I’m honoured to have been tagged in “The Next Big Thing – French Twist” blog hop by Times best-selling romantic comedy author Victoria Corby. Although writing in very different genres, Victoria and I have much in common. We share a love of animals, we both live in south-west France, and we’ve both had several titles published in paperback by major traditional publishers. Victoria’s “Up to No Good” was a Times bestseller, and is now available for the first time as a Kindle title, and with a fabulous new cover.
The deal is that I have to answer a series of questions, so here goes.
What is the working title of your next book?
I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry
Where did the idea come from for the book?
When I began researching my family tree, it raised numerous questions and brought back countless memories. Finding too many questions to which I will never be able to learn the answers is immensely frustrating. I didn’t want my children, and their children, to be faced with the same frustration if at some time in the future they should want to learn more about their forebears.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Although our family are all originally from south London, I think that given the scandals and dramas that we have known, the entire cast of East Enders could be put to good use if ever a film was made.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am hoping that, like my travel books, it will be published by Blackbird Digital Books. However, it may not fit comfortably into their ethos and until the manuscript is finished and submitted, I won’t know.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s taken several years and I’m still working on it. Every so often I put it away for a while because it brings back memories that are too painful and it takes time to recover and continue.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Difficult question. Many people have written about dysfunctional families, childhood traumas, family scandals and tragedies. There is one specific event in this book that makes it different to anything else that I have read. But it contains no sexual or extreme physical abuse, and I hope it doesn’t read like a misery memoir, because it isn’t intended to be one.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said above, it was a desire to write down the events in our family history so that should they ever wish to know, my children and theirs will be able to find the answers to the questions. And it is, of course, a catharsis.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It spans three decades, beginning with life in dingy, grey post-war London, moving to life in Kenya during the Mau Mau emergency and later as an independent country, and from there eventually back to England and some high drama. I imagine there are very few families who don’t have a skeleton or two in their cupboards, but I do think that our family has seen more scandals and dramas than most.
I’d like to tag two other writers to join the blog hop and share their writing talents.
Susan Keefe is very much a woman after my own heart, a passionate animal lover. With the help, and under the guidance of her gorgeous Border Collie Toby, Susan has written a series of charming books for young readers, based on the life of the animals who live on her smallholding in France. They are as entertaining as they are informative, designed to encourage children to learn about and care about domestic and wild animals.
Stephanie Zia has had a number of titles published by traditional publishers, and for six years she wrote a regular column for The Guardian on organic cleaning products and stain removal. She has been a tutor at Richmond Adult Community College creative writing classes, has her own publishing company and currently has three contemporary romance titles winning hearts and praises from prestigious reviewers.
Over to you, ladies.