I’m really pleased to share my interview with Rosie, all about her debut book How To Get A Love Life. You can read my review here.
1. Where did Nicola’s story come from?
I wanted to take someone in a bit of a rut and give her an excuse to challenge herself and see what happens on that ride. I also wanted to write some humiliating date scenes and throw in a Bristol setting. Voila!
2. What’s the worst date you have ever had?
Let’s just say it ended with me on the stage of a Derren Brown show over-sharing about my first love. He never called.
3. What would be your idea of a perfect date?
I think a date involving a woodland walk, a winter sun, a lakeside chalet, a roaring fire and dinner for two (with pudding) would be lovely. And the perfect man. Naturally.
4. Have you ever been on a singles holiday?
No and I have presented the idea of a singles holiday in a negative way in the book, but in fact, when I was researching, I found these brilliant sites for solo travellers and I now get all the newsletters sent to me. *books holiday to Iceland*
5. Did you put any of your own traits into Nicola?
Actually I didn’t. Well, not deliberately. A friend who finished it said she recognised me towards the end of the novel. I am far more obnoxious than Nicola and MUCH less organised.
6. What did you edit out?
Ha ha – a brilliant (!) scene that was based on this horrendous real life date that involved a flotation tank and a lot of running mascara. The editorial note next to it said, “this would never happen in real life – suggest cut?” and I was too embarrassed to admit it was the only real date in the novel.
7. If you could have set Nicola up on a date with anyone, who would you choose for her?
Can I choose George Clooney for her? He would chill her out and they would have a super good time together. But then I would gift George to anyone so …
8. As a writer who inspires you?
*does fan girl face* So many – people are so supportive and encouraging. I think growing up surrounded by Jilly Cooper books made me want to write warm, funny books with loveable characters and the odd rogue. She also seems really, really kind. No one can be that good to animals and not be nice.
9. When writing and having a bad day, where you feel nothing is going right, who do you go to for advice?
My poor, tortured husband of course! He tends to put things into perspective / ignores me and makes me play ‘Hogs of War’ on the Playstation II until I have forgotten about it all. Writing-wise, if I was stuck for inspiration, I would talk things over with my lovely agent Clare Wallace. She’s fab, but also tough-talking so I know she’ll be honest with me.
10. One of my favourite parts of the book is Nicola’s date with the teacher! What is your favourite part?
I have to say I am a massive fan of Mark and his weirdo habits. The scene I most enjoyed visualising is when he is presenting Nicola with his cunning plan to ensnare Carole through pin people sketches.
11. Did you edit much out?
I think around 20,000 words in total along with rewrites etc. I don’t view it as a waste – genuinely. I think you know when it just has to go. Maybe the character has moved on, or it doesn’t quite work anymore or the pace is too slow etc. You know when you need to press delete.
12. Describe your book in 4 words?
Genuinely Funny (I hope).
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.