Tell me more about the person behind the blog?
I’m Lucy V Hay, an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I have two blogs, Bang2write (which is primarily for screenwriters and filmmakers) and my book blogging site. I wear many hats and have a whale of a time doing it: I’ve helped produce movies and award-winning short films; written non-fiction books about writing, as well as YA, short stories and this year my debut crime fiction, The Other Twin will come out courtesy of Orenda Books. I’ve also got back into scriptwriting this year, after a three or four year break. I am also head reader for London Screenwriters’ Festival and script read for a variety of producers, filmmakers, investment schemes and writers, new to professional.
When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging back in approximately 2005 – Bang2write was called ‘The Write Stuff’ back then a total mess. I started it for my screenwriting clients so I could talk abvout various craft issues without having to repeat myself in their notes all the time.
I’ve learnt a lot over the last eleven years: what platforms NOT to use; how to publicise your blog effectively via social media; how to write great headlines; how to generate traffic and so on. Jon Morrow is my guru on all things blogging, he is a genius.
I started my book blogging site, www.lucyvhayauthor.com just one year ago. I utilized all the lessons I’d learnt at B2W the hard way and it was a MUCH smoother journey! It seems pretty popular, especially as it’s not the ‘usual’ book blog. There’s lots of articles about reading in general, plus it carries stuff like infographics, interviews and book recommendations, rather than straight reviews. We also have some really popular features, like ‘Book Vs. Film’.
What are your proudest moments or achievements to date as a blogger?
Just recently, Bang2write was voted the top screenwriting blog in the UK by Feedspot and it was ninth in the world. It’s also been shortlisted as a finalist in the PR & Media category for the UK Blog Awards 2017. That feels amazing.
In terms of my book blog, I’ve just been so delighted by how quickly it’s taken off. In just a year we’ve had interviews with crime fiction royalty like Peter James and I really feel like the book community has welcome me with open arms. I feel really grateful.
If you had to breakdown the components of your ideal, perfect book what would they be?
This is easy. It’s the same for me as I look at work, books OR film:
i. A great concept. Something with a fab hook that makes me go, ‘I’ve just GOT to know more!’ Examples of book concepts that have really gripped me include Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train – obviously! – but also Defender by GX Todd; The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood and the upcoming The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne.
ii. Diverse characterisation. I love well-rounded characters that are ‘different’ to the norm. I love female leads and storyworlds that aren’t necessarily ‘the usual’. This doesn’t mean I never read about white men, but if I do they have to have that special ‘something’ out of the left field.
iii. A well-balanced plot with a killer twist or ending. I love it when the plot metes out great stuff, piece by piece, bringing us toward a killer ending. I really, really hate it when writers let stories ‘run on the spot’ or ‘back end’ everything to the resolution and pull stuff out of the left field!
What is your favourite genre to read?
Crime, mystery, thriller. I don’t care *how* writers do this, so my taste can be pretty eclectic on what this means in terms of character and plot. I do favour so-called ‘domestic noir’ and I LOVE a bit of dystopian! I don’t tend to read historical crime or crime involving extreme or gory violence, but I never rule it out.
What are your Top 3 Books?
GONE GIRL – because this book changed my life as a writer.
WEAVEWORLD by Clive Barker – I read it as a teen and it awoke my obsession with strong female leads and the dark macabre that lasts to this day
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS – Maya Angelou. Made me realise that struggle and adversity and overcoming it is part of the human condition
Finally, tell me more about your blog and why we should subscribe.
If you love to read about reading and books, interviews with crime fiction authors and screenwriters, plus get first access to great Q&As and giveaways, then you should subscribe to my blog and join Criminally Good Book Club on Facebook today.
Thanks for having me, Tracy!
To follow Lucy on her blog click here