Thursday, 4 April 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Carol E. Wyer

Today I’m excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Carol E. Wyer's Surfing in Stilettos which has been arranged by Shaz at Fiction Addiction Book Tours.  So without further ado I'll pass you over to Carol...

Can you tell us a little bit about Surfing in Stilettos?
Surfing in Stiletto begins where Mini Skirts and laughter Lines ended. Amanda Wilson a desperate housewife who believes there should be more to life than cooking, cleaning and putting up with a grumpy old husband sets off on a gap year with the aforementioned grumpy, Phil. They intend having a romantic gap year travelling around Europe in a camper van. It isn’t long before they both realise that this is all a huge mistake. Fate intervenes, the camper van breaks down in France and Phil has to return to the UK to deal with a drama back home.

Amanda is now free to enjoy her time away and her life suddenly becomes much more interesting when she meets and makes friends with Bibi Chevalier, a woman whose own love life is problematical.

Life improves hugely, then an ex-lover becomes determined to track down his beloved Amanda, and a case of mistaken identity on the internet leads Amanda into sudden danger.

The novel is full of twists, surprises, and mirth. There are though moments of surprising poignancy so be prepared to have tissues by your side.

Where did the inspiration come from?
Surfing in Stiletto came about because people loved Amanda and her mother so much that I felt I should write about them again. The setting was easy because I lived in France for over a decade and know this region the novel is set in very well.

When I lived in France, I had a very good French friend called Solange. I used to write about her exploits on my blog, Facing 50 with Humour, and the response to those posts was amazing. People adored her and asked me to feature her in a new book. I didn’t actually feature Solange, but I used her as a basis for Bibi Chevalier. There are certainly similarities.

I wanted to add danger into this story too so the whole Facebook plot was conjured up because I have an obsession with the internet. I think I need therapy. I’m always on line on various websites. This whole social networking thing fascinated me so I wanted to bring that into the book. There is definitely a moral in it all for us all.

Which comes first, the characters or the plot?

Plot. I need to have a skeleton of a story before I can start envisaging my characters although there will always be a hint of a character in working out a plot.

Are you able to give us a hint as to what your next novel is about?
Ooh er! I shouldn’t really. It’s hush hush. Let’s just say it’s spicy in parts, dark in others and will surprise you.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
The simple answer is yes because I have written stories since I was in my twenties. I didn’t know how much I wanted to be successful at it until a couple of years ago when I suddenly decided that I was going to “make a go” of it.

Have you ever had writer’s block? And how did you overcome it?
I have been really lucky. So far I have had no block, in fact I have the opposite problem and can’t stop the ideas from flooding my tired brain. I wish I could type faster or indeed clone myself. That would help.

If you weren’t a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow?
I’ve been a linguist, translator, teacher, personal trainer, a magician’s assistant, and MD of a business, so I have had a few jobs already. I think I’d have really liked to have been a chat show host or a television presenter.

Being a writer appears to be such a solitary lifestyle, especially when you’re in the midst of writing, so do you consider the influence of social Media, Facebook and Twitter, a blessing or a hinderance?
I think I might have touched on that earlier. If it weren’t for social media I would have no friends at all so I consider it a blessing.

How long did it take you to get your first book published?
Eleven months from finishing the final edits to getting into print.

Do you have a set daily writing routine?
I try and type every day, even if it is just posts for my blog or a short story to keep up my writing. I usually do that from 2pm-5.30pm every day, but if I am working on a book I’ll work all night every night until it is done. I can’t leave it alone.

How hard is it to keep coming up with fresh ideas for new books?
So far, so good. My brain has been like a muscle. The more I seem to use it, the more it wants to come up with ideas. I guess the ideas will dry up at some stage, however, at the moment I have four more books floating about in my head that need to get out soon.

Would you say that any of your characters are like you? If so, which one(s)?
It is no secret that I am like Amanda Wilson. The problem has been trying to convince everyone that I am not exactly like her. I used experiences from all my on line friends to create her and from overheard conversations, so she really is an Every woman character. I like to let people guess whether the books are actually about me and my husband or not. It adds a flavour of mystery.

If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
Crime without a doubt. I adore thrillers and crime novels. I’d really enjoy writing a good old murder. I can do blood and gore with devious characters. They’d have to be humour too, of course.

Have you got a favourite out of all the books you've written, if so, which one and why?

I am quite neutral about them. Funnily enough I’ve really enjoyed writing the only non-fiction book to date, How Not to Murder Your Grumpy, which will be out in June. It was challenging and huge fun.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Edit…edit…edit. I had a rotten experience with an editor when I first started out and it has made me very cautious. Never be in a hurry to get your work out and compromise on your editing. I don’t care what people may say, you are very unlikely to be able to edit it well yourself. Get a professional and if you can’t afford a professional, ensure you send it to as many beta readers as possible.

If you could invite any three authors, alive or dead, to a dinner party who would you choose and why?
Janet Evanovich, Ben Elton and Douglas Adams. What a great party that would be. Lots of laughs.

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 am a speed reader and read a lot of books when I am on holiday. I have just finished reading Sylvia Massara’s book The Gay Mardi Gras Murders (a Mia Ferrari Mystery). Sylvia and I met on line. She read my books and enjoyed them so much that she asked if she could borrow Amanda Wilson for her novel. It’s nice to know that while we are both friends, so are our characters.

Do you prefer to read physical copies of books or e-books?
Physical copies, although at least with the iPad, I can read ten books on holiday and take clothes to wear instead of filling up my case with books.

Are there any books you’ve read that you wish you’d written?
Too many to mention!

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose?
A La Recherche de Temps Perdu by Proust. It’d take me a decade to read it all, especially if it were in original French. At least I’d be occupied for a while.

Chart Throb by Ben Elton for a laugh.

Any Jilly Cooper novel. Can I have a compendium of all her novels?

Can you describe Surfing in Stilettos in 20 words or less?
Amanda Wilson discovers that life can sometimes be a little too exciting.

Carol is running a giveaway for the duration of the blog tour, 25th March until 6th April, so you've only got a couple of days left for the chance to win one of the prizes below:

  • 3 x Handmade Belgium chocolates (stilettos and handbags)
  • 2 x Scotch stiletto tape dispensers in pink
  • 1 x stiletto key ring 
  • 3 x copies of Surfing in Stilettos

To enter the giveaway click on the following link and follow the instructions:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me here today Sharon. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and sorry for eating all the biscuits while I was here.
    For everyone who is visiting today, please share this post and leave a comment to win a fabulous spot prize, details of which can be found on my own website, or at the Surfing in Stilettos event page on Facebook.
    Thank you again, Sharon. x

    1. You're welcome and no worries about the biscuits as I'm supposed to be on a diet LOL

  2. A great interview! I love it! Well done ladies. x

    1. Thank you Jonty. As you can see, I am still here. Sharon's place is warm and cosy, besdies it's too windy for me to go back home yet.

  3. Fab interview! I've so enjoyed tagging along on your tour Carol, and it's been lovely to meet all the bloggers who have hosted you. Have a great day ladies. xxx

    1. Thank you audrina. I have really enjoyed myself meeting you all too. I think I might just stay on tour forever. It's very social. :)

  4. Fabulous interview. Enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you Carol.

    Sharon, thank you for taking part in the tour today. Shaz x

    1. I think you may know slightly too much(!) You have been the perfect hostess/organiser/friend and support. I owe you and all these wonderful people who have hosted me a huge thank you.

  5. Oh Carol you have had me wanting to scuttle of to my bookcase to reach for a Janet Evanovich book. I have got as far as Fearless Fourteen and loved all her books I have read so far, I do have dreams of being Stephanie Plum!! I have got the film, One for the money, based on her book on my Sky planner to watch. Note to self must watch and not be too disappointed if it’s not as good as the book. Julie Moore

    1. Hi Julie. I first discovered Janet Evanovich when I was holidaying at a gite in France. Someone had left a copy of her second book behind. I loved it. When I returned home I systematically bought and read all of her books. When I wrote my first book, I emailed her to ask if she could read it and maybe endorse it.(Yeah, pretty dumb idea, I know!) She sent me a wonderful email and was so encouraging saying that although she couldn't fit in reading my book she thought it sounded wonderful. She gave me confidence to pursue my writing.
      I love her writing too. I haven't seen One for the Money, but now you've mentioned it, I might be tempted to check it out. Bet it isn't as good as her books!

    2. I starting reading her books when one of my friends passed me one for the money and said she really enjoyed it and it was a bit less blood and guts than my usual choice of reads! I am one of those OCD kind of people with books and I then had to find all the books in the series even though I can never read them as quick as I source them. It did start my love of a more bright and breezy type of book and now read hard and gritty crime as well as more light hearted ones. Yes the film is on my to watch list but I really hope it’s not a disappointing as some books to films have been.

    3. How lovely that she gave you that encouragement too. I am not surprised she had decline the offer to read your book though as I think she has written over 40 books now so she must be a busy lady.

    4. I am exactly the same, Julie. As soon as I discover an author I enjoy, I have to read all the books in the series. Yes, she is incredibly busy now. At the time, she ran her own website and was a little less fraught but now even has someone do all that for her so she can concentrate on writing. She is incredible!

  6. So Carol, I see you're hoping to join the world of murder and mayhem. Did Amanda's little stint with Mia Ferrari give you a bit of an appetite? LOL. Mzzz Wilson had a wild time during the Gay Mardi Gras in Sydney, I hear :) Oh, and she just looooved those gorgeous gay boys ;)

  7. I'm afraid it's all your fault, Sylvia. Your murder mysteries have whetted my appetite and Amanda had far too good a time with Mia Ferrari. She'll never be the same after that particular adventure.
    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  8. Lovely and interesting interview. So you were a magician's assistant? Don't think I knew about that one. I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Surfing... " and may have to go back and re-read it! I'm also going to have to checkout the other authors you mentioned. I'm happy to know you have at least four more books rolling around in your brain!

    1. Hi Darlene! Many thanks for your comment and it is lovely to see you here. There's a brief mention of my days as a magician's assistant in Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines. There should be three books out this year and another next pus I am in the first phase of another. My poor brain. No wonder I am half mad!

  9. Carol, you have such an effervescent personality and your writing depicts that trait! Thanks for an interesting interview!

    1. Hello Patrick! How lovely to find you here. I am honoured that you have dropped by and thank you for such a compliment.

  10. Good interview! I loved the book, too. Please put me in for the drawing! Love chocolate!!!

    1. It always gladdens my heart to see you, Eva, Of course you will be included. I'll ensure you get a chocolate version of the prize :)

  11. I love the interview! Great questions and answers!!

    1. Thank you cosmochicklitan. I have had a wonderful tour thanks to all of the hosts <3

  12. Just as I expected--A GREAT INTERVIEW!!

    1. Thank YOU fishducky. Really appreciate having you here. My mum is away and it's lovely to know her "twin" is about to keep an eye on me. xx

  13. Brilliant interview. You must be in need of a rest. The tour's been a blast and have enjoyed it immensely. Looking forward to reading the new novel. Hugs :)