What made you write The High-Street Bride’s Guide? Was it something you always wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never thought it would be non-fiction—I’ve been writing fiction since I was little! I wrote The High-Street Bride’s Guide after I got engaged and then started writing for You & Your Wedding, Cosmopolitan Bride and Brides magazines. A friend of mine said I should write a book with all my wedding knowledge, and since my husband and I had spent four years saving up for our wedding, I knew straight away it would have to be a guide to getting married on a budget—we couldn’t be the only ones struggling to pay for our big day and wanting to make it amazing without spending a house deposit on it!
What has the feedback been like from people who have read your book?
Really encouraging—people have been so nice about it! Someone who works in weddings said she thought she knew all the best ways to save money until she read my book, I’ve had tweets from people saying how much they love it and reviewers have said things like: “User-friendly, full of anecdotal humour which presents the factual information in easy to read bytes,” “With regular updates it should be a bestseller,” and even “A well written book that will become a bible for all brides to be.” I mean, I actually couldn't have asked for nicer reviews!
Could you tell us your best advice for a bride planning their wedding?
There’s so much pressure on brides to do things the way their parents did, or to be traditional, but these days you just don’t have to unless you want to. You want your bridesmaids to walk down the aisle before you? Totally acceptable. You like your chairs? Don’t have chair covers. You don’t want to wear white because you don’t like how it looks against your skin tone? Wear blush colours—heck, make like Mary in About Time and wear bright red! The wedding industry threw out the rulebook since your folks got married, so apart from the legal bit it’s all up to you.
Did you plan your own wedding?
Absolutely—and we used a lot of strategies that are in the book: we negotiated with all our suppliers just the way I talk about it in the Guide, we didn't bother with save-the-dates, we had our invites printed locally, I paid £395 for my wedding dress, we worked with a local florist to keep prices minimal, we limited our photographer’s hours, we had a DJ instead of a band… And we had the perfect day for 100 people for thousands less than the average wedding!
How have you found it working with HarperImpulse?
Great! The editorial team are so enthusiastic and open to ideas, and they've got all these innovative ways of getting our books out there. Working with the other HarperImpulse authors has been amazing too—they’re so encouraging and endlessly supportive, it’s like a big writery family!
Do you have any future projects planned?
Yes! If The High-Street Bride’s Guide does well I’d love to write more about weddings, but in the meantime I’m going back to my fiction-writing roots and working on a steampunk fantasy novel. I’m just crossing my fingers everyone else likes it as much as I do!
What advice could you give to a writer wanting to get their work published?
Being rejected doesn't mean you’re not good enough—I had a book rejected back when I was at uni and now I'm working with HarperCollins. It could just mean it’s not the right time for your book, or you’re not targeting the right publisher or agent or even the right imprint. Incidentally, get The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook--it’s absolutely invaluable for helping you aim your manuscript at the right people.
How have you found the book blogging community?
Most book bloggers aren't so interested in reviewing The High-Street Bride’s Guide directly, and I get that—who wants to read about planning a wedding when you’re not, right? But the ones who have read it have been really positive and totally embraced the idea and the book itself, which has been so great—like you, all the book bloggers who have been in touch with me have been nothing but lovely!
If you had to do anything different what would you do?
I wouldn’t to be honest--I'm really happy with the way things have turned out!
Finally, what’s been the best part of the entire process?
So far, going into the HarperCollins offices two or three times in the last year and being meant to be there—chatting to my editor (I have an editor!), who is really lovely and supportive, and bringing home a name tag with the word ‘author’ on it!
Thank You So Much To Samantha Birch, One lovely Lady Who Not Only Took The Time To Do A Q&A With Me But Who Also has Offered An E-copy Of The High-Street Bride Guide Towards Our Domain Change Giveaway!
So you wanna be like these to love birds jumping happily on your wedding night, well you need to GET The High-Street Bride Guide Now!!
Thanks For Reading Lovelies, & Thanks Again To Samantha Birch
The High Street Bride!
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.