So I immediately took her up on the offer and asked her a few questions about her next book, I'll Take New York, which is due out as an eBook in October and paperback on 4th December... just in time for Christmas ;)
* Florence Wren White was born yesterday morning, congratulations Miranda and Bob xxx
Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, I’ll Take New York, which is due to be published later this year?
I’ll Take New York is the story of Brooklyn bookstore owner Bea James and psychotherapist Jake Steinmann. Both of them have been hurt by love and have decided to give up on relationships. They meet by chance at an engagement party for Jake’s brother Ed (who you’ll know from Fairytale of New York!) and end up making a drunken pact to swear off relationships for good. They strike up a friendship, bound by The Pact and their shared love of New York, taking weekend trips into the city to share their favourite places with each other. But then life intervenes and their Pact is tested in ways neither of them expected…
I’ve read that you’ve described this as an ‘almost sequel’. What inspired you to go back to New York meeting up with the characters from Fairytale of New York?
Fairytale of New York was my first novel and will always be special to me because for years it was my secret project that nobody knew about. Since becoming a published author I’ve been asked by my lovely readers about what happened next to Rosie, Ed, Celia, Marnie and the other characters and I’ve had a secret hankering to revisit Kowalski’s Florist and the Big Apple. But I didn’t want it to be a straight sequel, where I would have had to do something drastic to the characters’ hard-won happiness from the original book (I didn’t want to do a Bridget Jones-style main character death or a heart-wrenching breakup that my readers wouldn’t love!). So instead, it’s a brand new story with new characters who are influenced and
helped by characters my readers love from Fairytale. That way, you’ll get to see what happened to them and enjoy meeting new characters, too.
I love Bea and Jake. The book is written from both their perspectives, so it was great to be able to go inside Jake’s head as well as Bea’s. It’s a new thing for me, but it gave the story a much deeper feel and was fun to write from a male perspective, too! There’s also Bea’s friends Imelda and Russ, who are both brilliant, and Bea’s Grandma Dot, who sends her letters about love wrapped around classic books – I think you’ll love her!
I love the fact that one of the central characters Bea runs a bookstore. Do you have an all-time favourite bookshop that you like to visit regularly?
There’s a little independent bookshop I love called Sam Read in Grasmere, in the Lake District, that I always visit when I’m up there on holiday. Near me I love the amazing Waterstones booskshop on New Street in Birmingham – it used to be a bank and is a gorgeous building. Seeing my books here is always a thrill!
Have you already got ideas flying round your head for book 7?
I’m already a quarter of the way through writing it! I’ve had the idea for about a year and so I’m now having so much fun writing the story. I always have more ideas flying around for stories than I can physically write – I think that’s an occupational hazard of being a writer! I’m taking a couple of months off as my first baby is due any day now, but I’ll be back to writing in the summer in between baby naps and feeds!
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I don’t really have one! I’m lucky now to be a full-time writer after finally being able to give up the day job last year, so at the moment I write when I can. When Bump arrives, it will be writing around them, but while I was working I regularly wrote late at night or really early in the morning, so I’m hoping this proves to be good training for being a writing Mum! If I’ve a deadline approaching, I’ll write whenever I can – panic is an excellent motivator!
Have you ever considered writing in a different genre?
I have – I think as a writer you don’t want to be boxed. I never set out to write romantic comedy, it just happened that the first book I wrote was in that genre. I have two comedy novels that one day I’d like to publish – The Mystical Wombat’s Guide to Life and my comedy spy-thriller Travels with my Teapot – you can read the first few chapters of this at the Tea Ladies’ own blog: www.nobodysuspectsatealady.blogspot.co.uk Also, my short stories tend to be quite dark so one day I’d like to write a darker, broodier story just to see how different it might be…
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Write because you love it. Never lose sight of the thrill you get from creating stories, no matter what – I know as a published author how quickly writing can become ‘the day job’ and, trust me, if you stop loving what you write you won’t survive. Write stories that thrill you. Pour your heart and soul into what you write and readers will feel it in your words. And ignore what ‘the market’ is doing, what doomsayers tell you about the odds of getting published and your own doubts about how good your writing is: it happened for me, so it can happen for you!
Favourite book?: The Truth by Sir Terry Pratchett and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Favourite genre?: I love comedy, thrillers and books that defy labels!
Facebook or Twitter?: Twitter, every time. It’s just wittier and more creative than Facebook.
eBook or physical books?: I do have a Kobo reader, but you can’t beat a real book. I always have one with me!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog!