Blessed with the opportunity to send her some questions, let's begin . . .
1. What do you find yourself rambling about?
I'm not much of a rambler. The only writing I do apart from my books is a daily e-mail to my friend Jenny who is also a writer and lives in France. We ramble on about our children and our friends and our husbands and our writing.
2. When looking at your female leads, do you put a piece of your own personality into the character?
Not that I'm completely aware of, though it's hard to put thoughts into the head of a fictional being without some of your own getting in there too.
3. Ralph's Party and After the Party were great brit chick lit books. Have you written anything or wanted to write another genre?
I would quite like to write a psychological thriller at some point, or maybe a murder mystery. Maybe the next one. The book I'm writing at the moment has a historical thread running through it, flashbacks to a girl in London in 1919, just after the war. It's fun to research things, I've never really had to before.
4. When did you realize you wanted to be an author? Were there any speedbumps along the way?
I always wanted to be a writer but assumed I'd have to be at least forty before I could even begin to consider myself mature enough to start a book. It wasn't until I read High Fidelity by Nick Horn that I thought I really could have a go at it while I was still young. I had no speedbumps at all. I wrote the book, an agent picked it up, she got me a book deal, the book was a bestseller. It was very smooth. It's only now, as the market is slowing down and women's fiction is suffering that things have got a little bumpier; I'm riding it out hoping that things will turn around eventually.
5. What is your favorite part f the writing process? And why? (i.e. beginning, middle or end)
End! End end end! I have no idea what I'm doing at the beginning, by the middle I'm convinced it's all a disaster, by the end I'm just typing and typing and imagining myself in a lovely restaurant with my husband sharing a bottle of champagne and feeling the weight of the thing gone from my head. And I love writing the last chapter. I can take my time then and really make it a corker, that's the only time I really appreciate the writing process.
6. What is next on your plate?
I am halfway through my tenth book, which is two concurrent stories, one of a young woman in London in 1919, and the other, her granddaughter coming to London in 1995, both young and wide eyed and getting in with racy crowds. There is a mystery at the heart of it, too, a stranger in her grandmother's will who the modern day heroine, Betty, is trying to track down. I would almost go so far as to say I'm enjoying writing it. Almost . . .
Thank you to Lisa for answering my questions, it was a pleasure getting to know you more. And to hear about what goes on behind the scenes and what is next on your plate.