Cally Taylor completed her first novel in 2007, having previously written short stories. In 2008 she signed with her literary agent and Heaven Can Wait, a supernatural romantic comedy, has been published by Orion this week. Check out Cally's website here. She is kindly giving away a copy of her debut novel - the winner will be randomly chosen from those people commenting on this thread. (Sorry, but Strictly Writers are not eligible.) The winner will be announced this Sunday!
Which 3 writers, living or dead, would you invite to dinner?
Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry and Jane Austen.
Favourite writing snack?
Chocolate! Or mixed seeds when I'm trying to be 'good'.
Longhand or computer?
Longhand for planning a novel and scribbling down notes and ideas. Computer for writing the first draft and editing.
The best thing about being published is...
Knowing that, over next few years, eight different versions of "Heaven Can Wait" (seven foreign editions) will end up on my bookshelf and I'll be able to look at them, marvel over the different covers and go, "Ooooh...my...god. I did that!"
Win Booker prize or land Hollywood film deal?
Film deal. I'd LOVE to see my characters brought to life on the screen.
An author should never...
Google for reviews of their book without their thickest skin zipped up tightly and a stiff drink in their hand.
Daily Mail or The Times?
Neither. The Guardian. Although The Daily Mail online is always good for a laugh.
Independent bookshop or Amazon?
I'd be lying if I claimed I didn't use Amazon. I'm actually a bit addicted and order most of my books, CDs and DVDs from them. That said I do try and support independent bookshops when I actually manage to tear myself away from the computer.
You really must read...
"After You'd Gone" by Maggie O'Farrell.
Left on a cliffhanger or told all?
Too much of a cliffhanger and I feel robbed (or assume there will be a sequel). I'd rather be told 80% and finish off the story in my head.
My biggest tip for a Women's Fiction writer is…
Love your main character. You're going to be spending a hell of a lot of time with her.
Character first or plot?
I get a rough idea for the plot first, but only the first 8 or 9 scenes and the ending. The character dictates the rest of the novel.
My journey to publication was...
Extraordinarily lucky. I was rejected five times before I signed with the Darley Anderson Literary Agency. After that my agent, Madeleine Buston, made all sorts of magical things happen. I spent three years writing short stories (and collecting rejections) before I wrote my novel so think that helped harden up my writing skin a bit.