Wednesday 13 May 2009
For some reason, I've suddenly been asked to offer my pearls of wisdom and alleged writing expertise on a wide range of subjects. For a really, really brief period I got a bit big-headed and thought I must be the current author-of-choice, but only briefly. Now I've decided that it's probably because they've run out of Proper Writers...
Whatever - I'm not proud. I'm just delighted to be asked. So, this week I've done a stonking FIVE interviews with different people for various publications on all sorts of subjects - from fireworks to Epstein Barr; from how I manage to write in such a mess and muddle to how I bit the bullet and gave up the day job; from my research methods to why I stopped writing mainstream chicklit and started writing magical bucolic frolics. I've loved every minute of it. And I really, really appreciate being asked.
No publicity is bad in my opinion - no, not even that rather painful and corrosive piece about me being a gurning nonentity in The Times by a far more literary writer than I'll ever be - and any opportunity for anyone who writes to get their name out there in any capacity is A Good Thing. So this is a public thank you to all those who took time to ask me questions and patiently sorted out the dross of my answers.
I really welcomed being interviewed by fellow rom-com author Olivia Ryan. She's written a fab feature on Giving Up The Day Job (to be published later in the year - will post details as soon as I know). I was included with such romantic novelist luminaries as Judy Astley and Katie Fforde and Fenella Miller - and am still basking in the afterglow.
It's always flattering to be asked for your views by another author, and especially so as I LOVE Olivia Ryan's books (check her out at www.oliviaryan.com). I bought second copies of her hilarious and oh-so-true Tales From A Hen Weekend and Tales From A Wedding Day as a honeymoon beach-reading present for Elle (they'd make great engagement/hen night/wedding presents for any dedicated chicklit lover) who read them on Waikiki Beach and absolutely loved them and is now a hooked Olivia fan. We're both now feverishly waiting for the final book in the trilogy - Tales From A Honeymoon Hotel - which is out on July 2nd. Oh, and if you're reading this, Olivia, I've already got my order in on Amazon - I'm not asking for freebies!!!!
I've always found it's better to be honest when being interviewed - even if what you have to say isn't exactly what's expected. I'm certainly not a typical writer (come on - take a look at my lifestyle!) but try to explain how writing fits in with my Other Life (with difficulty, usually). I know I love to read about how other writers work - even if it does make me wonder how I ever manage to get anything done - or how other writers got started, or anything at all that might just help me to improve how I do things. We can all learn from one another - and I know I've gained numerous nuggets of brilliance from authors I admire.
One area of writing I'm rather proud of this morning is my new found ability to delete at will! Yesterday - after a sleepless night of agonising - I deleted Midnight Feast and started again. And now it's flying! I've been up since 4.30 (it wasn't even light!) and have done over 3,000 words already today. I'd written myself into a turgid corner and knew that there was no way out. So, I've just kept all my characters (who I loved) and changed the setting and the start and made it funnier and really, really off the wall - and it's suddenly zinged into life for me now. Hopefully it'll zing into life for Those Who Matter...
I've happily told The Toyboy Trucker (sorry, still can't get into Toyboy Transport Manager) that it's now "Cold Comfort Farm meets Masterchef". I won't tell you what he said - but hopefully he's wrong, wrong, wrong....