Sunday, 8 July 2012

Author Interview: Siobhan McKenna

Siobhan McKenna's journey as an author has certainly been meteoric.  Last year she was the winner in the 'Write a Bestseller' competition run by TV company TV3 which saw her land a three book deal with Poolbeg Press.  

Her first book, The Lingerie Designer, was published later that summer.  The second book, The Other Woman, has just been published in Trade paperback and is available online or in shops across Ireland.  Siobhan kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions...

Can you tell us a little bit about your new book? 
The Other Woman has just been published.  It is based around the worlds of chocolates and wine.  As usual there is a strong exotic location theme as the main characters spend time in Italy and Kenya.  

How long did it take you to get your first book published?
I won a TV competition so it was fast tracked.  I won the competition in February and The Lingerie Designer was published by June that year.

Do you have a set daily writing routine?
Yes, I treat it like a job - I need to impose the discipline.  I sit at my computer by nine every morning and keep going until I've written approximately 2000 words.  If a deadline is looming I could write up to sixteen hours a day.
Have any of your characters in your books been based on people you know? If so, did they recognise themselves?
People often joke about it, asking, 'Am I in your book?' In truth the characters in my books are fictional and take on their own personalities and mannerisms during the first draft.

How hard is it to keep coming up with fresh ideas for new books?
So far this hasn't been a problem for me.

If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
I'd definitely write thrillers.  They are my favourite books, movies and TV programmes.  I also have strong connections with the police force, which should help if I develop my writing in to that genre.  I'd also like to write a nonfiction book based on my work as an Ayurvedic therapist.

After writing 2 novels, how do you manage to keep yourself motivated?
Simply by being passionate about writing.

Have you got a favourite out of the books you've written, if so, which one and why?
I'm only starting my third book so this doesn't really apply.  However, so far, there's nothing like the first book, which for me was, The Lingerie Designer.  

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Don't over think it.  You really need to just sit and write consistently.  The details can follow.

Do you have much spare time to read books? If so, what was the last book you read or what are you currently reading?
I generally don't read while I'm writing as I find it distracting.  The last book I read was The Teahouse of Mulberry Street, which I bought in the airport as I was going to Italy on a short break.  I really enjoyed it.

If you could have either of your books made into a film, which one would you choose and why? Who would you cast in the leading roles?
That has to be The Lingerie Designer because the Vietnam locations would be visually stunning.  Lead roles would be played by Monica Bellucci as Helen Devine, Sandra Bullock as Poppy Power and Ryan Gosling as Jack Taylor.  Monica would have to wear a wig though and speak with a London accent!

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose?
Assuming you mean stranded and not there by choice it would have to be 

The Worse Case Scenario Survival Guide

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (OK, so that is cheating a little but it is still one book)   

Can you describe The Other Woman in 20 words or less?
An exotic blend of chocolate, wine and forbidden love melting together under a sultry sun.

1 comment: