Friday, 9 May 2014

Interview for Not What They Were Expecting by Neal Doran

I would like to thank the girls at GGBooktours for having me on this tour and arranging my interview with Neal.

What They Say:

Life can be complicated. And complications are the last thing you need when a baby’s on the way.

But when Rebecca and James announce their joyful news, little do they know the road to baby bliss is far from smooth. Not only has James lost his job, but he can’t find another and can’t tell his wife why. Meanwhile Rebecca’s own family has picked the worst possible time to start to fall apart, and are relying on her to try and fix it.

As secrets begin to permeate their lives Rebecca and James end up wondering are they really ready to be parents after all…

But it’s too late now – and the expectant couple are about to learn that life doesn’t always turn out quite as you expect it.

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Neal Doran.

Hi Neal, welcome to Cometbabesbooks.

Can you tell us about your book?
Not What They Were Expecting is about a young couple called Rebecca and James, who are expecting their first child. This news gets overshadowed, though, as Rebecca’s dad gets involved in a sex scandal, and James’s parents start a publicity campaign to defend him. While all that’s happening, Rebecca and James’s own relationship is put under pressure by the strain of redundancy, uncertainty, and countless trips to Mothercare.

Can you tell us more about the main characters?
Rebecca’s a lawyer, apprehensive about what the future holds for her family, and trying to stay calm in the face of life imploding around her. Like me, she’s an over-thinker, and maybe keeps things to herself for too long, then explodes…
James is more confident and outgoing than his wife, but he’s always trying to overcome a feeling from his childhood that he’s a bit of an oddball outsider, due to the unconventional upbringing his artist parents gave him. He also tries to manage the problems the couple are facing by not telling Rebecca everything, which in the end puts even more pressure on their relationship.

If your book was made into a film who would you like as the main characters?
I find this really tricky! Let’s say Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They’re probably the polar opposite of Rebecca and James, but imagine the takings at the box office …

How old were you when you started writing?
I dabbled a tiny bit in my late teens, and kept thinking about it through my 20s, but it wasn’t until I was into my 30s that I started really trying to write a novel.

What books did you read as a child?
The first books I loved were Asterix books, then I got into fantasy and science fiction. And so obviously I now write romantic comedy.

What inspired you to take up writing?
Actually sitting down and getting things written started once I had children. Having small kids is a time in your life when you have so little time of your own that it becomes more precious, and strangely it meant I got more things done. The restriction was the impetus I needed to do what I wanted with my time rather than just waste it.

What items are on your desk/where you write?
I usually write at the kitchen table. And I usually have a mug of tea, and some fig rolls.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Hanging out with my two sons, and spending the evening playing Scrabble or watching a box set with my wife, Jo.

Do you like it quiet when you're writing or do you need background noise?(music or TV)
I write before everyone else is out of bed, so I have to keep it quiet!

Do you have a process for planning your books? Ie do you talk over an idea with a friend or a partner.
I’ll sometimes mention general ideas to Jo, or a writer friend, but usually I try to keep them to myself. I find that if an idea isn’t quite fully formed it can evaporate if you say it out loud. Having a story you like and really want to show someone is also a great incentive to getting things finished.

Thank you for answering my questions.

Jo xxxx

About Neal Doran

Neal grew up in London, and the only real childhood hardship he knew was not being able to get a bedroom door sign with his name spelled properly on it. He knew he'd rather be a writer than an astronaut from the time he realised he didn't want a job that required too much travel. He has been an editor for spoof news website Newsbiscuit, written some jokes for BBC radio, and spent a short time as Britain's most unlikely private investigator.
Neal Doran now lives on the South West coast of Ireland with his wife and two sons, who still prefer their mum's stories to his.
He can be found on Twitter, usually when he's not supposed to be, as @nealdoran.
Neal also has a Facebook page, which he's not really sure what to do with: Say hello!

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