Wednesday 24 June 2015

Blog Tour: interview with Emma Hamilton author of The Greedily YoursSeries

There's a new series coming out readers, series klaxon! This one sounds fab and it's released twice a week so we don't even have to wait too long for the next book. This fab series is about a food blogger and is released every Monday and Thursday, want to read the blurb?

Mia Maxwell loves food. She loves it so much that she’s made it her career.
Everything in Mia’s life appears to be perfect. By day, she runs a food PR consultancy and by night she’s a busy food blogger, delving into new recipes and sharing delicious meals she’s enjoyed. Her boyfriend Paul is always whisking her away on fantastic holidays around the globe, helping her forget his daily comments about her weight and his businesslike approach to their life together. After all, no relationship is perfect, is it?
When Mia’s work takes her down to the countryside of Cornwall to manage a local food festival run by the kindly Lord Trelawney, she takes an instant dislike to his grumpy son Tom, who makes his aversion to ‘pushy Londoners’ very clear. But as the festival gets underway, Mia is surprised to find that he shares her passion for food and cooking. As her time in Cornwall turns out to be far more eventful than she could have imagined, Mia has no idea that her whole life is about to be cast adrift…

And the cover?

I've already reviewed this one for you but I'm really looking forward to episode 4 which by my calculation is out tomorrow, YEY! 

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And now here's the lovely Emma Hamilton answering all of my probing questions... Don't forget to follow the link at the end to buy! 

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I’ve kind of always enjoyed writing since I was a child.  I became a journalist so in that way I’ve been writing professionally for about 17 years but this is the first piece of fiction I’ve had published. I got into that through editing for the publisher, Bastei Luebbe.  I wanted to write for them, so I sent in some samples of my work and bits and pieces I had written and then a synopsis for what became Greedily Yoursand luckily for me it took off.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I have been juggling Greedily Yours for the last year with my day job of freelance journalism.  So I’m always writing but for different people and in different forms. So I don’t get to sit all day and just write fiction from home which would be brilliant; but I also wonder whether I don’t need a bit of both to find inspiration for the fiction. So maybe it’s just right as it is.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?

I like writing both fact and fiction but I don’t know if I could do lots of different writing styles within fiction yet.  I think I favour romantic comedy as a style to read and write but actually comedy is really hard to pull off.  Authors like Sophie Kinsella make it read effortlessly and I’m laughing out loud all the way through but I found it really hard to maintain anything approaching that kind of style in this book, even though I’d love to be able to do it like her.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

The central characters kind of came to me before I started the book, when I was in the process of convincing Bastei Luebbeto let me write the series.  They partly developed themselves as they really did evolve as I started to write them -they would appear to want to say or do things even if I hadn’t planned for them to do that.  Then I planned the other characters out around them, thinking about their back stories, what their relationships had been like, who they were friends with etc.  Lizzie for instance, Mia’s friend, just grew and grew as she was such a brilliant character in herself to write, much more sensible than Mia or me.  They are all fictional but inevitably there are certain foibles that I have lifted from people I have met along the way and quite a lot of the characters have bits of me in too because sometimes the line between what they are thinking and doing and what I would do gets a bit blurred so without meaning to, you refract yourself in lots of different ways in an attempt to make them more authentic.

What was the inspiration behind this series?

I knew that Bastei Luebbe were looking to write a romantic series about food bloggers.  I love food and cooking and romance and so I really wanted to be the one to write the series.  I took that as a starting point and as I was cycling to work one morning, I started to think about the idea and how it might work and that’s when Mia popped into my head, although she was initially called Hannah.  I imagined a woman in London who ran a blog in her spare time and who was incorrigibly romantic and it just took off from there.  The scenery along my bike ride is rural and green and lovely and it just reminded me of Cornwall and so the idea to set it between London and Cornwall was born.  

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
I had fairly fast deadlines with this series; one episode a month, so I mapped out the whole series first to try and make sure that the characters would go on a journey and evolve. I also mapped out all their biographies and relationships and drew up pictures in my head of how 
each character looks. After that I set to.  I worked out how many words I needed ideally to hit per day that I had allotted for writing each month and I tried my best to stick to that so that I could hit the deadlines.  Sometimes I had to work at weekends, in the evening after work or most often early mornings before work to get it done.  Sometimes I would get stuck at a particular point and need a day of messing around surfing the internet to think through how to get to the next point.  Other times an idea would come to me whilst running or walking and then I’d rush to get back so that I could start writing.  But mostly it was done a bit at a time throughout the month.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

I think probably quite a lot of a younger me is reflected in my writing; I certainly drew on my own experiences and biography for the book. Perhaps that’s the case for all first books, I’m not sure but I think it was the case here.

What kind of research did you do before/during writing this series?

I researched as I went to check up on things but it helped that I had been to all the places I was writing about.  Then I would look at pictures of the places that I was writing about that day again, or read bits of history or geography or accounts of a certain place to refresh my memory.  Sometimes I would listen to music from the place to get inspired or to take me back to the time when I was there, as some of it was a fairly long time ago.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

This is my first published fiction book so I have never had reviews before. I would imagine that everyone wants their book or work to be liked by people and when they don’t then it is upsetting because you have put so much work into writing it.  I read one author on the Bookaholic Confessionsblog who said she always approached reviews with screwed up eyes and I think I would do the same, not really wanting to read them for fear they would be bad. Of course when it is constructive criticism from peers or an editor then it is good to learn how you can improve but I’m a bit scared of how nasty some people can be on the internet, hiding behind domain names and not thinking that there are real people and their feelings behind the words on a page that you may or may not have liked. 

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

Yes very.

How did you feel leading up to your publication day(s)?

I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen so I’m feeling a bit nervous about the books’ possible reception; but pleased that we’ve got here this far.  Last year, writing one book, let alone a series was just a dream that I hoped I might be able to fulfil one day.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I love reading so lots of authors have inspired me over the years and lots more I enjoy.  In my type of genre, I think Sophie Kinsella has to be held up as just brilliant because she is so funny, sassy and creates such vivid characters. The level of farce is incredible but she makes it so believable that you start to think that Becky is right to have spent x amount on whatever thing she has just bought which then gets her into trouble.  I love books in general that somehow manage to portray the inner workings of a character’s mind, even the craziest things that you think or the weirdest ways of reasoning something out, when you read a character that has all that going on behind the plot and what she or he is saying and doing in the book then I think the book itself is really successful -Jonathan Franzen and Sarah Moss are brilliant at doing that.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I’m actually working on the Christmas special for Greedily Yours so that’s a bit weird as I’m sitting in shorts, looking out at a light bright early summer’s evening and thinking about Christmas markets and hot chocolate and wrapping up warm.  But I’m excited about bringing Mia on a year from the end of the eight episodes and adding a little bit more to her journey, and I love Christmas so it’s nice to indulge in thinking about it, even if it is summertime at the moment!

To grab your copy of the first in the series now, click here:

Thanks so much to Emma for stopping by today! 

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