Rosie spent her university years writing pantomimes based on old classics. The 2003 production of The Wizard of Odd: Search for the Ruby Strippers enjoyed critical acclaim. This was followed a year later with a successful showing of Harry Potter: The Musical (complete with moving opening number, In my Cupboard I will Stay).
Rosie went on to write a winning short story in the La Senza/Little Black Dress Short Story Competition and was shortlisted in a few others including competitions run by Women and Home and The Daily Mail. Her first full-length novel, How to Get a (Love) Life, will be published in January 2014 by Novelicious Books.
Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown.
Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.
Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola's reluctance to lose control means she's living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine's Day.
The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it's an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn't quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it's rather a lot of fun...
Rosie kindly agreed to a Q&A ahead of publication day which included her plans of how she was planning to celebrate the launch of her book, you can read all about her fun party on her website here.
Can you tell us a little bit about your debut book How to Get a (Love) Life?
I can, it's the story of Nicola Brown, an uptight and introverted young woman who has never had a date on Valentine’s Day. Following a bet with a work colleague, Nicola has to put aside her hang ups to go on as many dates as she possibly can in order to find the perfect man in time for February 14th. Along the way, there are plenty of exciting new experiences, disastrous dates and general fun and games.
Where did the inspiration come from to write about someone looking for the perfect man?
A lot of the book was inspired by the idea that a risky move – in this case, a bet to find a date for Valentine's Day – could lead to a girl changing her life and transforming herself. The perfect man was a bit of a fun addition!
Are any of the dates featured in the book based on your own dating experiences?
Maybe. Perhaps. Let's just say I am the proud owner of a double kayak and leave it there, okay?
Have you got anything exciting planned for publication day?
Absolutely. We're launching the book in a fantastic bar in Soho and there's a team of gorgeous people wearing branded t-shirts and all sorts to raise a glass to it all. It's an opportunity to thank so many of the book bloggers and readers who have become friends either online or in real life. I can't wait. Novelicious also has lots of exciting things planned including 14 very romantic and exciting dates to give away.
Are you going to treat yourself to something nice to celebrate?
I have bought some utterly amazing yellow shorts in the same colour as the cover to wear to the launch. When I held them up, my husband said: “Is it fancy dress?” *looks shifty*
Are you currently working on a new book? If so, are you able to tell us anything about it?
Yes I am super excited about it. It's a girl's global search for a man she married in the school
playground when she was eight years old. She ends up in all sorts of strange and wonderful places and scenarios trying to find him so she can see how her life might have ended up.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
No, I started to write at university and got the bug after that. I couldn't resist how bloomin' challenging it was. Of course, once you have written one novel you think, "Ooh, if I wrote another one, I wouldn't do it like that" and then you find yourself writing another one.
Where would be your idyllic location for a writing retreat?
I did actually go to an amazing beachside hotel for three weeks to sunbathe, read and plan my second novel. I got very little done. I am a huge fan of retreats and think a hotel in a lovely city can be a great way to immerse yourself without spending six hours a day sunbathing on a beach. I've tried Windsor, St Ives, Dartmoor and Taunton. Maybe I should head to the Peak District next.
How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake is published by Novelicious Books and is out now http://amzn.to/1iDgdGz