Today I have an guest post from Isabella May, author of Oh! What a Pavlova.
Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.
Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?
What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?
I’m a mix of notebooks and PC when I am starting out on a new book. Notebooks are great to transport to cafes (I’m a dance mum so spend a lot of time waiting around with a coffee and cake!). Even in a noisy setting, you will overhear something in a conversation which sparks off an idea. And I often find that my characters start ‘talking to me’ and will let me record several paragraphs of an argument or confrontation … or even a sex scene for a future chapter!
Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?
Alas, living in Spain means it’s tricky to get to author conferences. I hope to attend some in the future though. On the other hand, I am near the Gibraltar Literary Festival and have been a few times. It’s had some really inspired line-ups over the past few years, and this October’s is no exception.
How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?
At the time of writing this, my second manuscript (a story packed full of cocktails and my usual jump-off-the-page characters, humour, travel and magic), is with my publisher, Crooked Cat Books for perusal. I’m keeping my paws crossed for a good response! And that’s it. So far, I have only written two books. But book three is already swirling around nicely in my head … that might just have to be based here, on the lively Costa del Sol.
What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?
I wish I’d been told to believe in my writing sooner. For years I doubted I had any true ability because I had no writing training or credentials. But eventually my confidence grew with practice, and, to be honest, by attending local writing groups here in Spain and biting the bullet to read my drafts aloud. The best thing I have ever been told when it comes to writing is that the infamous rules are there to be broken. In other words: learn them and then decide which to discard of. Obviously, this will change from novel to novel, but I think that as writers we uphold way too many rules, and actually, it is only through their wild abandon that we will find our true voice.
What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?
My favourite thing about the whole writing process is that exciting flurry of words which comes out of absolutely nowhere … and then you can’t find pen and paper for toffee/fire up the laptop quickly enough! Those words are almost divine. Record them however you can though because you can bet your bottom dollar that when you do get around to jotting them down later, they won’t be there.
Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?
Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black is definitely the book that gave me the extra kick up the backside.
Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?
Daniel Mays would make the perfect Daniel. As for Kate, I’d love to see either Emma Watson or Emily Blunt take on that role. I think both would portray naivety and self-doubt brilliantly, slipping into self-confidence in the business world with ease. Time to create a secret Pinterest board and start visualising!
What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?
I hope it doesn’t sound like trumpet-blowing but there are many things I am proud of having achieved: One being *undoubtedly* this book. Then again, it did take a whopping seven years.
But I am also thrilled at the number of countries I have visited. Being one with Itchy Feet who doesn’t get to travel as much as she’d like now life has brought her family to Andalucia (the airfares here are shocking … the rail networks few and far between … the car journeys vast!), I would have to say all the travel I did prior to hitting thirty! I think I have totted up forty countries at last count. And I am also proud of myself for sticking out my degree. It was four years long and some of the ‘pathways’ that went with my Modern Languages degree, were far from fun, or my areas of expertise: Politics, Economics etc etc … Yawn!
I suppose I should also say that I am proud of myself, and my husband, for bringing up two bi-lingual children, giving them opportunities that will really open doors when it comes to their future careers. They both attend the local Spanish state school.
I could go on … but I must retain an element of mystique!
Thank you for reading.