Today I'm lucky enough to have fabulous novelist Katie Fforde on the blog celebrating publication of her 20th novel, the perfect match. I'm going to have a review of this very soon, but until then, I asked Katie a few questions... You can also win a copy of her novel. I have two copies to giveaway, just let me know in the comments below if you would like to win one!
Welcome to the my blog... Katie Fforde
1. First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I only realised I wanted to write when I was about 27 and didn't get into it until I was 32. I started with an hour a day. It could only be when my husband was home from school and he could look after my daughter and take her to play group. It was exciting discovering what I wanted to do when I grew up!
2. Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
I do write full time in that I don't have another job, but I don't do it 24/7. When I first started I had a job in a whole food cafe that featured in my first book, Living Dangerously.
3. Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I'm never quite sure how to describe my genre. It's not really chic lit (although I'd love to be described as a chic) because it's rural and my characters don't shop a lot. They're not really Aga sagas either although sometimes they have other types of range in them. But I do like writing what I write and can't imagine myself writing gritty thrillers or anything like that.
4. How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I always know a bit about my characters before I start but I really get to know during the course of the book. I do use real people but I always ask first. My sister and brother in law both appear in The Perfect Match. And she is still speaking to me!
5. What was the inspiration behind The Perfect Match?
The inspiration behind The Perfect Match is my passion for property programmes on TV, in magazines and in the papers. I am not even considering moving house myself but can't resist looking at them. If anyone I know is looking for property, I'm onto Rightmove, trying to find one for them. I loved having the excuse to go on doing that. I am also a big fan of Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer - they're not crooks! I wanted to give estate agents a positive spin.
6. What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
My writing process varies a bit. Sometimes I plan and sometimes I just dive in and only plan when things slow down. A bit more planning would be a good thing I think.
7. How much of you is reflected in your novels?
I think people can tell what I'm like by reading my novels. I wish I was more mysterious but I probably couldn't keep it up.
8. What kind of research do you do before/during writing your novels?
My research depends on the subject of the book. I would always like to have more time to do it. I like to really experience things rather than just read about things. When I was researching being a potter for my very first book, my friend who was one made me get my hands in the clay. I realised it was important for me to get my hands in the clay and really get to grips with my material. The oddest thing I've done for research purposes was go on a Ray Mears Survival course. I loved it!
9. Do you have any plans to develop any of your novels further, write sequels, turn them into a series?
I don't have any plans for sequels or anything like that at the moment but you never know! The nearest I've got is having a house in three books. I'd like to put it in again because I really like the people who live in it.
10. How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
I don't read reviews if I can help it. I find it very depressing when they're not good - I always think the reviewers are right! But I always listen to my editors.
11. Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
My friends and family are supportive but I don't think they realise quite how time consuming it is. I have grandchildren now and we have them here a lot. I do absolutely love it but it does stop me working sometimes.
12. How do you feel leading up to your publication day?
I'm always a bit anxious in the run up to publication day. Will anyone buy it? Will people like it? I'm always quite relieved when the book is in the shops, doing its own thing!
13. Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I was very inspired by Georgette Heyer and Lucy Walker when I was a child and young adult. I loved romantic fiction from the beginning. Now I like to read my friends’ books - not because they're my friends but because I like them.
14. Finally...what are you working on right now?
Right now I'm working on my 21st novel. It's about weddings. No coincidence that we've got two weddings coming up in the family this year!
The Perfect Match is Released today so you can get your copy now. Thanks again to Katie for answering all my probing questions!