I have known Kate in a professional capacity for several years now and, in the past, she has given me some great feedback and sound advice. They say to find an agent who loves your manuscript as much as you do and one that you can foresee a good working relationship with and for those reasons, amongst others, I am very much looking forward to working with Kate in the future.
Although Kate and I had agreed everything before Christmas, it wasn’t until last week that we were able to meet up. We had a great afternoon in London, chatting over afternoon tea on a Thames River cruise – the time went so quickly we had to head to a pub afterwards to complete the formalities.
I am pleased to say that my next book is to be published by HarperCollins’ imprint HarperImpulse on 21 April 2016. We are working on the cover and a new title which I hope to share with you soon.
So, now the glamourous bit is over, it’s time for me to head back into the editing cave …
To celebrate the launch of our anthology Romaniac Shorts, myself and my other lovely Romaniac girls are taking it in turns interviewing each other. Laura did a secret draw, World Cup style, and Lucie and I were picked to ask each other the questions.
Hello, Lucie, and welcome to my new blog. You’re my first guest and what better guest to have than a lovely Romaniac lady!
Wow, I am truly honoured. Thanks so much for having me.
Right, here we go with the questions …
You recently won the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance, how has this impacted on your writing career?
Do you know what, I still can’t actually believe that I won. I was up against some very talented writers and I truly didn’t think I would be in with a chance of winning. I was praying for runner up at best. It was such a magical moment when Sammia Hamer (Avon, Harper Collins) called out Head over Heart. And to top it off, I was with fellow Romaniacs as well as new friends I had made that day.
Since winning, it has been a bit of a whirlwind. I received a fair bit of interest in HoH at the festival after it was announced and came away with a few email addresses and requests to see the full manuscript. I crossed my fingers and followed through with sending it out. And unbelievably, a matter of weeks after I had won the award, I was signed up to the Kate Nash Literary Agency and am now represented by Sarah Taylor. Sarah has been incredibly enthusiastic about HoH and its future, so we will see what the future holds.
What are you working on at the moment? Can you sum it up in just a couple of sentences?
At the moment I am working on my next full length novel. It is currently untitled but to sum it up, I would say it is the story of a young woman who takes the brave decision to escape from an abusive relationship. She returns to her hometown to start fresh but after years of abuse, it isn’t as easy as she thinks to live normally again. And there’s also the added complication of her best friend’s brother…
Can you explain how your writing process works? What comes first? Plot, characters, setting, theme?
This is a hard one as I feel I am still relatively new to writing and so I tend to be trying lots of different techniques to see which works for me. With Head over Heart, it was the main theme which came first. HoH follows the story of young widow, Sophie, who is trying to learn to love again but finds herself constantly swimming against the tide.
Before I even thought of writing that book, I had a dream. In the dream, I was the passenger in Sophie’s husband’s car accident. I saw how she was widowed. For weeks after that dream I couldn’t shake it off. That woman’s story needed to be told … and so Head over Heart was born.
However with the novel I am working on at the moment, I had an idea of the characters first, but this was alongside the theme which is domestic violence. So maybe I do predominantly work from the theme.
Yes, let’s go theme! I do like to go around the houses sometimes to get to where I want to be 🙂
If you could have any author, living or dead, and any character from a book over for coffee and cake, who would you choose and why?
My ultimate hero (I should really say heroine) is JK Rowling, I would most definitely invite her over for coffee. I would also have wine, Gin and Baileys on offer too, if she preferred, but I suppose it would depend on what time of day I held my gathering. Anyway, yes, definitely JK Rowling. It was reading the Harry Potter books that really made me think about my writing seriously. I think those books are fantastically well written and I remember saying to my friend, “If I can write something and it makes someone else feel, what I feel when I read those books, It would be amazing.”
Even though I have many icons now within the writing industry, she was my first real icon. And to this day I would still absolutely love to meet her.
And finally, the all important question, what cake would be on offer?
Ooooh, well, I am not a chocolate cake type of person, believe it or not. I love chocolate bars, chocolate drinks and even ChocLit books … but chocolate sponge cake … nope. I would have a Victoria sponge on offer. And it would be shop bought because I am rubbish at baking!
Thank you, Lucie, it’s been great fun interviewing you. Remember to save some of that cake for me!
Thank you so much for having me, Sue. It’s nice here, isn’t it? Very homely.
Oh, and saving cake? You will have to explain that concept to me as I’m afraid I don’t get it… saving… cake… nope, it’s ludicrous. Who has cake leftover to save?