Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Interview with Joanne Phillips

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Joanne Phillips.

Hi Joanne

Thank you for coming on cometbabesbooks today.

Thanks for having me, Jo.

Can you tell us about your book Cupids Way?
It’s about a Victorian Street – Cupid’s Way – that’s under threat from developers. Well, really it’s about a woman called Evie stone and how she’s trying really hard to save the street from demolition – her grandparents live there, and have done all their lives. Only problem is, Evie starts to fall for the man behind the development …Dynamite Construction’s CEO Michael Andrews.

If any of your books where made into a film/TV series who would you love to be in them?
That’s such a tough question! I’d love to see my Flora Lively mysteries made into a TV drama – I see it as a kind of Bridget Jones meets Midsomer Murders. As for who’d play the characters, I just don’t know. Interestingly, the first of the series is currently being made into an audiobook, and listening to auditions for the narrator was a blast.

What are your future book plans?
I have another romantic comedy due out in the autumn, You Are Here. This book features a slightly older heroine, who leaves her husband in search of her teenage love. It is a little darker, but just as much fun. And then, in November, the second Flora Lively mystery. It’s going to be a busy year!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Absolutely. I’ve always written stories, even when there was no one reading them. And I always will.

Are there any new authors out there that have caught your eye?
I tend to be drawn to writers with a substantial back-catalogue of books – when I find an author I love I like to download and read everything they’ve ever written! This does make it harder for new authors to get noticed, though, and the best bit of marketing advice I was ever given was: write your next book.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of writing a book?
Start trying to read like a writer. Notice what works and what doesn’t and spend time analyzing why. Write something that really fires you up, but remember to ask simple questions about story – does it have a shape, a beginning middle and end, does it have a decent plot? Write for yourself, but edit for the reader – and remember that first drafts are always less than perfect. Oh, and finish something. Writing to length is an important skill – anyone can start a novel, not everyone can finish one.

Do you think book bloggers/reviews assist in selling books?
Definitely. I follow a lot of blogs and read reviews, and I will buy a book on a bloggers recommendation. Authors rely on book bloggers a lot.

Do you like it quiet when you're writing or do you need background noise?(music or TV)
Quiet – the quieter the better!

Can you tell us what is your favourite book and why?
Anne Tyler’s A Patchwork Planet. I can read this book over and over and still find something to love anew. It’s a wonderful book – full of interesting characters and real emotion. Anne Tyler was the reason I became a novelist. She’s incredible.

Can you share with us a day in the life of Joanne Phillips?
I will, but it’s a bit boring! So, I get up and get my six year old ready for school. After the school run I usually do some exercise for half an hour or so, then I’m at my desk by 10. I’m working in my summerhouse in the garden at the moment, which is lovely. Right now, building up to the launch of Cupid’s Way, the work is all emails and sending out press releases and writing blog posts and following my launch schedule, but ordinarily I set myself a word count target and just get writing. After lunch I write some more, answer emails and pop onto Facebook, then it’s time for the school run again and time to give some attention to my daughter. My husband does most of the cooking, so after my daughter has gone to bed I usually relax in my summerhouse and listen to the Archers on the radio, or an audiobook, drinking wine and thinking about what I want to achieve the next day. A little TV – Masterchef, or something similar – and then early to bed!

Thank you for your time.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jo x

Jo xx

About Joanne Phillips
Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of romantic comedies Can’t Live Withoutand The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing, freelance indexing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She’s a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Joanne blogs about writing and publishing atwww.writersjourney.co.uk

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