Lisa Ireland is a writer of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She’s
fascinated by relationships of all kinds and her superpower is eavesdropping on
In 2014 Lisa was a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards in the
category of Best New Author, and the following year went on to be one of the top
ten debut fiction authors in Australia. Her rural romance, Feels Like Home, is an
Australian bestseller. Lisa’s fifth novel, The Art of Friendship, was published by
Pan Macmillan in April 2018.
Lisa lives on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula with her husband and three (big)
boys. She loves eating but not cooking, is an Olympic class procrastinator, and
(most importantly) minion to a rather large dog.
The Books That Made Me Want To Be A Writer
by Lisa Ireland
It feels to me like I was born reading. Certainly some of my earliest memories are of sharing books with my parents. Mum and Dad were both voracious readers and they passed their love of books on to me.
One of the first books to capture my attention was Pookie, a beautifully illustrated story about a rabbit. Mum used to read this book to me over and over at bedtime – I never tired of it. I remember being thrilled when I discovered a new Pookie book had been added to the series. (And I imagine my mum was pretty happy about it too!)
Before long I’d taught myself to read and I began to yearn for longer stories. I still loved picture books but I also wanted to read the ‘big books’ I saw my parents reading. Enter Enid Blyton. I started with the Naughty Amelia Jane series and then made my way through all The Magic Faraway Tree and The Magic Wishing Chair books, before discovering The Naughtiest Girl series. Elizabeth’s antics thrilled me and I reread her stories over and over. In fact I was so in love with this book that I tried to convince my parents to send me to boarding school so I could experience all Elizabeth’s adventures first hand.
At school I had not only the school library at my disposal, but also the mobile library, which would visit each fortnight. Here I discovered Pippy Longstocking, Little House on the Prairie, and the book that was to become my all time favourite, Anne of Green Gables.
I was a shy and anxious child, and books were my sanctuary during those awkward years. Whenever I was worried or unsure about something I could retreat into a book and find comfort. Books taught me about the world and even helped me to make friends. I remember sharing book recommendations with a classmate when we were about eight years old. Our shared love of books led to a lifelong friendship.
Through my teen years I read the popular blockbuster novels of the day, usually things I pinched from my mum’s bookshelf. Books by Jackie Collins, Barbara Bradford Taylor and Jilly Cooper had me riveted.
Meanwhile, at school I was being challenged to read widely. I read (and loved) many of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as discovering Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Ruth Park. In year twelve I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and it changed my life. I’d loved books all my life, but never before had words moved me so powerfully.
As an adult I’ve loved countless books. I read roughly one book a week, so that adds up to a lot as the years whizz by! I’d be hard pressed to name a favourite author – there are so many writers whose books I love.
In my writing I’m inspired by the work of Liane Moriarty, Jennifer Weiner, Geraldine Brooks, Jojo Moyes and Sally Hepworth. I feel privileged to call myself an author. To see my books on the shelves beside those written by authors I admire so much is truly an honour. My hope is that my writing can give the same comfort and pleasure to readers that the authors I love have given me.
I’d love to hear about the books you love most! Feel free to tell me about your
favourites in the comments.
You can get in touch with Lisa via her website http://www.lisairelandbooks.com
or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!