5 August 2013

Author Interview: Milly Johnson

Today I am delighted to welcome the lovely Milly Johnson to the blog for an author interview! Her new book It's Raining Men came out just last week, and it's such a wonderful read (read my review here). Milly was kind enough to answer some of my questions, so I hope you enjoy the interview!

You can buy It's Raining Men as a paperback or an eBook now.

Q1. Please tell me about your new book 'It's Raining Men'.

It’s the story of 3 women who work far too hard, who badly need to stop and take time out to smell the roses because it’s only then they realise they actually aren’t as content with their lives as they thought they were.  Alas the booking they make for a luxurious spa is totally cocked up and they end up in the back of beyond and their only options are to stay or go home.  And as there are all sorts of messes waiting for them back home in London, staying is the lesser of the two evils.  The village – Ren Dullem – is an odd little place but very pretty and soon begins to work its magic on them.  Against their will they start to fall in love with it – and the people.  And end up with far more than they bargained for by the end of the story ie – a total life change.

Q2. The three women in this book; May, Lara and Clare, are all torn up by the end of their relationships, and you can't help but feel sorry for them. Which of the three women was your favourite, I have to say I had a soft spot for Clare!

That really is like asking me which is my favourite child.  I loved them all in different ways.  If I had to pick, I would have to say Lara.  She was a tough shell around a very soft heart and her love interest is one of  my favourites to date.  I wanted her to have someone who would love her and with whom she sparked.

Q3. Without giving anything away, your book has a touch of magic to it. What inspired you to include something a bit more out of the ordinary in the book?

Quite a few of my books have a touch of magic in them.  I knew I was pushing boundaries with this one, which was all part of the fun of the challenge though.  I wanted to take an unbelievable storyline and ‘ground it’.  I like a point of difference – this storyline is my POD.

Q4. Amazingly, this is your ninth novel - in 2011 and 2012, you published 2 books each year! How do you manage to write 2 books a year, and keep coming up with great storylines each time?

I had a mad energy spurt then but I’ve gone back to just one book a year.  I like doing a lot of other things like after-dinner speaking and writing articles and a lot of PR when a book comes out so I’m being sensible and am just doing one again.  I have plenty of storylines and have plans to do more than one book a year, some years – I just don’t want to be committed on paper to doing them every year.

Q5. What is your typical writing day like?

Kids off to school, dog walked and then I begin work at 8.30am.  I have to work in silence but I do bob onto Twitter quite often to see what is going on in the world.  I work until my sons get home from school at 2.30 and do what I call ‘light’ work until 5ish... stuff that doesn’t require all my concentration – like note-making or research.  I like to be around mentally as well as physically when the lads are home.

Q6. Your books are certainly one of those I look forward to most each year - which authors are ones you look forward to reading as soon as you can when they have a new book out?!

Mo Hayder, Lynda La Plante, Louise Douglas, Nicci French and Sophie Hannah.  I like the psychological thriller and crime writers mainly.  I champ at the bit to get their new offerings.

Q7. If it were indeed 'raining men', which famous men would be your ideal dates?!?

Like many women I have fallen in love with Hugh Jackman.  He seems a real family man as well as a total hunk.  I do like the decent type rather than the bad boys.  One of the heroes in my new book is based on Sebastien Chabal the very hairy French rugby player.  There is something very wild looking about him, but at the same time he’s a loving husband and father as well!
Q8. You're very active on Twitter and Facebook, and have some loyal readers that constantly leave good reviews and say lovely things about your books which is good! Do you enjoy the social media side of publicity for your books, and do you think there is a negative to the amount that online socialising and reading that happens these days (such as eBooks, blogs etc).

I love socialising on Twitter and Facebook – they are very useful tools for writers and I’ve been back in contact with many old friends who have found me easily on social media sites.  It equally makes it easy to be nasty though and everyone is an expert on the net and more likely to offer bad opinions as well as good.

Until it’s policed, there is nothing that can really be done about that.  Writers shouldn’t bite when anything bad is said about them but I must admit that I have when really unfair and personal comments have been made or spoilers on my books have been bandied on reviewing sites.  As authors, for reviewers to be fair is all we ask.  We know we can’t please everyone everytime.

Q9. What's the best thing about being a published author? 

I love that every day can bring great surprises.  I receive so many great invitations and chances to do things and go places that I wouldn’t have got with a ‘normal job’.

Q10. What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve got an short ebook coming out next year about a cruise called ‘Here Come The Boys’ and book 10 – as yet untitled.  It’s about a lady called Bronte who runs a small cafe to which a group of life’s misfits are drawn ( no one knows this yet) It will indulge a great passion of mine which I can’t tell you about yet but the research will be heaven.  Oh and a joke book which I have been planning to write for YEARS.  I’m having great fun doing that.

Thank you so much, Milly! 

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