What inspired you to write your first book?
Reading Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. Laughed so hard I nearly wet myself (sorry, TMI). Anyone watching probably thought (rightly) that I was mad.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I write in the first person as my main character and in the present tense. I tend to use a lot of short sentences and paragraphs and abuse grammar rules by starting sentences with 'And' and 'But.' Basically, I write like people talk (minus the 'um's). You'll be right at home if you like Sophie Kinsella's books.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Never base characters on someone you know. They will find out and they won't be happy. I do occasionally think of people I used to know when creating a character, but I won't be any more specific than that lest I incriminate myself.
Events, yes. In fact, it's quite useful having a character like Mel for whom everything goes tits up, because every time something goes wrong for you, you think 'Great, I must write this down...' I got locked in a toilet on holiday last week and was just pleased to have found more material!
What books have most influenced your life most?
I actually have a board on Pinterest for special books. I think I have to pick out Can You Keep a Secret? because, as I said, it inspired me to start writing chick lit, and The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. I blame that book for my now being self-employed.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I haven't found a writer-mentor yet. While I started out imitating Sophie Kinsella, I think it's important to find your own voice.
I have done beta-reading swaps with a couple of other writers - Mark Gardner, who writes sci-fi, and Kerry Taylor, who also writes chick lit - and those have been helpful. But I also have some regular non-writer betas who are invaluable.
I belong to the Chick Lit Chat group on Facebook, which is a group of chick lit and women's fiction authors. That's extremely useful.
What are your current projects?
Lots going on at the moment. First, I'm editing my next book, which is a spin-off from The Dr Pepper Prophecies. That will be out later in the year.
Second, there's an audio book of The Dr Pepper Prophecies in the works. I have a wonderful voice artist who not only sounds like Mel, but even looks like her. That will be out in August.
Third, I'm putting together a box set of three novels with two other authors (After Wimbledon will be part of that) called Have Chick Lit, Will Travel which should be out at the end of July. We're taking readers on a bit of a world tour, as my book takes place in London, then there's She Likes It Tough by Geralyn Corcillo which is set in LA and finally Mr Right & Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell, which is based in Sydney.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It's quite hard to say anything without including spoilers for The Dr Pepper Prophecies. It picks up a few months after that book and has Mel's sister, Brittany,
as the main character. We (and Brittany) get to find out a bit more about her not-so-perfect life. At the start of the book she sets out to improve her life, but ends up with a bit more change than she bargained for...
And yes, Mel does appear in it. She will visit and chat online with Brittany as they work on rebuilding their relationship. And, Mel being Mel, she’ll even indulge in a little “helping.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I never like writing parts where things are going wrong for my characters, but you have to make things go wrong for readers to appreciate when they go right. And the scenes where things go badly for Mel are often the funniest.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a good deal doing the research for After Wimbledon. I actually managed to lay my hands on a copy of the guide for competitors, which was incredibly helpful for getting the behind-the-scenes details of the Wimbledon Championships right.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading and helping spread the word about my books.
Thanks For Reading Lovelies
Thank You To Jennifer For Answering All My Questions
Check Back Tomorrow For The Reviews Of
The Dr Pepper Prophecies & After Wimbledon
Chicks That Read
I'm a bookwhore, yes I said it, I have no shame, I will wander off with any old book I'm not even a little bit ashamed. Twenty Seven, Mum, SEND Teaching Assistant, general beauty hoarder and lover of the Irish.