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Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

Welcome, Mandy Baggot…

Mandy B pic

Can I offer you a drink? Tea? Wine?

Perhaps a tea first and then we can move onto wine!

*Hands tea to Mandy* 

Cup of tea at Coconut Loft1

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)

I’m Mandy Baggot and I’m a bestselling romantic novelist of – currently – 14 novels. Mandy Baggot is my real name. I did think about writing under another name when I started to write more romantic comedy than anything else, but one Google search told me there was so much information on Mandy Baggot it would be foolish to work against that with a new name.

What is the title and genre of your book?

My latest book is called Single for the Summer and it’s a romantic comedy set on the Greek island of Corfu. Perfect summer reading for your suitcase… or garden at home.

How did you come up with the story?

Ha! It came quite easily really. I wanted to tell the story of someone who’s a serial dater but doesn’t want a boyfriend. Sound weird? Well Tess has been hurt badly so dinner dates and theatre trips she can do, but there is absolutely no commitment. Add in her broken-hearted best friend who says they must remain completely single for the Summer and Tess has a real problem… particularly when she meets gorgeous Greek, Andras.

 It has a lovely cover, did you have any say in what you wanted the cover to be?

Yes. Ebury very much wanted to keep the style of my previous Greek-set books with the large title and they chose me the most amazing designer – Adrian Valencia. I am a real admirer of his work so I knew it was going to be special. It’s completely summery and Greek and gives the perfect flavour for the story.

Mandy Bs book~Single for the Summer

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write that book! Don’t think too long and hard about planning, just get the words down on the page – you can tinker later. Think about what YOU want to write. Fall in love with your characters, because if you’re not in love with them chances are no one will be.

What is your writing routine?

I generally write when my children are at school every day. But I often work evenings and weekends too depending on deadlines. I am currently writing two books a year so there is quite a quick turnaround!

Do you have an editing process?

I generally write the entire book and then I do one or two read-throughs where I might add in certain details I’ve missed or add more setting etc. Then the book goes to my agent for reading and then on to my editor. After that it goes to copy and line edits with me getting it back in between each time. I always do a final read through on my Kindle to spot any oddities!

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

I enjoy making characters that people seem to resonate with. I write, I hope, real life, as well as summery fantasy where you know a happy ending is guaranteed. When readers connect with me and tell me how much they loved my book and how they have been through the same dilemmas as I’ve written it means a great deal.

There isn’t anything I don’t like apart from there are never enough hours in the day!

Where can people find you on the internet?

I am all over the place! Here are some ways to find out more and get in touch!

www.mandybaggot.com

https://www.facebook.com/mandybaggotauthor/

https://twitter.com/mandybaggot

https://www.instagram.com/mandybaggot/

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

I am extremely excited that Single for the Summer will be going in to W H Smith Travel, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco from 27 July. There will be a competition for photos shared of the book on shelves! Keep checking my social media channels!

 Mandy Bs book covers

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mandy+baggott&sprefix=mandy+baggott%2Cstripbooks%2C149&crid=3L7T6ZXLOSJ35

Thank you for a lovely interview, Suzan.

You’re welcome and thank you for taking time out to tell us about your fabulous new book. I’ve got my evening sorted. 

Presecco   Mandy Bs book~Single for the Summer

 

 

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Welcome Ellie Holmes…

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)Paula Guyver

I was born in Essex but made in Cornwall and use those two places as the source of inspiration for my writing. Like most people, I juggle commitments to family and friends, a part time job and my writing so my days tend to be hectic and my nights are long.

I write under the pen name of Ellie Holmes which is a combination of my two grandmothers’ names. I decided to use a pen name because I also write darker, crime driven novels which I may publish under my own name in due course although I haven’t completely made up my mind about that yet. I might introduce a darker line of Ellie Holmes’ novels instead.

What is the title and genre of your book?Ellie Holmes front cover

My debut novel is called The Flower Seller and it is commercial romantic fiction.

How did you come up with the story?

Believe it or not, it was supposed to be a short story about a woman re-entering the dating game after many years of marriage. One hundred thousand words later you can see my imagination took over. It developed into an exploration of the idea that people are not always how they first appear which is a rich seam for a writer to mine.

It has a lovely cover, did you have any say in what you wanted the cover to be?

Thank you, that’s very kind of you. Yes, absolutely.  As an indie author the cover is so important. I chose the cover designer I wanted to work with – the wonderful Berni Stevens www.bernistevensdesign.com and wrote her a detailed brief.  My brief included my wish for the cover to be “eye catching and beautiful with rich colours” and she certainly delivered on that. I love it and count myself very lucky to have such a beautiful cover.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Do something writing related every day. Really it’s the only way. If you can carve out a few precious minutes each day you will be amazed by what you can achieve. But that doesn’t just mean writing. In addition to that it could be catching up on a webinar on an aspect of the writing business you need guidance on. It could be researching a topic for your next book. It could be choosing editors or cover designers if you are self-published.

If you are engaged in the business of writing and serious about what you are doing and have the commitment and the strength of will to keep going for longer than a few weeks you are a writer. Being a writer is not about having a deal or not having a deal. It is not about traditional publishing or self-publishing. It is about the commitment.

What is your writing routine?

I aim to write 5,000 words a week, a 1,000 words a day for five days, usually in the evenings. In addition, I write two blog posts a week.  The blogs I tend to write first thing in the morning. The one day a week I am at home (apart from weekends), I spend editing.

Do you have an editing process?

I usually let a piece of work sit for a few weeks before I start editing. When I do, I’ll read it through making a few notes about the flow, any loose ends I haven’t tidied up and the areas that need expanding upon. Then I start the hard work of working through it chapter by chapter until each chapter sings. Once I reach the end of the beginning (usually around the thirty thousand word mark for a full length novel) I’ll do an out loud read through of that section. It helps to improve the flow and sharpens up the dialogue when you hear it out loud. Then I repeat the process for the middle section and the final section. Before doing an out loud read through of the whole thing. My read throughs for The Flower Seller were accompanied by the loud snoring of my longhaired Dachshund Sasha, hopefully my book won’t have the same soporific effect on humans!!

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

I love the buzz when you have an idea and you start to develop it and suddenly the characters take over. When you are in the zone it’s almost as though you are taking dictation from them which is wonderful.

I don’t enjoy writing the blurb for the back of a book. I am a hundred thousand word kind of girl (fifty thousand for my novellas) sticking to 150 odd words is HARD!

Where can people find you on the internet?

People can find me at my website www.ellieholmesauthor.com

I am also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EllieHWriter  and Twitter @EllieHWriter

and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/EllieHWriter

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Yes – I am going to be taking part in a pop up book shop at the East Anglian Festival of Culture across the weekend of 2nd and 3rd July in Lowestoft (details below). I would love it if people stopped by to say hello so don’t be shy.

How does it feel to finally hold your book in your hands?

When I first held my book it was a bittersweet feeling. My mum had very much been looking forward to sharing the moment with me but she died earlier this year. My dad is also gone and I know he wanted this for me perhaps even more than I wanted it for myself. Then, as I remembered all the hard work that had gone into not just writing the book but creating it, I felt very proud.

Thank you, Ellie. You have been a marvellous guest and I look forward to seeing you at the East Anglian Festival of Culture (EAFOC) this July in Kirkley, Suffolk.Ellie Holmes front cover

The Flower Seller   http://goo.gl/UrHYRb

 

 

And if you would like to come and meet Ellie and get a personalised signed copy please visit the website for more details: www.eastanglianfestivalofculture.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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