Monday, May 19, 2014
Writer Spotlight - Rosie Blake
On Coffee and Roses I like to bring you news of exciting authors who are either waiting to be published or published and worth checking out.
This week, I'm delighted to welcome the gorgeous ROSIE BLAKE into the Coffee and Roses Writer Spotlight...
Quite late - I had spent my teenage years always wanting to work in television and it was only in between TV jobs in my early twenties that I realised I really loved writing. I had always written diaries and long rambling emails but then I started a novel, finished a novel, wrote short stories, read books about writing, started another novel and suddenly I realised it was years later and it had completely taken over. Now I don't work in TV but I do write.
What interests you as a writer?
People, people, people. For me a book is only a good book when you invest in the characters. I read widely and enjoy a huge range of books so be it a Lee Child or a Jilly Cooper I just need to care about the characters.
Do you have a typical writing day? If not, when is the best time to write for you?
I still work around writing so no day is the same. At weekends and on days off I write best in the morning so now tend to do research* in the afternoons. I love to write a first draft under pressure so tend to want to race people too.
*google random stuff about Mysterious Pirate Gold/Beauty Pageant Fails/Dangerous Pets
Which authors inspire you and why?
A number of authors got me into writing: Jilly Cooper, Helen Fielding, Danny Wallace, William Sutcliffe, Enid Blyton etc, but there are now a lot of writers I know (mostly through social media and author events) that are living, breathing inspiration and their energy and enthusiasm rubs off on you (for me: Kirsty Greenwood, Mel Sherratt and Rowan Coleman, to name a few). I find the supportive nature of a lot of writers very inspiring. It doesn't feel in anyway like a closed shop.
My latest book is my debut novel, How to Get a (Love) Life, which is a story about Nicola Brown – a rather controlling, uptight young woman. After a bet with a colleague she has to go on a search to find love by February 14th. A lot of hideous dates follow, a lot of men pass through and throughout it all Nicola learns a little more about herself. Fave bits: Lewis the idiot rapper, her bat-obsessed brother Mark's take on it all and, of course, the sea kayaking in November. It's a bright, funny read for those who love a good rom-com.
What are the best things about being a writer?
Making up worlds, new characters, exploring settings and writing about places you visit and love. Disappearing into a fantasy of your creation and, of course, seeing the lovely words all finished as part of a book that others will share with you. Wow.
Oh and the regular tea. And cake. And the pretending everything nice is "research for the book".
And the worst?
That dreadful stage, for me normally around 40k words, where you want to stop, throw what you are writing out of the window and say, "It is hopeless, I am hopeless, where is it going, how will it end, will anyone read it, why don't I make jewellery for a living instead?” etc, etc.
What are you working on now?
I am writing Book 2 and currently loving it (which is worrying as I am about to hit 40k...). It is about a girl who marries a boy, aged 8, in the playground at school. 20 years later her life has not panned out AT ALL as she planned and she becomes convinced it would have been fine if she had stayed married to Andrew Parker. So she decides to track him down. The trouble is he is on the other side of the world... CUE FUN and LOADS of monkeys.
Do you have a dream project you would love to write?
I've actually started work on the dream project. It involves writing with one of my best friends so it promises to be so much fun. More on that another time as I don't want to put pressure on him *stares at him meaningfully over this blog post, plays 'Under Pressure'*...
What are your top three tips for aspiring writers?
1) Get the first draft done and don't worry about the word count. THEN take a look at the main story. Pull out the themes, develop some of your fave characters, throw in a sub-plot. Don't be tempted to edit as you go along or you'll start fretting.
2) Work somewhere lovely. I am starting to realise that a desk looking out on a garden makes all the difference. Or is there a lovely café that you live near? Find somewhere you really WANT to work.
3) Don't force it. I know I achieve little when I am begging the words to come. Go for a walk or take a bath. Have a think about your book but don't write anything down. It's amazing what will happen.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks so much for having me on Coffee and Roses - it's been fantastic! xx
Thanks so much to Rosie for braving the Coffee and Roses Writer Spotlight! You'll love her book - How to get a (Love) Life is a funny, fast-paced rom-com that I loved! Follow Rosie @RosieBBooks on Twitter, visit her on Facebook and check out her website.