I love books. And when I say books, I mean books. As in a physical book you can touch, smell and hold. I have no time for e books (well if I’m travelling then maybe, but I still prefer to pack a book if I can).
Over the years I have amassed a modest collection of books in the ‘Chick Lit’ genre (gotta be a better name, maybe female romantic comedy- suggestions on a post card!). From the greats such as Marian Keyes, Jill Mansell and Lindsey Kelk to the up and coming authors such as Ali Harris, Dani Atkins and Abby Clements and quite a few in between.
|My book collection which is two books deep!|
What I love is the strong female lead, normally they are in their twenties/thirties and are having some sort of crisis in their life, mix in a ‘will they, won’t they’ romance element, a loyal best friend, obstacles for the lead character to over come and a happy ending and you’ve got a book that I love to read.
The first author that hooked me into chick lit was the mighty Marian Keyes. I think I got a copy of Watermelon (one of her first books back from 1995) free with a magazine and reading it I loved the main character and the realness of the story. Fast forward to 2017 and I have read quite a few of this genre under my belt.
One of the joys of books to me is discovering new authors. A couple of years ago I came across Fractured by Dani Atkins which was such a wonderful (if slightly dark) tale that had me gripped and since then Dani has published a further four books.
I have also been lucky enough to have met some of my favourite authors, from Marian Keyes, to Lindsey Kelk, Jill Mansell and Harriet Evans. All so wonderful and a delight to have met. And over the last year I have also met another up and coming author who happens to live locally to me.
Her name is Carol Thomas and has published (independently) her first novel called Crazy Over You.
When I was given a copy of Crazy Over You (by my husband who is friends with Carol) I knew it would be a book I would want to read as the main character is a female called Abby (and this is by sheer coincidence btw). As this was Carol’s first book, I had no preconceived idea’s of what to expect, so I just dived right in.
And I wasn’t disappointed either. I don’t want to give too much away but one of you will be lucky enough to win a signed copy of Crazy Over You (more below). But suffice to say there is drama, love and comedy in equal measures.
Here Carol explains in her own words about her debut book…
Crazy Over You: Love can drive you crazy… in more ways than one!
When Abby met Simon it was the start of something special, a love Abby believed would last a lifetime.
A wedding, two daughters and fifteen years later Abby’s world is falling apart. Having discovered Simon has had an affair her normally ordered mind is spiralling out of control. Crushed by the betrayal and shocked by her own reaction, she knows she needs to get herself together. She’s just not sure where to start.
With Simon on a mission to win her back and a close friend hiding a secret that could push her further over the edge, Abby finds strength and support where she least expects it. But as she attempts to gain control of her life and make decisions about her future, it may be more than the limits of Abby’s mind that are put to the test!
A bit of background on the lovely Carol…
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and excitable young Labrador. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafés working on her second novel.
To find out more visit:
If you want to find out more about Crazy Over you then check out Carol’s author page on Amazon
Interview with Carol
I decided to contact Carol and ask her if she would answer some questions about her book and how she goes about putting pen to paper for me and my blog. As I have aspired to write my own book many times over the years I am keen to learn from those who have managed to not only start a book, but finish it. Which is what I never manage to do.
Carol kindly responded that she would be happy to answer my questions, so without further ado, here are the questions I posed to Carol and her answers…
What inspired you to start writing a book?
I enjoy writing and have kept notebooks at certain times of my life. In 2012 the school I had worked in for eleven years (I am a primary school teacher) merged with a neighbouring school, during this period of change I decided to take the opportunity to move on. I dug out a notebook I felt had potential to be made into a story and started writing. That story became Crazy Over You.
How do you come up with an idea for a story? Is it a character, location, title or something else that you start with?
With Crazy Over You and Regret Me Not, my current work in progress – a contemporary romance novel I hope will be out in the Autumn, I started with a situation and developed the central plot from there. The location, characters and title came after.
Where do you like to write? At home or a coffee shop for example?
I often write in coffee shops. I find there are less distractions than at home, where the washing and other chores shout for attention. Occasionally, I get the opportunity to go to a hotel for a couple of days and write solidly. That is my most productive time.
Why did you decide to self publish and can you share how it works for you?
To be honest I initially knew very little about publishing a book. I had considered traditional publishing and sent my manuscript to a couple of agents. During this time I was shown a copy of a book that had been self-published through Matador. I was very impressed by the quality and knew I wanted my book to reach the same high standard. I sent my manuscript to them and the learning curve began.
I have used a range of Matador’s services and I am extremely proud of the book they have helped me produce. This, assisted publishing, route has worked well for me as it has allowed me to make decisions about my book while knowing it is in the hands of professional publishers. I am currently in the process of having a children’s book published through them too. It is called Finding A Friend and is due out in Spring 2017.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring authors?
Write and keep writing. Protect your writing time. Have a professional copy edit and proof read. I am a teacher and have an English degree and yet I found my copy edit invaluable. It taught me a lot about preparing a manuscript and my bad habits as a writer. It moved my novel on a great deal from the one I had originally sent off.
Who is your favourite author and why?
I have enjoyed books by different authors at different times of my life and find it hard to pin point one overall favourite. Currently I am a fan of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello. I enjoy their down to earth characters and the fact their stories are about the general issues you face in everyday life. And I love the humour found in books by Mhairi McFarlane and Tracy Bloom.
Do you write full time or do you have a job you work your writing around?
If so how do you keep yourself organised with your writing?
I have four children and a nine-month old puppy, I am a supply teacher, I do a little copywriting for my husband’s business and I regularly volunteer at Cancer Research UK, so things can get busy. I have to set time aside to write and attempt not to let it get eaten up by other things.
If ‘Crazy Over You’ was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?
I was asked this question during a live chat on Facebook and rather than change the answer I gave on the spur of the moment I am going to stick with it: During the 1980s / 1990s there was an American television show called Thirtysomething. I LOVED that show; it had quite a big influence on my life. If I were casting Abby and Simon I’d like them played by Mel Harris and Ken Olin, as they were when Thirtysomething was being made – only in clothes more suited to today!
🎉 To win a signed copy of Carol’s book Crazy Over You, to one lucky winner simply leave a comment below and who you would like the book to be made out to🎉
I will then pick one comment at random after the closing date to be the winner. (T&C’s below).
Thank you for reading and I hope you get a chance to get your nose into a good book or two in 2017!
Lot’s of love,
Competition open to all UK and International residents.
One entry per person.
Open to entrants over the age of 16 years old.
The prize is brand new and unread.
Prize is one paperback copy of Crazy Over You by Carol Thomas, signed by the author.
The chosen winner will need to reply to the winning notification with an address to send the prize to.
Competition opens at 7am (GMT) Sunday 8th January 2017 and closes at midnight (GMT) on Saturday 14th January 2017.
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