Lizzie Fry is better known as Lucy V. Hay, a script editor, author, and blogger who helps writers. She’s been the script editor and advisor on numerous UK features and shorts & has also been a script reader for 20 years, providing coverage for indie prodcos, investors, screen agencies, producers, directors and individual writers. She’s also an author, publishing as both LV Hay and Lizzie Fry. Lizzie’s latest, a serial killer thriller titled The Good Mother, is out now with Joffe Books, with her next thriller out in 2024. Lucy’s website (www.bang2write.com) has appeared in Top 100 round-ups for Writer’s Digest & The Write Life, as well as a UK Blog Awards Finalist and Feedspot’s #1 Screenwriting blog in the UK (ninth in the world). She is also the author of the bestselling non-fiction book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays: From TV Pilot to Feature Film (Creative Essentials), which she updated for the streaming age for its tenth anniversary in 2023.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I can’t remember a time in my life I didn’t want to write, to be quite honest! I remember telling stories with my toys when I was a very small child, plus I was always organising my siblings into games with very involved storylines. My favourite was called ‘Bird Lady’ which was about—surprise—a woman who could turn into a bird, who would appear to a bunch of children who lived in a wood. She was up against an evil queen who had loads of soldiers who would fight for her and steal the woodland children away. There were killer snails, too.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
THE COVEN is my first book as Lizzie Fry. I live in Devon, UK, which is well known for its folklore, as well as paganism and wiccanism. This means I grew up with this all around me, which I found very inspiring. Exeter is also the first AND last place in the UK to hang a witch. It was only a matter of time before I took this inspiration and wrote a book about it.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
From my work as a script editor, I know how important titles are: they’re the first port of call. This means your title has to hit the bull’s eye, which is why I like my titles to be plain and to the point…but I also like them to have a second meaning too. So ‘The Coven‘ was an obvious choice since the book is about witches, but it also refers to the family my main characters Adelita, Chloe, Daniel, and Ethan form.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
This is an easy one, because I actually create playlists for each book I write! For The Coven, it was mostly dark and moody: Tool, Type O Negative, Gary Numan, and Nine Inch Nails all feature heavily. The one I listened to over and over as I was writing was ‘Anaesthesia’ by Type O Negative and ‘Pushit’ by Tool.
Describe your dream book cover.
In my mind’s eye, I see a Latina woman—my main character Adelita—holding up a crystal, flames all behind her. That would be so cool.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I’ve been a script editor for movies and TV for twenty years—but most people don’t know what this is and mix it up with a copyeditor or a proofreader. Whilst script editors may flag up consistent and obvious spelling or punctuation errors, that’s not our job. I think of it as being facilitators of writing—I help writers work on their concepts, characters, and plots so they are the best they can be.
What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?
I read a lot of books while I was writing THE COVEN, such as WITCH by Ronald Hutton, plus the work of Marion Gibson, Tracey and Mark Norman and a variety of old spell and witchcraft books I found in charity shops. However, it was talking to real-life witches all around the world, from the UK and Europe to other continents such as Africa and India, that really helped shape my narrative.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
The key message of THE COVEN is that we need to work together, instead of endlessly drawing lines in the sand between people. There’s a lot of overt and symbolic stuff about this in the text, especially about ‘the battle of the sexes.’ I was hoping to reach both men and women with this message and have been delighted with how THE COVEN has been received.
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