh is the capital of Ireland.
Besides being a novelist, Byddi is also a Master Gardener. She writes a blog on life as an Irish gardener and traveler living in California called, “We didn’t come here for the grass.” She also gives talks and classes on gardening.
*Have you always wanted to be a writer? Why?
No – I wanted to be a Zoologist and travel up the Amazon discovering new species of animals. I studied Biology and did do a trip up the Amazon, but discovered that I like my home comforts too much to be a full-on field biologist! I enjoy traveling and communicating my adventures and that led to writing. I immigrated to California and embraced writing full time to write March to November. I loved it the process and now have a head full of other novels busting to be written.
*When your writing where do you draw inspiration from?
Personal experiences, the human condition – particularly the things that give us great joy and great sadness too. I am visually inspired by natural beauty such as a fabulous sunset, great scenery (love the desert!) but I also enjoy concepts such as the juxtaposition of irony that often defines our odd human tendencies. Humor is a great inspiration too. I like to make people laugh (with me not at me, but the later happens too!)
*What interested you to write the genre you write?
March to November is classed as general fiction mainly because it falls between the genre cracks. It is Women’s Fiction, but also tells a story from the male perspective. It is Romance because it tells the story of love, but not in the traditional bodice-ripper sense. It is also humorous and tragic. I wrote the story as it needed to be told and not as it needed to slot into a genre… I suppose it is best described as contemporary fiction.
*What else have you written?
I write a blog called “We didn’t come here for the grass…” about life as an Irish immigrant in California. I’ve written short stories and flash fiction. One the the former was published in a magazine in Canada and in another in Ireland. I’ve performed my Flash Fiction at the the Flash Fiction Forum in San Jose, California. I’ve also written a scientific paper published in the Journal of Ecology!
*What is your method for getting around writers block?
I don’t really get writers block – but I can procrastinate. On such occasions, I decide I’ll write for one hour – just one hour – and find that three hours later I’m tearing myself away from the keyboard.
*Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Just do it. Don’t sabotage yourself by thinking you are no good at it. Keep doing it and you’ll get better and better, but you won’t get anywhere unless you just sit down and write – and join a great writing group. I don’t know where I’d be without mine.
*Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, finished the Rejuvenation Trilogy I am one-sixth of the way through (i.e. halfway through the first book) and I hope, starting the next story on my “shelf.”
*How can your readers follow you and find out about your books?
I have a website http://www.byddilee.com/ or they can follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/Byddi or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/byddi
*What is your newest release? Is there anything you would like to say about it to your readers?
My newest release is March to November. It’s set in Belfast but is not about the Troubles. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry and you’ll get a great taste of Irish life!