This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I write Tuesday's, Thursday's and Friday's when my son is at school and my 3 year old is in nursery. People often say 'isn't it great that you can work around the kids.' What? Have you tried writing with a 3 year old whose only vocabulary consists of 'Mummy' and 'I want'….Seriously, I need absolute solitude to write and I find that a silent house allows for a greater flow of creativity. What I can tell you about my average day is that I sit on my bottom far too much!
2. When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
I haven't used celebrities just yet although I can see the humour in it, but I definitely use the characteristics and the occasional storyline from people I know. I'm dreading 'The Curry Club' which is my second book because it is loosely based on at least 3 people I can think of. But you know what? The best story lines are those which are true to life. You need to write plausible stuff to match the intelligence of your readers….so what if I pinch a little from people's lives???… It just shows how dull my own is!!!
3. What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
As a scriptwriter I would probably have to choose 'Angels' by Marian Keyes. I loved the hellish journey Emily went through to try to get her script into development, let alone into production, although at the same time I am pretty sure I will go through exactly the same when Crystal Balls is re-written as a feature film. It's on my To Do List! One of the funniest bits for me is when Maggie is on Venice Beach, LA, and she orders gets a lolly ice. All the size zero babes on the beach gasp in horror. Bring it on!
4. What is your writing process? Do you plan first of dive in? How many drafts do you do?
5. What was journey to being a published author?
Pretty uneventful for me. I had on rejection by a publisher and Poolbeg Press, Dublin, accepted me on my second attempt. At least one thing was easy. The rest wasn't!
6. What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That you earn a shed load of money. I do think that was true once upon a time, but the competition is so fierce these days that the advances are lower and sales are not what they used to be. But as a writer, you writer for the absolute pleasure of people reading your work…the money, in my opinion, is secondary although I am looking forward to seeing some!
7. What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
If you don't know the word Tenacious – look up it – and multiply it by one hundred! I used to think there was a book in everyone but I don't now. Starting a brand new book with an empty page is a gut wrenching task and one which would be so easy to walk away from. You need staying power and a determination which draws bile to the back of your throat. If you don't have it then don't give up your day job. Harsh words, but trust me, it's a killer.
8. What are you working on at the moment?
I am just starting on book 3 which, for now, is called 'Pole Idol'…that's all I am prepared to divulge in the name of Copyright! Just kidding. That aside I am starting to write a script for a post watershed documentary for BBCNI which follows the life of a group of freshers as they start university. I will have to remove my author head and replace it with my technical blueprint head. The writing discipline is entirely different but I love it.