The Next Big Thing
What is the title of your next book?
The one that has just come out is called A Merry Little Christmas. My next one is going to be Midsummer Magic.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
AMLC came out of wanting to return to the village of Hope Christmas which I created for Last Christmas. I loved the place and characters so much, and felt I had more to say about them. Plus I've always wanted to write about a family with a special needs child, as I have several friends in that situation, so it gave me the opportunity to bring Pippa and her family out of the shadows. And of course it's a Christmas book, so I go to play around with lots of the expectations the festive season brings, some of them unexpected...
Midsummer Magic has come about because I was asked to come up with a summery book. I heard a song on the radio called You'll Be Mine by the Pierces, which sent shivers down my spine (ALWAYS a good sign for me). It made me think of love, enchantment, music and madness, which somehow led me to deciding I'd like to do a modern day riff on A Midsummer Night's Dream. So that's what I'm writing now, and I can tell you it's a blast!
What genre does your book fall under?
All my books fall into the commercial women's fiction/chick lit bracket (though, chick lit, really? Apart from the lovely man in my local market who calls me babe, no one could possibly believe I'm a chick any more!). However, I am a passionate believer in not getting tied down to genre, so I don't want this necessarily to be the only genre I ever write in. I also like to experiment with my writing, so even though this is in the same genre as my other books, I am hoping that Midsummer Magic will be very different from AMLC.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Do you know... that one is always so difficult for me to answer. Gabriel from AMLC is easy. I always had Richard Armitage in mind for him. Marianne ... hmm maybe someone like Jessica Brown Findlay or Gemma Artherton. I think Hermione Norris might make an excellent Cat, and Noel could be the ever lovely Rupert Penry Jones or Jude Law. Hmm, yes, Jude Law would be yummy. Pippa could be played by Kate Winslet and Dan by John Simm. The very gorgeous Michael Nicholas would have to be Johnny Depp.
Will your book be self-pubished or represented by an agency?
I am represented by the lovely Dorothy Lumley at the Dorian Literary Agency and am lucky enough to be published by the wonderful Avon team at Harper Collins
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
AMLC took forever, as it was a very stop start process due to the madness in my life this time last year. I must have started it sometime in the summer, but didn't finish it till around the end of Feb.
Midsummer Magic is nearly at the halfway stage and I started it in August. I'm aiming to deliver by the end of November, which is a bit mental...But I do write quickly when under pressure:-)
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
While I write for a commercial market, I try to put some serious stuff in there too. So I guess I would aim to be writing as well as people I admire like Kate Harrison, Rowan Coleman and Marian Keyes.
Who or what inspitred you to write this book?
As I said above I wanted AMLC to be a follow up to Last Christmas. Which was originally inspired by the chaos of my own family life, and AMLC has well and truly picked up that baton! I'd also say it is partly inspired by notions of motherhood: being mothered, becoming a mother, mothering your own mother, dealing with the unwanted actions of your children... I think it's an interesting area, and one I might well return to.
Midsummer Magic, was originally set off by the song I mentioned above, but really Shakespeare is my main inspiration. Thanks, Bill.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I hope people new to AMLC will enjoy Hope Christmas as much as I enjoy writing about it & I'd like to think they might shed a tear/have a laugh along the way.
Midsummer Magic is proving a lot of fun to write, and I hope readers will enjoy the mistakes, shenanigans and confusion that my characters are going to be subjected too.
And before I go, I get to tag the following fabulous writers who will be blogging about the Next Big Thing on their blogs next week....
Sara is a Scottish author who writes across the genres. A woman of many talents and a fabulous person to boot. I am reading her fabulous book Brighton Belle right now.
Coincidentally, also from Scotland, is a wonderful YA author. I know, because I had the privilege to edit her! She's also a formidable defendant of author's rights, demonstrated by the principled stand she has recently taken supporting her friend, fellow writer, Debi Gliori against internet trolls.
And I shared our pub day last week and had a blast. Her latest Married by Christmas is on my tbr list. Oh and in her spare time Scarlett doubles up as best selling author Rowan Coleman. Awesome.
Is my lovely twin, and my greatest supporter. Technically this meme is for pubbed or soon to be pubbed authors. Ginia's just finished the second draft of her first novel. But I think you can see from the Friday Flashes on her blog how talented she is. AND she works and has three kids...