Thursday, 5 June 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway: Jill Mansell

This morning I am pleased to be hosting a Q&A with bestselling author Jill Mansell as part of the blog tour for her latest book, The Unpredictable Consequences of Love, which is published today.

In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.

When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can't understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.

St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley's aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh's grandfather...who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot...

Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book The Unpredictable Consequences of Love?
It's a sunny, funny story set in Cornwall in an hotel by the sea. As always, I'm hoping it will make readers laugh and cry!

With multiple lead characters, do you have to do a lot of plotting before you start writing? 
I tend to start off with just one idea, then add characters and plot lines as I go along, which does involve a lot of planning and can get quite complicated. I create a long timeline and stick coloured Post-Its along it, to keep me in control of the situation. Allegedly...

Which character did you have the most fun creating?
I do love all my characters but in this book I think my favourite is probably Riley. You have to really get to know him to find out why!

After writing 20+ novels, do you still find inspiration for new stories comes fairly easily?
It is getting harder - every time I have a great plot idea I search my feeble memory and quite often don't realise until weeks later that I used the same rough idea twenty years ago. I do try my best to keep things fresh and new but it isn't always possible!

Are you currently working on a new book? If so, are you able to give us a hint as to what it’s about? 
My next book will be out in January and it's titled Three Amazing Things About You. I'm actually very excited about it - it has a very original plot with a couple of great twists, if I do say so myself!

What inspires your writing?
My readers. I do love the feedback I get from them - well, most of it! (Some people who don't usually read romantic comedies can be a bit brutal sometimes, and like to complain that my books always end happily, which slightly makes me want to tear my hair out!) But most are completely lovely and ask when the next book will be out, which means I have to get on and write it...

How has your writing style evolved over the years?
Well, hopefully the basic style is unchanged, but I am much older now, so maybe that makes a difference. It's hard for me to say, because I don't read my old books so I can't tell if they're different!

What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I write all my books by hand with a fountain pen, while I'm sitting on the sofa (or in bed) with the TV on. I start at 9am and finish at 5pm but also spend time faffing about with emails, Facebook and Twitter. I write non-fiction (things like blog posts and this Q&A) in the evenings.

What’s the best thing about being an author?  And on the flip side what is the worst?
There are lots of nice things. The best of all is being told my books have cheered people up - I do love that. The worst thing is when I've written myself into a corner, my plot has huge holes in it and I'm convinced my book is rubbish...and there's no one else in the world who can sort it out, only me. No buck-passing allowed, sadly. I have to solve all the problems myself.

Do you treat yourself to something special upon publication of each book?
Not routinely, although I have bought a couple of lovely things - a wire sculpture after I wrote Take a Chance on Me which featured huge wire sculptures, and some gorgeous art a couple of years ago. Plus the occasional bit of jewellery. (What can I say? I'm a bit of a magpie.)

If you could go away to a writing retreat abroad, where would you like to go to?
I'd love to do it, but I wouldn't get any work done, guaranteed. I would eat and drink and gossip with all the other writers instead - much more fun! But as to where I would like to go, I shall say Venice because I adore it.

If you were going to write a famous person into one of your stories, who would it be and why?
You mean a real-life celeb? No no, I would never do that - it would feel really weird. I'd be too embarrassed!

What advice would you give to an aspiring author just starting out?
Oh, if only there was a magic answer to this question! All I can say is spend some time discovering your favourite way to write, then love what you do, care about your characters, prepare yourself for rejection and don't give up. Good luck!

And thanks to the lovely people at Headline I have a copy of The Unpredictable Consequences of Love to give away to a follower, enter via the Rafflecopter form below.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for sharing this, and for the giveaway too.
    It was a lovely interview and I have to say that I have enjoyed every one of Jill's books that I have read so far xx

  2. Great interview. I'm a huge Jill Mansell fan, and I'm looking forward to reading The Unpredictable Consequences of Love - great title :-)

  3. I'm a huge Jill Mansell fan, and I'm looking forward to reading The Unpredictable Consequences of Love. Great title. Lovely interview. :-)

  4. Great interview and I love the giveaway! Very useful advice for a beginning writer like me!

  5. Thanks for great giveaway :)

  6. A lovely interview and very honest. I too am a great fan of you Jill and you still inspire me. Look forward to reading this one too!