Thursday, 24 November 2011

Author Q & A with Ali McNamara

To celebrate the release of Ali McNamara’s latest book ‘Breakfast at Darcy’s’ which is available from today, I was lucky enough to be able to ask Ali some questions about the book, her writing, and her love of chick lit!
A huge thank you to both Ali and to Hannah Hargrave for making this happen.

“Your first novel ‘From Notting Hill with Love… Actually’ was a huge success, were you surprised by the response to it?”

Incredibly. People’s response to the story and especially to the character of Scarlett has quite blown me away. Even now a year on it’s rare for a day to go past when I don’t get an email or message of some sort about the book, and I really do appreciate every single one of them.

“What can we look forward to in your new novel ‘Breakfast at Darcy’s’?”

Breakfast at Darcy’s is about a girl called Darcy who finds out at a funeral she’s the sole beneficiary of her Aunt’s wealthy estate. But the terms of her Aunt’s will state before Darcy can inherit any of her money she must go and live on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland for a whole year, and set up a new community of people to live there with her.
Being a city girl, Darcy doesn’t find the switch from high-heeled boots to wellington boots an easy one, or for that matter any of the other many changes that the island of Tara has in store for her…

“Do you have any particular patterns of habits when you’re writing?”

I’m very bad at organising my writing time and used to berate myself daily for it. But it was only when I read an interview with another well established novelist who seemed to work in a very similar way to me, that I realised the way I write works for me, therefore it’s ok!

“Your books are fabulous fun to read, are they as much fun for you to write?”

Great fun. But lots of hard work too. The first draft (the part where you’re dreaming up the story) is the part I love the most. I don’t like the editing part that come after, and there’s always lots of that to do!

“The research for ‘From Notting Hill with Love… Actually’ must have been quite fun, were you sick of the films by the end of it? And what sort of research did you do for ‘Breakfast at Darcy’s’?”

No, I love my rom-coms, it was a joy to be able to sit and watch all those films again for ‘From Notting Hill with Love…Actually’ and call it work! I got the idea for Breakfast at Darcy’s when I was on a touring holiday of Ireland and my husband and myself were parked up one day over looking the island of Great Blasket in County Kerry.

“Will you stick with Chick Lit, or explore other genres next?”

I write the way I write. If that fits into a particular genre then so be it. I don’t set out to fit in. Never have, never will do! ;-)

“Have you got any UK tours or signings planned?”

Yes, I’m doing a Breakfast with Ali tour!

You can read my reviews for ‘From Notting Hill with Love… Actually’ and ‘Breakfast at Darcy’s’ here.
You can also purchase copies of the books from Amazon, or from your nearest local book store.

A huge thank you again to Ali for giving us her time, and I hope you love her latest book as much as I did!

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