Sunday 10 June 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is SCD Goff - it's been shortened from the real thing so that I can keep a bit of a barrier between my writing life and my working life, which is in publishing. I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and I live in Dublin now. I lived away from Ireland, though, for about a decade. I was packed off to boarding school when I was seven, and stayed there til I was 18, so as soon as I was free I strapped on a backpack and made a run for it!  I travelled all over the world and then pitching up in the States, where I went to college before studying for a Masters in Publishing in the UK. After all that I was really really happy to come home. 

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I think I did always want to be a writer, but it wasn't something I admitted to myself until fairly recently. I actually think I have a funny parallel there with Lady Languish, the character in my book, who discovers something very dark about herself that she fights for a long time ...  
It doesn't seem possible, really, when you're young and reading a lot to become a person who is read; at least, it seemed that way for me. But I'm not sure I'd call myself a writer yet. One novel does not an author make. 

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
The name of my latest (and first) book is 'Lady Languish'. I recently tacked on a subtitle, 'An Irish Vampire Novel' - this is to help people find it and because there were complaints that they had no idea what it was about, as the cover is a bit weird! If I had to summarize it in less than 20 words I would say, 'A sheltered Irish teenaged aristocrat is packed off to boarding school, bullied, and reeks terrible revenge ...' A bit like life, really!

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I'm in love with YA fiction; I think that somehow part of my brain got stuck at being in boarding school as a young teenager, and the kinds of books that I liked to read then are the kind of books I would like to write now. I'm writing for my poor, lonesome teenage self. 
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
This book is part of a series, and I'm also writing another at the moment, again in the Irish tradition, but not about vampires. 

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I think my favourite 'Lady Languish' character is actually Malachy - I feel quite sorry for him, even though he's kinda evil. He just never really had a chance in life, he's a victim of circumstance as well as being a victim of himself. I also like Lorcan, who is delicate and beautiful but also very strong and very interesting. I like the boys you see!

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Absolutely. For any writers out there who haven't tried it, I'd heartily recommend being part of a writer's group. I'm part of a small one here in Dublin - everyone is working on a novel and we give each other advice, critical feedback, ideas, and hugs when it's not going so well. Knowing that you have to submit something for the next meeting is great too, as it means you have a deadline you've got to stick to. 

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Of course! As someone who works in publishing, and does a little professional marketing, I know that giving a reviewer a book and crossing your fingers that they'll read it and like it is an extremely important way to get your book out there. And it's a lot easier with eBooks than with print editions! I'm a huge fan of the online book reviewers; they take the time out of their busy lives to read books that frankly mightn't be very rewarding, and in probably 90% of cases they're not being paid. So, kudos and thanks to the reviewers. I actually review myself, too, just so that I feel like I'm giving something back. Unfortunately my blog doesn't have many followers yet, I'm not exactly in demand.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, and I will also try to make sure that I write a thank-you note to the reviewer, whether or not he or she liked the book. 

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No! I think that's hilariously unprofessional, and so not what authors should be doing! When you send out a review copy you have to know that you're gambling; the reviewer mightn't read your book, mightn't 'get' you, possibly didn't even finish it - maybe they read the whole thing backwards and reviewed it in hieroglyphics. But once you've sent them that copy and asked for their honest opinion, you have to take what you get. And be grateful! There's a saying in the publishing industry, especially amongst editors: 'The best writers love criticism.' I think it's kind of implied there that the worst  writers hate to be criticized. Even if you don't agree with a bad review, if you're a good enough writer there'll be something you can learn from it. 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
This is going to make a lot of people squirm - myself included - but I actually designed the cover myself. I like to draw, and love to draw pictures of my characters, so I thought if I kept it simple it might work out. A couple of people really love it, but I know at least one person hates it, so it's kind of a divisive issue! If any of your readers have opinions on it I'd love it if they could say so on my blog or Facebook page, or on Goodreads. 

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
In this case I was inspired by a woman. There is actually a lady I know very slightly called Lady Languish, who was friends with my grandfather. I loved her name, and just started thinking about what her history might have been like. Then I had to call her up and ask her if it was alright if I used her name for my novel, which was a very strange and awkward conversation. She's an absolute champ though and wished me luck.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
I really enjoy kickboxing, though I'm very new to it. I'm absolutely terrible - my punching bag beats me up on a regular basis. 

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I actually started reading Beryl Bainbridge's 'According to Queeney' recently - being very embarrassed that I had never read such an illustrious writer before - and couldn't make it past the third chapter. I'm a little worried that reading so much YA has re-oriented my brain ... or maybe it's just not a terribly engaging book. I think I'll have to go back and try again though, I hate to leave things unfinished. 

Where can readers follow you?
Please follow me on Facebook, or check out my blog below. I'm also on Goodreads and Twitter but I'm the worst tweeter ... 
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