Today I’m being interviewed by Twitter friend, Ian Wilfred. Ian is well worth a follow as he’ll always cheer you up and give you a giggle. He’s also one of a very select group of males who choose to write chicklit and his debut novel ‘Putting Right the Past’ will be published in April. Watch this space. I can't wait to read it.
Over to Ian …
So Amanda, can you remember the first thing you ever wrote that you were proud of?
Oh yes, I most definitely can, Ian! I was about seven and we were told to write an essay about fireworks. Well, let me tell you, I became those fireworks! I wrote it from their perspective as they all waited in the box before the big event. I think it was about six pages long and I was so unbelievably proud of myself. The icing on the cake was when I was sent to the Headmaster to get a star stamped on my forehead for good work - I swear I worked harder on the days the star survived on my unwashed face. Now there’s a thought … I might get hubbie to start whacking a gold star on me at the end of a good day’s writing!
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t want to tempt fate here, so I’ll whisper it … I don’t really ever get it, shush! I sit down to write in the morning and I always know where I need to be taking the story on that day. Most nights will see me planning in my head as I lie in bed - it beats worrying about everyday life and stuff you can’t change! So by the time I’m at my desk, I’m ready to go. My characters always tell me where they need to go next and I simply follow them along their path. On the days that I’m woolly-headed or slow, I get up, make coffee, put some washing on, pluck an eyebrow or two and suddenly I find I’m good to go again.
Why do you avoid sex scenes?
As most of my books contain a certain amount of humour, I don’t feel they are suited to explicit scenes so the act is alluded to and left at the bedroom door. I’m certainly no prude, and am quite partial to a little smutty read on occasions, but it’s not my writing style and I don’t believe my readers expect it or feel shafted (pardon the pun) that it’s not there.
A reader of ‘Stilettos & Stubble’ was a little miffed that there was no real reference to the gays’ sex lives. What’s your take on this?
I have to say that review left me a little confused. As I mentioned before, all sex is left at the bedroom door so it would have been a little odd to start writing graphic gay scenes. I feel that the love between various drag queens in the book is written fully and with sensitivity - I hope I made the reader feel their commitment and loyalty and realise that, through that, a little more than hand holding takes place! In any event the main action focuses on Persephone and Luke and, as with most books, the shenanigans of others remain on the periphery.
If a publisher offered you a book deal now, would you bite their hand off?
I’d have to be totally mercenary here and say, ‘How much?’ Working as an Indie suits me just fine at the moment and I know that, aside from the small cut that goes to Amazon and Lulu, all the profits are mine. OK that also means that I have to do all my own promoting and general flogging but I’m my own boss, working at my own pace. Aside from my writing, I have a husband, teenage son and elderly mother to think about - which means I’m not always in a position to drop everything and go to a book signing in Outer Mongolia. Saying that though, I’m an excellent juggler and could easily manage a few extra balls if a six figure offer was thrown into the mix.
What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?
I plan to release two new novels - June and December - and a Christmas novella in October. ‘Christmas Deliverance’ was very well received but I regret not bringing it out earlier last year - you live and learn.
I’d like to earn enough to get our leaky roof fixed and redecorate the house - I LOVE painting so this will be a huge pleasure. In reality, I’ll be happy to earn enough to just keep the leaky roof over our heads.
I’d like to have a short break - just a couple of days by the sea. Unlikely, but I can dream.
I hope my son finishes his final year at school with A level results that he’s pleased with and a rough idea of where he’s heading in life. I just want him to be happy.
I want all my family and friends to be happy, healthy and safe.
Thanks for the interview, Ian, it’s been fun and I fully intend to return the favour when your novel hits the shelves. I can’t wait to delve into your head a little further and find out what makes a guy write chicklit!