Today I'm delighted to welcome Sue Watson to the blog to talk about her latest book We'll Always Have Paris, which Emma will be reviewing next week, and give us an insight into her writing process.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I started out as a journalist, then a TV producer, but always wanted to be a writer, so I wrote a novel - but that was just the beginning. Hundreds of rejections and several years later my first novel, ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ was published and I’ve now just released my seventh book, ‘We’ll Always have Paris.’ My journey has been and will continue to be painful, heart-breaking, and wonderful - I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
What inspired you to write about a second chance at love after so many years apart?
I think most people have someone they once loved and still think of – and it doesn’t matter how happy you are, there are days you wonder ‘what if?’ I wanted to know what happens when that person suddenly appears from your past - are they the same, are you? And what happens next…?
Describe We'll Always Have Paris in one sentence.
A second chance at first love, and a life-long dream of Paris.
Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder 'what if'...
What does a typical writing day look like?
It begins with me promising myself and telling anyone else who cares to listen that ‘I’m going to write 5,000 words today!’ And ends with me lamenting the fact I never reached my target, and some days that I never even reached my desk! I’m a terrible procrastinator, so I often leave everything to the last minute, I drink coffee, eat cake and talk to our two cats (everyone else is at work or school) and then, around 11am I will start. Every day is different, but when I’m close to deadline I just keep going and don’t stop – this sometimes means I’m writing all week, sometimes from 7am until 3am.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Total pantster – but I do need a synopsis to guide me by. It’s very organic and I allow my characters to be free and make many decisions about their lives, but my synopsis is a gentle satnav guiding me through to the end of the journey. I may take the long way home, but thanks to the synopsis I always reach the planned destination.
What essentials do you need to have close to hand when you are in writing mode?
My laptop, coffee and cake. Another thing I have to have is silence – I only play music for inspiration, then turn it off to write. I work from home but can’t have the TV on, and no-one must talk to me – I can’t be much fun to live with.
If you get a plot block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it?
When I’m really stuck with a scene I skip it and return to it later – I find that usually works. I daren’t slow down or stop and give in to anything like plot blocks or writer’s block because I will use it as an excuse to go shopping or out for lunch with a friend when really I should be working.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
I don’t think there’s one particular writer, but I’m sure I soak everything up when I’m reading. I think I’m probably influenced by pretty much anything I read, from newspapers to books, I also enjoy comedy clubs and comedy shows on TV and I’m sure they all play a part in my writing.
Do you treat yourself to something special when publishing each new book?
I’m pretty traditional, I like to share a bottle of something sparkly with my friends or family – whoever happens to be around on publication day. I always go off my diet too – it’s like birthdays and Christmas - calories just don’t count on publication day!
Finally what can we expect from you next?
I’m just finishing my Christmas book, the working title is ‘The Christmas Cake Café,’ it’s out in October and I’m very excited because it’s soooo Christmassy! It’s set in Switzerland, so there’s lots of snow and Swiss chocolate cake and there are some lovely characters too. I get that tingly Xmas feeling each time I sit down to write it - even though it’s the middle of Summer!
We'll Always Have Paris is out now in eBook format and will be published as a paperback next year. To find out more about Sue and her books, connect with her via:
Facebook:Sue Watson Books