This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Nadine Dorries' novel, The Ballymara Road, has been very well received and today she discusses with Debs how she fits her writing in before her day job in Westminster, and her road to publication.
Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
I'm quite strict about my writing time. It is precious and scarce, which is maybe the reason I enjoy writing so much. I begin at six each morning and I'm afraid to say, I write in bed until it's time to shower and head off to the day job in Westminster. I write in between votes. Each vote takes twenty minutes during which we are more or less trapped, unable to move away from the lobbies. There can be four or more votes at times and so they are dead minutes I use to write it. I write mostly all day Sunday and quite often in a Saturday too and I always write on the train journey to and from work. There is no such thing as a moment with nothing to do in my life.
When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
I never use celebrities. There are many characters I grew up with in Liverpool who I remember and inspire many of my characters.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
This is a hard question. Is it Emma? Or Rebecca, or Pride and Prejudice? I can't say. I love so many. I was an avid reader and I still am. I can't write unless I'm reading something at the same time.What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
I dive in and then wish to God I had planned.
My journey was interesting. I sent a chapter of a book I had written to Louise Mensch's agent. He wrote back and told me to stick to the day job. I didn't write again for six months.
I then gave something I wrote to a friend who gave it to Piers Blofeld from Shiel Land to take a look at. He asked to meet for a cuppa, gave me some tips and told me to keep writing. I sent him the finished book. He put it out to auction to a number of publishers and Head of Zeus spotted it and bought it overnight, literally within hours.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That writing is easy. At times, I find it utterly draining and exhausting and I still love it!
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Read, read, read, read and study how other authors structure their books and then just do it. Until you start tapping those keys, nothing comes out.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished book 4, Ruby Flynn, which comes out in December. I will write book five over the summer recess.