Libbie Hawker is a bestselling novelist who specializes in historical and literary fiction. She is also the author of the popular how-to guide Take Off Your Pants: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing. She also publishes under the names Olivia Hawker and Libbie Grant, and she has been a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The benefits of having a plot/outline before you begin
  • Why you don’t need to know every last detail before you start

Listen to Libbie Hawker talk about book planning:

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Books mentioned


[00:00:00] Ellie: Hello and welcome to The Writer’s Mindset with me, Ellie Betts and the little Frankie Puss. Kristina is still hiding away hard at work on our new patron exclusive series, HEALTHY HABITS.

[00:00:11] Ellie: We’re here to create a community of authors who persevere all their most productive selves and publish at a speed that they are comfortable with.

[00:00:20] Ellie: This week, I met with Libbie Hawker to discuss outlining and taking off our pants.



[00:00:38] Ellie: Libbie Hawker is a bestselling novelist who specialises in historical and literary fiction.

[00:00:44] Ellie: She’s also the author of the popular how-to guide, Take Off Your Pants, how to outline your books for faster, better writing. She also publishes under the names, Olivia Hawker and Libbie Grant, and she has been a finalist for the Washington state book award and the Willa literary award for historical fiction.

[00:01:02] Ellie: I do want to say a big thank you to all of our patrons for your support. We couldn’t do this without you as a Patron, you get early access to all of our episodes, bonus content, and our undying gratitude for supporting all the work that goes into creating these episodes to inspire and motivate you. And as I mentioned, Kristina has been working on a Patreon exclusive series called HEALTHY HABITS.

[00:01:24] KRistina: Just popping in to let you know, there’s a new episode of HEALTHY HABITS out now. The series is all about the techniques I use to manage my chronic health issues so that I can get more done and not feel like shit all the time. Because let’s face it, that’s how most of us with chronic illnesses feel on a regular basis.

[00:01:37] KRistina: So far we’ve covered brain training, the best types of movement for us desk-obsessed writers, and our latest episode is all about the foods that will boost your focus.

[00:01:46] KRistina: You could get exclusive access to this new series on Patreon for as little as £3 a month. Just think the price of one coffee a month could completely change your quality of life. That may sound melodramatic, but I wouldn’t be showing these techniques with you if they hadn’t already made a huge difference to my fibromyalgia chronic fatigue syndrome and more.

[00:02:04] KRistina: These tips are designed to boost your memory, help you focus, and even improve your resilience. If you want start adopting healthier habits today, come join us over on



[00:02:19] Ellie: Today with me is Libbie Hawker. Hello Libbie, how are you doing?

[00:02:24] Libbie: Hi Ellie. I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:27] Ellie: You’re very welcome. I’m very excited. First and foremost, for our lovely listeners then, could you just tell us who you are and what it is that you do?

[00:02:35] Libbie: Sure. My name is Libbie Hawker, I also write under the pen names, Olivia Hawker and Libbie Grant. So I’ve got a few names out there that people might know me as.

[00:02:44] Libbie: Um, but I’m the author of Take Off Your Pants, outline your books for faster, better writing, which is a pretty popular outlining guide. Maybe some people have heard of it. It’s been around for a few years. Um, and I also write fiction full-time. I’m a full-time professional novelist and a uh, bestseller and I have shortlisted for a few awards.

[00:03:00] Libbie: And what else is there to say? Oh, I, I, uh, I’m also a hybrid author. I self-publish some of my books and traditionally publish others. So I cover the whole gamut, I guess.

[00:03:10] Libbie: A writer with

[00:03:12] Ellie: many different skillsets.

[00:03:15] Libbie: I suppose you could say that.

[00:03:17] Ellie: So, uh, obviously you’re a big advocate for plotting nowadays, considering you have a book on the subject, what was your process like before you changed teams from a pantser to a plotter?

[00:03:27] Libbie: Uh, it was messy. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of scenes that did not need to be there. So in my first novel, I had a whole subplot in it that was like 30,000 words long, and it just didn’t need to be in the book at all. So I eventually cut it out, but dang.

[00:03:45] Libbie: On a first novel writing, 30,000 words takes a lot of time. So I basically wasted months of work on that stupid subplot that didn’t need to be in the book. Um, and I had some similar experience with my second book too, like just a bunch of stuff that didn’t need to be in it. And so much time spent on, you know, writing when, you know how it is when you have a day job. And you’re trying to write a book on the side. It’s precious that you have a couple hours here and there to work on your book. And it really chapped my ass wasted so much time on stuff that I eventually ended up cutting out from those books. So it was messy.

[00:04:22] Ellie: Yeah. 30,000 words is a lot of words to lose, but I suppose I, the book came out lot stronger for it.

[00:04:31] Libbie: It did, it was a much better book after I cut the dead weight out of it. But yeah, it hurt to do it. Cause I was like, oh my God, that’s like five months of work or something. You know, like it was a lot. So it was hard. It was hard to realise that.

[00:04:45] Ellie: Would you say then that it’s more stressful to spend that time doing the outline first and putting that time in before you start or more stressful to write with no outline at all?

[00:04:55] Libbie: I think it’s a lot more stressful to write with no outline personally, but I do, I like organisation in my life, you know? Um, I, I like having structure. Uh, so that’s something that feels less stressful to me to like, know where I’m going with everything and know where I’m going to end up in the end for sure.

[00:05:14] Libbie: Um, takes a good deal of the stress out of writing a book. But I do still occasionally, uh, go without an outline a little bit. We’ll talk about that later. We’ll get into it.

[00:05:23] Ellie: You hear a lot of people though, who are pantsers, who don’t want to outline, suggests that outlining itself takes the creativity out of writing. What would you say to someone who believes that?

[00:05:34] Libbie: Well, I think it doesn’t have to. There’s a lot more creativity, I think personally, in the actual writing process than the plotting and planning process.

[00:05:45] Libbie: I mean, I find that like word choice and sentence construction and adding in sensory details and like creating the dialogue and all that is much more creative in my opinion than just laying out a series of causes and effect, which is ultimately what outlining is, right? It’s just, this happens, and so as a consequence, this happens, and then this happens because that happened, you know? So that’s really, like uh, logical to me and not surprising to lay out a chain of events that all follow from one another. So that doesn’t feel like the creative part of the process to me. To me, it’s like all the unpredictable stuff in storytelling that feels creative, which is, you know, the descriptions and the dialogue, like I said, all that other stuff that you put in when you’re actually writing a chapter or a scene.

[00:06:33] Ellie: Exactly. In the book, Take Off Your Pants, you actually specify that you don’t have to do every single bit to, to the absolute final degree, right? If you want to leave some room for creativity, you can do that. There’s opportunity to do that, right?

[00:06:48] Libbie: Yes, absolutely. And I, my outlines are, I think people would be surprised by how loose they are considering I wrote a book on outlining, but that they are really just the most bare bones stuff.

[00:06:58] Libbie: Like I just need to know, um, you know, what critical moments happen for my main character and how it leads them toward these particular, you know, climactic scenes at the end of the book. And that’s it like that’s as deep as I go, I don’t go into all the specifics of who’s doing what, where in a scene and who says what? Or I usually don’t.

[00:07:16] Libbie: If I have a really great idea while I’m in the middle of outlining for like a catchy piece of dialogue or something, I’ll put that in. But, um, but most of the time it’s very loose and very, uh, it’s just kind of hints. It’s it’s, it’s, uh, it’s just like the essence of what’s going to happen without getting really deep into the meat of how it happens.

[00:07:33] Ellie: I think that’s good for people to know. Some people think it’s detailing, every single little thing that happens. And it can be, I know something to do to even 30,000 word outline. So we had a guest, I can’t remember who it is, which is terrible, but someone we spoke to, um, said that their outline itself was 30,000 words.

[00:07:52] Ellie: So that there’s opportunity to do that. But like you say, you don’t need to, which I like, there’s freedom.

[00:07:57] Ellie: So how has your process changed on from like idea, to published book, how has your idea changed? Um, in terms of, not only speed and efficiency, but also maintaining a balance between writing like self-care time and free time and stuff after you started outlining?

[00:08:16] Libbie: Oh, huge change. Massive. My first two books each took me two years to write and partly that’s because I was new to writing books, you know? There are lots of smaller skills that you have to juggle when you’re writing a book. You’ve got to figure out how to write dialogue that feels natural, but doesn’t actually read the way people really speak because that’s hard to read and you have to figure out how to show characterisation without telling it. And you have to figure out how to put in just enough detail without going overboard.

[00:08:44] Libbie: Like it’s a lot, it’s a lot. Um, but so, you know, partly that two year time span for each of those books was because I was new to all those skills. But, mostly the increase in speed, I think came because I wasn’t screwing around anymore, you know? I knew exactly what needed to happen next and why it needed to happen. So I could just blast through a story with minimal wasted time. So I went from those first two books taking two years each to write, but my third book only took six months because that was when I started outlining. And then my fourth book was like about four or five months.

[00:09:17] Libbie: And now I’m at the point where I can churn out a really clean manuscript that needs minimal editing, um, for a long book, like I’m kind of known for writing big fat doorstopper stoppers. So I can write about 185,000 words in 10 weeks. So no trouble on that. Uh, granted I’m writing full-time now. So I have a little more time each day to devote to writing.

[00:09:38] Libbie: But if I were still working at a day job, it would probably be around like 15 weeks. That’s still really fast. That’s still several good books written per year.

[00:09:47] Ellie: Absolutely. Do you yourself make time for sort of self care and things like that. Do you try and maintain that balance between, especially when you’re writing full time, do you do anything to make time for writing? Sorry, not make over writing, make time for yourself and make time for doing, you know, extra things aside from writing?

[00:10:06] Libbie: Yeah, I do. I walk five miles a day, which is like, not only to try to keep my blood pressure, but also just like mental health. Like I need to get out and move around a lot.

[00:10:17] Libbie: Um, and I spend a lot of time in my garden, so I do, I, I specifically, like I only write for about four hours a day, even though, you know, in theory I could write for 20 hours a day if I wanted to, but I stopped myself at about four hours. Um, and then I just get outside and do something else. Cause yeah, I think it’s important to, to have that balance when you’re a full-time writer and kind of remember how hard it was back when I had day jobs, plural, and I was writing on the side, it was just like, I never stopped working, basically.

[00:10:47] Libbie: I would work all day at my job. I would come home and write at night until it was time for bed. I would sleep for a few hours. I would get up and do it all again. And on the weekends I wrote all weekend long. Um, and it was tough. It was really stressful, that puts a huge strain on you. And it’s really difficult on your creativity too. Like it saps that from you.

[00:11:06] Libbie: Um, and it’s a struggle to like maintain creativity and maintain, um, you know, some artfulness to your work when it, when it feels like a grind. So I’m really grateful that now I’ve finally reached the point in my career where I can just write for four hours a day and then the rest of the day to something that’s not writing. It’s good.

[00:11:24] Ellie: That sounds like an absolute dream to be honest with you.

[00:11:28] Libbie: It is. It’s great. I’m not gonna lie. Um, it was a real hard struggle to get there. So to all of you out there listening, it’s worth the struggle. Keep going.

[00:11:38] Ellie: That’s good to know. That’s good to know. Is there ever a time nowadays in which you sit down to write without outlining first? I don’t know if you ever do like short stories or do you ever start a novel without outlining?

[00:11:52] Libbie: Um, what’s funny is I also outlined my short stories.

[00:11:55] Ellie: That’s not funny, that’s interesting to know, and I think it speaks volumes for the power of outlining if you’re even outlining short stories.

[00:12:03] Libbie: Well, recently I don’t write a lot of short fiction. I do write some of it, but not very often. Um, but recently I actually was contracted by a publisher to do, like, they commissioned a short story from me and they paid me a significant chunk of money for it, like an amount that surprised me. Um, but they were like, we really have a tight deadline in this, can you get it done fast? And I’m kind of the author that people come to when they need something done fast, and this is probably why. So I was like, yes, I can do it in three days. So I paid out

[00:12:34] Ellie: Three days? How long was the short story?

[00:12:34] Libbie: Yeah. It was just under 10,000 words. It was for an anthology.

[00:12:39] Ellie: That’s a lot of work for three days from concept to finished piece.

[00:12:45] Libbie: It was, it was, it, it was a, it was a fast turnaround time, but, you know, I can outline, so I was able to say, all right, I, I can, you know, if you guys liked this concept for the story, then if you give me the green light on it, I can have it back to you in three days.

[00:12:57] Libbie: And I did. Um, so I do outline short stories, but, um, there are times actually, when I, when I don’t outline initially. Uh, sometimes when I don’t quite know the personality of the book yet, like, I don’t really know if it wants to be past tense or present tense or, you know, how many point of view characters it wants to have, or like, what the voice is going to be like, I will just take some time to sort of monkey around with a few chapters and just try stuff and see what happens and what I like and what doesn’t. And eventually I’ll sort of hit on sort of a style and a structure for that book that feels right for what the book, you know, the subject, I write a lot of historical fiction, so it feels right for, you know, the historical subject, subject I’m writing about or the theme or the tone or whatever.

[00:13:44] Libbie: And then once I have that kind of locked in and figured out, then I’ll go back and actually outline it at that point. So I can get through the rest of the book really fast. So that’s when I, when I don’t outline.

[00:13:54] Ellie: Just sort of whole play with the feel of it and stuff.

[00:13:58] Libbie: Yeah.

[00:13:58] Ellie: I think it’s important to make time for that sometimes.

[00:14:00] Libbie: Yeah, for sure.

[00:14:01] Ellie: You get so wrapped up and making it perfect and polishing and stuff. Sometimes it’s fun to just sit down and see where it goes.

[00:14:07] Libbie: It’s really fun. And it’s great for your creativity to do that too. It’s really wonderful.

[00:14:10] Ellie: Absolutely. So, historical fiction. I know you do a lot of research for your historical fiction, not just cause I follow you on Twitter, I swear. You can tell by reading it. I mean, it’s very detailed and it feels like you’ve done that, I think that comes across in the writing.

[00:14:26] Libbie: Good!

[00:14:30] Ellie: How does (gibberish) I can’t even say the word outlining today. How does outlining contribute to that? By which I mean like, would you be able to manage to fit all of that in. Without having the outline there or plotting in advance?

[00:14:45] Libbie: Well, um, I kind of, I don’t really cross my streams with research and outlining, and I actually, if anyone out there likes to write historical fiction, I have another book called Making it in Historical Fiction.

[00:14:58] Libbie: That’s like my strategies for writing commercial historical fiction that will sell. And part of that, like a big chapter of that, is how to manage research. Cause it is a huge problem for historical novelists. Like, man, we fall down the worst rabbit holes. Like you can spend hours, you start out researching like, what industries were around in, you know, 1870 in London or whatever.

[00:15:18] Libbie: And you start reading all this stuff about, I don’t know, one subject, it leads to another and another and another. And before you know it, all of your writing time has been eaten up. And you’ve just read about the history of like pencil erasers or whatever. It’s crazy. It sucks you in.

[00:15:32] Ellie: What a way to spend an afternoon!

[00:15:33] Libbie: Yeah! And I’ve done it many times. Um, in fact, sometimes I post on Twitter, like the stupid thing I’m researching today. I think recently was like what beetles are native to a particular region of the Netherlands. So, um, yeah, like really obscure, weird stuff. But, um, but I try to, uh, I try to not outline a book until I have the bulk of my research done.

[00:15:55] Libbie: So I’ll finish reading up whatever I need to read about my subject, about the time and place they lived in, about kind of the political and social environment they would have been in. And once I can really envision my character sort of moving through that landscape, uh, clearly. Like I understand how they would react to all these things that are going on around them historically. Um, then I start outlining the book. Like I stopped researching. I’m like officially like research done now it’s time to write. So I stop researching and I write the outline and then I start writing the book. And then, you know, inevitably you come up with, uh, scenes where you need to figure out like what somebody would have worn or like how they would’ve gotten from place to place.

[00:16:37] Libbie: So as I’m writing, um, when I get to those moments, I stop and I just do enough Googling. To fill in that blank. And then I stop, go back to writing again until I have another little detail I need to fill in. So you don’t need to know everything about historical time and place before you begin writing about it.

[00:16:58] Libbie: Um, a lot of, a lot of authors think. They need to like have everything down. They need to have like binders full of all the details of how people lived and how they dressed and what kind of jobs they had, and yada, yada. You don’t, none of that stuff usually matters in a book. So you get the stuff that matters, which is, which is the social and political environment that your character would have been in. And then you stop. So I keep them separate as much as possible is the short answer to that question.

[00:17:26] Ellie: How do you know when to stop that? I mean, how would you know that? That’s the only stuff that’s gonna matter?

[00:17:30] Libbie: Well, it really comes down to, I’m a very, uh, uh, very character focused writer. Um, in fact, some of my books, you know, are just all character stuff and almost no plot, which doesn’t sound good to some people I know, but it’s great for my audience.

[00:17:45] Ellie: We’ve said multiple times on this podcast that a lot of people will finish a book and even a series for the characters alone. Um, even if the plot is shit like, are your plots are not shit, don’t get me wrong, but I think, even if your plot is the worst player in the world, sometimes the characters keep it going. That’s often more important.

[00:18:02] Libbie: Well, I feel like the characters always keep it going really, but some people are really, you know, there are some audiences that read for the story for the plot and some that read for the characters. Um, and I’m definitely a writer who produces books for that latter camp. Um, so I really like, once I know my character well enough that I can really picture them, um, like what they would do as a person in this social and political climate. That’s how I know I’ve researched enough. Like once that’s really vivid to me and I can kind of like see it playing in my head, like a movie, like, oh yeah. So I’m writing about Vincent van Gogh right now. Look at all those tabs. Look at that. That’s my research.

[00:18:40] Ellie: That is a lot of tabs!

[00:18:42] Libbie: That’s three months worth of reading and this is just one of four books I read, too. They’re all like this.

[00:18:48] Ellie: Are they all colour coded, though?

[00:18:53] Libbie: Yes, different colors are like, cause then I can cross reference in the other, the other three books I have like, oh, I need something from this timeframe. Like when he was in London in 1877 or whatever, like, so I can just go grab all the yellow tabs, all the light yellow tabs in my books and read that stuff again if I need a refresher.

[00:19:08] Libbie: So anyway, um, so like once I can picture clearly, um, how van Gogh would have responded to the social and political climate, you know, during, you know, up until 1890, which is when this book ends, um, then I’m done reading. Like there was some extra stuff in his biography. I didn’t read it though, because it didn’t pertain to like that section of his life.

[00:19:31] Libbie: So yeah, that’s, that’s how I know is that I kind of like get this feeling. And really, like I said, like when I close my eyes, I can kind of see it like a movie a little bit. Um, so if I can see what my characters are doing and how they would react to certain, uh, events or, you know, certain, if another character interacted with them in a particular way, I can kind of get like, okay, this is how Vincent would have responded to somebody who said this to him.

[00:19:57] Libbie: Like, then I know I’m done. I’m done with the research and it’s time to write,

[00:20:00] Ellie: Getting to know your characters on, like, steroids. I love that. I love that. I can’t imagine, I mean, I’d love to write historical fiction. I have a degree in history and I write fiction. You think the next step would be historical fiction and yet I’m stuck on fantasy.

[00:20:21] Libbie: Well, fantasy is fun.

[00:20:23] Ellie: It’s fun.

[00:20:26] Libbie: I don’t blame you.

[00:20:27] Ellie: What mistakes then, do you see writers make when it comes to outlining?

[00:20:32] Libbie: Oh, I think the biggest mistake I see writers make with outlining is like thinking that it has to be rigid and it has to conform to a particular structure.

[00:20:43] Libbie: Like the one that really drives me up a wall, there’s the three-act structure. Like why, who decided that stories need to come in three acts? I don’t get it. Humans are drawn to the number three. So I think that has something to do with it. Like we just like threes. But also like there’s no law that says your story has to have three acts in it.

[00:21:03] Libbie: Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you where the acts are in any of my books. I have no idea. Like I don’t write with three acts in mind.

[00:21:09] Libbie: Um, and so some of these proscribed structures can be useful, especially if you’re working in a genre that tends to be, I’m going to use a word that some people think is insulting, I do not mean this as an insult, that tends to be formulaic. Um, I don’t think that I don’t think it’s an insult though.

[00:21:27] Libbie: It just, it’s a formula as a means of ensuring you’re delivering the right kind of product for what your audience expects. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s a great thing. And the fact, I think, writers who can consistently deliver a product that an audience loves are amazing.

[00:21:44] Libbie: I can’t, I do my best. I always have a flop every couple of years. I’ve got a book that just bombs really hard and I’m like, oh, I thought it was a good one, but everyone hates it. So what are you going to do? You know?

[00:21:54] Libbie: Um, but for the most part, you need to keep it loose with an outline and allow the outline to kind of take whatever shape it needs to take to support the kind of story you want to tell. Like there’s not one true method of storytelling. There’s no one singular form story takes, not even in Western culture where we tend to have kind of one, uh, one basic structure for story. But if you’re really looking at stories um, they don’t all follow that like union hero’s journey story that everyone claims is the only Western, you know, story form.

[00:22:29] Libbie: But all stories have certain things in common. Um, but they aren’t all following a precise inflexible pattern. And in fact, I think writers who are willing to take some risks with structure and with other elements of craft, have a better chance of making it because their work will stand out a little bit more from the kind of scared writers who think if they don’t do it right, they’re not going to have a career at all.

[00:22:53] Libbie: Like, I haven’t done a damn thing right. In my career, not one single thing.

[00:22:58] Ellie: I’m sure that’s not true.

[00:23:01] Libbie: Really not like it has been a weird, sad, jagged backwards road to get to where I am right now. Like I have gone in through the back door to become a professional author. In fact, the back door was closed, so I like climbed in through a window and sometimes I think I like chiseled a hole through the wall and just crawled in that way. Um, but here I am. Like, I’m writing books for a living and I think that should tell most writers something. I’m a writer who takes risks. I don’t, you know, everyone told me, oh, you, you have to keep a novel under a hundred thousand words.

[00:23:29] Libbie: And I’m like, fuck, I’m not going to do that.

[00:23:32] Ellie: Rules? Who needs rules?

[00:23:34] Libbie: Yeah, exactly. Like I just like, fine, if it’s harder to sell a book that’s really long, then I’m just going to write a really fucking great long book and then dare publishers to buy it. Um, so, you know, you don’t, you have to take some risks, I think, because it makes you stand out. Um, and, and I think, uh, outlining is no exception to that.

[00:23:54] Libbie: Like if you or, you know, looking at the three-act structure or the take off your pants structure or whatever. And you’re like, I don’t know. I don’t think this is going to work for what I’m doing, then don’t do it. Like you can change those things around. You can have four acts, you can have two acts, you can do as many different repetitions of the, uh, the, the thwarting cycle, which I go over and Take Off Your Pants, as you want to have. Like, just do what feels right for your book and trust your book and trust that you can write a good book.

[00:24:23] Ellie: At the end of the day, you’re making it up as you go along, right? Why not have some fun with that? Whatever works for you. Very wise words. Okay. So what would you say to maybe one of our listeners, what would be your advice to one of our pantsers, who is considering jumping teams and becoming a plotter?

[00:24:43] Libbie: Well, I think you should do it! Do it! Just try it. But also, if you’re a diehard, plotter, try pantsing sometimes. Just trying other stuff is a huge benefit in any creative field. I come from a family of professional artists and they’re constantly, always like, I’m going to try doing this style for awhile and I’m going to do this.

[00:25:00] Libbie: Like, it’s good for you to shake up your process once in a while. It’s great for your creativity and you don’t have to stick with it. If you really hate plotting you don’t have to keep doing it, but try it once in a while, you know, like build that skill. Because believe me, once the dream comes true and suddenly you’re writing professionally and you have to hit deadlines or else it’s very useful to have the ability to crank out a good book, really fast, like have that tool in your toolbox, even if you rarely use it.

[00:25:27] Ellie: And the fastest way is with outlining, as you said!

[00:25:29] Libbie: Yup.

[00:25:30] Ellie: Excellent. I just have one final question for you, which is obviously the most important question of the whole interview, uh, which book changed your life?

[00:25:38] Libbie: Watership Down. I love that book so much. Um, I was eight years old and I read it, uh, and, uh, I was just blown away by it. Like, you know, I was a little kid, so I’d been reading like kids’ books and they were fine, you know, I enjoyed them well enough.

[00:25:56] Libbie: Um, but then I decided I was going to read Watership Down and it’s a big old clunker. Like it’s, you know, as big as that book, I just held up earlier. And it just amazed me with how beautiful it was, how evocative Richard Adams prose is, um, his characterisation of rabbits, you know, like he made them feel like people I could relate to.

[00:26:15] Libbie: Um, and I just was so like, it was, it was, I like I had walked into another world. I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. And I realised, it’s simple as a simplified children’s idea of this was was, oh, someone paid Richard Adams to write this book. Kind of, it’s not really the way it works, as we all know now, like you have to write it first and then sell it.

[00:26:35] Libbie: But, but I decided when I read that book, I was like, this is it. This is what I’m going to do with my life. I’m going to write novels. And, um, I decided at age eight to do it and here I am doing it. So hooray!

[00:26:45] Ellie: That’s fantastic. I love that feeling of being just inspired. So many people talk about that book that just kicked it off as a kid. And I love that feeling. This is why we need more books, more books in school.

[00:26:56] Libbie: More books. Um, especially in the United States, don’t even start me. They’re trying to ban all kinds of books right now. I mean, we do this like every four or five years.

[00:27:06] Ellie: It’s kind of ridiculous, but yes, that’s a story for another day. Perfect. Well then, where can I love the listeners? Go to find out more about you?

[00:27:16] Libbie: Well, you can check out my website, That’s got all my various, uh, commercial fiction under there. If you want to check out my literary fiction, it’s under Um, and then also you can follow me on Instagram if you want, which is @libbiehawker..

[00:27:33] Libbie: Perfect.

[00:27:34] Ellie: Excellent. I will make them out of all of those in our show notes. Um, and we’ll, uh, speak to you soon. Thank you very much for being here.

[00:27:42] Libbie: Thank you for having me.



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