24 April 2014

Blog Tour: Author Interview: Fern Britton

Today I am really delighted to welcome the lovely Fern Britton to my blog for an author interview as part of the blog tour for her brand new book, A Seaside Affair! The book sounds wonderful, and I am going to start it tonight - I can't wait! Fern was kind enough to answer some of my questions, so my thanks go to her for taking the time to answer them!

You can buy Fern's new book A Seaside Affair as a hardback or an eBook now!

Q1. Please tell me about your new book 'A Seaside Affair'.

A SEASIDE AFFAIR is my new novel, out on the 24th April, and it’s all about the theatre. The Pavilions theatre in Trevay specifically, which is the fictional Cornish village I write about, based on the real village of Padstow. Left to rack and ruin, not supported by the local people or the local council, it’s on the brink of closure, until a giant coffee chain step in and prepare to buy it. Of course, the community quickly rallies round and a host of villagers decide it’s worth saving! Actors and celebrities descend on the town, and there are affairs, flings, misunderstandings – lots of fun. I was partly inspired by my tour last year with Strictly Come Dancing. I used to be a stage manager myself in the 70s, and when I was on tour I spent a lot of time with the stage management crew, sharing stories about all the scandals that went on, and thinking, yes, I want to write about the theatre next!

Q2. You've had a new cover look for the paperback publication of your past few novels - how much say have you had in your covers so far, and how happy are you with them? 

I do have a say! The hardback cover and the paperback cover can be different, which is decided by the marketing department and depends on all sorts of things, like what time of year the book is coming out. We’re all attracted to book covers the same way we are to the labels on a bottle of wine – we might not know what the wine tastes like but if we like the label we’ll buy it! It’s the same with books, so the jackets are a means to catch my readers’ attention. I want them to be attractive, with a suggestion of what’s in the story, and a picture that looks like it could be a scene from my fictional town of Trevay, and on the whole I’m very happy with them.

Q3. Being a celebrity, did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym, or did you always intend to publish under your own name? 

That’s very kind of you – I’m not sure I’m quite a celebrity! If I was clever enough and successful enough, I’d call myself Robert Galbraith like JK Rowling and see how I do! But without my name, the books may not get as much attention as they do now, so I stick with my name and hope that what’s inside lives up to it.

Q4. You've had a very successful television career - have you always wanted to try your hand at writing, and what finally pushed you into writing your first novel 'New Beginnings'?

The truth is I had written my autobiography, which did amazingly well to my great surprise, and then I thought I’d finished with writing. But HarperCollins came to me and asked if I would consider writing a novel, and assured me they’d be on hand to help me with any problems. New Beginnings was a huge learning curve for me, but I so enjoyed it, and when I couldn’t wait to start my second novel Hidden Treasures. Here I am still writing – and if you keep reading, I’ll carry on!

Q5. Where do you find the ideas for your stories?

Something just pops into my head – I try not to think too hard about it. You could say I just wait for the writing angel on my shoulder to give me inspiration! My new novel, A SEASIDE AFFIAR, is inspired by my recent tour with Strictly Come Dancing. So it’s set back in the theatre world, which was lovely for me to write as I trained to be a theatre manager – and the plot revolves around a local theatre that needs saving!

Q6. Is there a book you wish you could have written, and why?

GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell. If you’ve only seen the film, you only know about 30% of the story – it’s such a brilliant, soap opera-esque book to get lost in.

Q7. How long does it typically take you to write a novel, and do you have to be strict with yourself to make sure it's on schedule?!

It normally takes me about 6 months, and if anything, it doesn’t get easier, but instead it’s actually harder as I want to write something better each time. I argue with myself a lot as I’m writing, worried that I’m not doing very well and the book’s not good enough. The best piece of advice I ever received was: once you’ve started writing, don’t stop! You could write the first sentence or the first chapter for ever and ever – don’t! I try to write chapter a day if I can. The next day, I’ll go back and revise if necessary. But don’t ever stop!

Q8. Are you working on your next novel yet?

There are three more coming in fact, and I’m working on the first of them now. It’s all about fishing families in Cornwall – the fleet, the relationships between the families – I’ve only just started, but I’m very excited about it! I hope you like it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment