I love receiving all your emails, and do be assured that I read them all. However, due to the large number of emails I now receive, I am unable to reply to each one personally. But I do appreciate you taking the time to get in touch. Try reading the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section to find out if I’ve already answered your question before you get in touch.If you would like to contact me anyway, please use the form below
My next new novel, The Rose Petal Beach, will be on sale at the end of August 2012. I’m writing it as fast as is humanly possible and should be able to post an extract very soon. Do keep checking back on here for more info.
At present only My Best Friend’s Girl, Marshmallows For Breakfast, Goodnight, Beautiful and The Ice Cream Girls are available to buy in the US. The Woman He Loved Before should be released sometime in 2013. In the meantime, the only way I can think of you to get my other books over there is to order them from a UK website, or ask anyone who’s coming over here to get them for you.
Both The Cupid Effect and The Chocolate Run are on sale again, sporting new covers!! (Two exclamation marks are definitely required.) It’s so exciting seeing my ‘first born’ on the shelves again. Bless them both.
At the moment, there are no plans to have any signings or readings – but if that changes I will post details on the news and events pages.
In general, the answer is no. I draw on elements of other people’s stories and personalities to create my books, but my work is fiction. I am not any of my main characters – they tend to have much more exciting lives than me.
My ideas come from life, from talking to people, from overhearing conversations in public, from wondering how I’d handle myself in certain situations. Like I say, I write fiction so I make up plots and characters but the original situations that I draw my ‘what ifs’ from are based on real life.
My work is fiction meaning I do have creative license to work with elements of a story. And, like I say, the original situations do come from ‘real life’ that I then build on.
I’m very lucky because I know lots of different children – I have a very big family and spend a lot of time with them. I also spend a lot of time with my friends’ children and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last 14 years of watching them grow up is that their personalities are formed at a very early age and they are often far more clever and clued-up than people who don’t know children give them credit for. If you’ve ever tried to talk your way out of being punished by a two-year-old, you’ll know what I mean.
Finding out what I think is very unlikely to help you get published. Your best bet is to keep going with your writing, get it into as excellent shape as you think possible and send it off to agents and publishers. If you do get rejection letters try not to let it dent your confidence too much, just keep writing. Being published is fantastic – and it’ll be all the more amazing if you’re published for doing something you love.
Like the answer to me reading stuff for you, what I like or think is fabulous won’t make any difference when it comes to getting a publishing deal. Despite what many people say, it’s virtually impossible to predict what publishers will love and will reject so, it’s always best to write what you love and send it out there in the best possible shape.
Probably, is the short answer. As I’ve said before, what I think about your idea will not help with getting a publishing deal. Or even in you writing it. The best way to see if your idea or the story of your life would make a good book or film is to try writing it and seeing where it takes you. Books on writing, the writing tips on this website and magazines like Writing magazine will all be helpful in developing your technique and ways to express yourself.
One of the most important things I learnt from being a journalist is to be honest about the things you endorse or say. It makes whatever you do endorse all the more credible because you do genuinely think it’s amazing. Unless I’ve tried something, read it or gained something from it, I’m not able to say I love it. At the moment, I have so little time, it’s very difficult to read or try anything new. So, apologies, I can’t at the moment endorse anything.
I make the time. I’ve had two jobs (full-time journalist and novelist) for so long that I had to find whatever little time I could to write. I used to write on the train to work, in front of the television, in the middle of the night when everyone on my side of the globe was asleep. It was what I had to do to write my books and pay my bills. In my experience, you have to do a lot of non-novel work to be able to write books. The idea that you get a huge advance on the first go is wonderful. . . and mostly the stuff of fiction. If it happens to you, then fabulous. If it doesn’t happen to you, then try not to feel discouraged, keep going. Also, having another job is great for researching stories to write about.
I haven’t taken any creative writing courses and I wouldn’t recommend any without having tried them. A good place to start would be the Society of Authors who might have a list or would be able to point you in the right direction. You will have to be a member, though. Also try asking at your local library or local adult educational institute. If I was signing up for a course, I’d do a little research on the tutor to see what qualifications and pieces of work they’ve had published.
Erm, no. They’re not real.
I’m not one for writing sequels, so I doubt very much I’ll write a sequel to My Best Friend’s Girl (I really think the story of Tegan and Kamryn has been told) nor any of my other novels. I do sometimes speculate about what happens to my various characters after the story has ended, but I don’t think my speculating would make good enough books. . . Having said that, you never know what the future holds, but at the moment, I’m not planning on writing any follow-ups.
Please don’t take offence if I don’t reply to your emails, I love getting them but until I am given access to a cloning machine where I can duplicate a Dorothy Koomson who can answer emails, I am unable to reply to each one personally.