Interview with On Fiction Writing editor Michael Keyton
October 19, 2013

OFW: Has a book ever made you angry? If so, which one?

Liane: The Color Purple by Alice Walker made me very angry, if my memory is accurate, in the same way that the movie Mystic River did, and the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. There is a kind of helpless rage that I feel when I'm confronted with heinous abuse of children in fiction—all kinds of abuse, but sexual abuse most of all. Part of it is the awareness that this issue is real, and that no matter how well-written, how realistically depicted the fiction is, it can never, ever convey the true horror, the desecration and terror and damage and filth that some adults perpetrate on the people they should most fiercely protect from these things. 


December 2010

AOTR: Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview with Liane Spicer, author of Café au Lait. Please tell us about yourself and your book.

Liane: I taught English for many years, then left to follow my dreams. Was I in for a ride! Apart from completing and publishing Café au Lait I worked as a newspaper editor, human resource manager and company administrator, each in a different country. There's a certain exhilaration in not knowing exactly what lies ahead; I thrive on that.

AOTR: What is the best advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Liane: Learn your craft. Read widely. Do your research before ever sending out a query so you learn the protocols of the publishing industry.


March 1, 2010

CLS: Did you always harbor the ambition to write a novel? How long did it take you to write Café au Lait?

Liane Spicer: I'm not sure when I decided to write novels; it just evolved naturally from my lifelong love of books. In the mid 1990s when Kensington launched the Arabesque line of black romances a light went on for me: this was where I'd begin. I wrote the first draft of the novel in two and a half months, but that was just the first step on the long road to publication.


October 12, 2009

Shauna: How did coming from a small country affect your ability to learn about the business of writing and to find an agent and a publisher?

Liane: I started learning about the business via writing magazines and articles in Writers Market, then graduated to doing most research online. My location in the Caribbean initially lengthened the querying and submission process; I had to snail mail everything and include arcane stuff such as international mailing coupons, which were something of a PITA for those on the receiving end. Now that many agents and publishers accept queries online, my location is not an issue. I found my current agent, Susan Schulman, days after I began e-mailing agent queries.


April 10, 2009

“Shari and Michael both bring a lot of baggage into their relationship, she on account of a doomed affair, he because of a disastrous marriage,” said Spicer of her leading characters. “I’m a romantic at heart, so I like to believe that couples who really want to be together can find a way to work through their differences.”


Interview with Stephe's Writingscape v1.o 
October 31, 2008

Stephe: What makes your favorite character just that?

Liane: I have several favorites, but Michael, the hero in Café au Lait, probably has the edge. He's a physical type that I admire, he's complex, he's got loads of baggage, he's maddeningly inscrutable, he fights intimacy because it makes him vulnerable, just like the men I tend to be attracted to. He's not a sweet, uncomplicated guy. I think I like a challenge, and Michael fits that mould perfectly.


Interview with Trinidad Newsday 
October 20, 2008

Q. Was it difficult, as a Caribbean writer, to get noticed in the publishing world? 

A. There are agents who won’t look at anything from a foreign writer, and others who won’t consider a romance set in an ‘exotic’ country. There are agents who won’t touch multicultural. It’s a very subjective business, but I don’t think I had any special disadvantages. The odds are the same for all writers: agents ask to see only one or two submissions for every 100 queries they get, and they ask to represent a tiny percentage of the ones they do request.


September 29, 2008

Q. What advice would you give to others who would like to write and publish novels in the international arena?

A. Study the industry. Writing is an art, but publishing is a business; I can’t say that often enough. There are countless websites, blogs, critique groups, chat groups etc. that exist specifically to educate and help new writers. I found most of these over years of research, and I’ve placed links to them on my blog at That’s the first step. The second is to persist.


Interview with SORMAG - Shades of Romance Magazine
September 23, 2008

What was the most embarrassing thing you've ever done or stupidest mistake you've ever made with writing?

When I first started marketing the book, right after I finished the first draft, I knew nothing about the business. Karen Thomas, who was then editor of the Arabesque line at Kensington Publishing, requested the manuscript and I sent it off to her although it was 10,000 words short of their requirements. She also requested a synopsis and I hadn't done one, so I sent off the package without it, and included a cute little bio on pretty paper. Unknowingly, I committed three submission felonies! Needless to say, I didn't hear from Ms. Thomas again!