It’s finally July and summer is here! Today I’m very excited because the wonderful Ana Newfolk has dropped by to talk about Made in Lisbon, the fifth book in her ‘Made In’ series, which you can download right now!
1. What inspired you to write Made in Lisbon? Can you tell us a little more about the story
Made In Lisbon is the book that reveals what happened to Vítor, the long lost brother of one of the characters in Made In Portugal. It’s funny how when you’re writing a series the secondary characters sometimes evolve into future main characters. When I was writing Made In Manhattan I knew Tiago needed his HEA, after all the poor guy had been searching for his missing brother since Made In Portugal. As I was thinking of Vítor’s I realised Tiago was his perfect match and so Made In Lisbon was, well… made.
2. Can you share something with us about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
In Made In Lisbon, Vítor and Tiago take five-year-old Filipe to the zoo. It’s the cutest scene ever and I absolutely adore Filipe. He’s also in Made In Manhattan briefly so if you’re a sucker for kids in books check it out.
3. What was the hardest scene to write?
When Tiago shares some personal stuff with Vítor after their trip to the zoo. That was such a hard scene because it was only as I was writing it that I found out what really happened to him in the past and why his brother was missing. It was heartbreaking and I had to remind myself that he was going to have his HEA and everything would be okay.
4. What did you edit out of this book? Or really want to include but it just didn’t fit?
I write in order so most of what I write stays in. It gets tweaked during edits but I don’t really have a scene I took out completely. What I didn’t write but wanted to was about Portugal. Made In Portugal has a strong sense of place and it really takes readers on a literal journey. I wanted to do the same for Made In Lisbon but I didn’t want to repeat what was already in previous books so I reigned myself in on the descriptions of locations unless they were new to the reader.
5. Vítor and Tiago’s story is the fifth in your Made in Series, do you have any plans for more stories in this series or are you planning something new?
I have just finished something new that will be out in October. I’m now excited to go back to my Portuguese world one last time. It will be a Christmas novel that will bring everyone back together. I’ll leave readers to guess who gets the HEA this Christmas.
6. If we made Made in Lisbon into a movie, who would be your dream casting for Tiago and Vítor?
The guys I had as inspiration for Vítor and Tiago are actually two Portuguese actors, Afonso Vilela and Diogo Morgado. If Made In Lisbon was made into a movie and these guys played Vítor and Tiago I’d die the best death ever!
7. What inspired you to start writing?
I think deep down I always wanted to be a writer. I devoured books as a child. For years I used to go to my grandparents’ house after school because the library was on the way to their house. Books were always top of my wish list and I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t read. It wasn’t until I read my first MM book that I considered taking the step from reader to writer. I can’t even tell the moment things shifted but once I voiced it out loud somehow I just made it happen.
8. What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
My parents are my biggest influence. They’re not the kind of people that will tell you how amazing and special you are all the time. I have done many things in my life I am proud of. I moved from a small town in Portugal to live in London on my own. I was twenty-years-old with no life experience. Without knowing what a CV was I found a job and built a career in retail, and then later I put myself through university while holding a full time job. They never said I couldn’t do any of those things, so I figured I could do all of those things. Writing is just another extension of that. Or maybe I’m just stubborn!
9. As an experienced author, what do you have any advice or tips for new authors who are just starting out?
Find your tribe and treat people online as if they are in front of you. You can find hundreds of books with advice on how to write better, faster, how to promote your books, increase your readership, I could go on. Us indie authors love to connect with other authors and readers and this means we are exposed to a lot of great stuff, but also some of the worst I’ve ever seen. It astonishes me how people can treat other people in the same community with such vitriol. So my advice is to treat people well and be a nice person as if they were right in front of you. Build your tribe of authors, because when you’re feeling down after a bad review, or you’re stuck with your plot, those authors are your people. The good ones will tell you that your blurb sucks and maybe your amazon ads don’t work because of your book covers. They will also tell you how your writing made them cry on the train. You will know they speak the truth.
10. What is your favourite childhood book?
It’s a collection of books by two Portuguese authors called “An Adventure…”. It was basically the Portuguese version of “The Five” and I loved reading them. If anyone ever asked me what I wanted for Christmas or a birthday it would have been one of these books. I can’t remember how many books there are in the collection and if the authors are still writing them but I still have dozens in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ place.
11. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I like too many things I don’t have the time for, especially as I also work full time. My second favourite thing to do after writing is baking. I love to bake and try new recipes. I also love watching people eat stuff I bake. I taught myself to sew, which I’m really proud of because my mum is a seamstress and can make anything. I made the curtains for the last place I lived in and also made the decorative cushions I have on my sofa. I like knitting but I’m not that great at it. I’m your girl if you want anything square, otherwise you’re better off buying it in a shop.
12. Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Thank you Ana – I’ll definitely being coming to you for some cake then, as well as some beautiful books!
Made in Lisbon is out now.