Quick Fire Questions with Bestselling Author Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of 21 novels. Her unique sense of humour has won her legions of fans and critical acclaim all over the world. Her books have been translated into twenty languages and sold to Hollywood. Her latest book is "With Love At Christmas" has just been published by Sphere and  I've just added it to my personal Wish List.

Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas?
Juliet Joyce adores Christmas.  She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand.
Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet’s father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day.  And has the chaos got too much for Juliet’s husband Rick?
 With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled…

Born in St Helens, Merseyside, Carole began writing after she entered a short story competition in Writing Magazine and won a thousand pounds.  Then – to her and everyone else’s amazement – she spent the money, not on shoes and handbags, but on a writing course.  The tutor on the course liked what she was writing and recommended an agent who took her on straight away.  She got her first book deal, for Let’s Meet on Platform 8, a week later.

Thanks for joining us, Carole.  Here's a nice little starter (pun intended):
Which 3 writers, living or dead, would you invite to dinner?
William Shakespeare. There are so many questions I’d love to ask him. Like ‘Did you know you’d put so many school kids through so much pain?’

Philippa Gregory as I adore her books so much and I’d love to find out more about those pesky Tudors.

Bill Bryson as I’m sure he’d have some interesting travel stories to tell.

Favourite writing snack?
Anything chocolate-based.

Longhand or computer?
Always computer. I am a trained touch typist due to former life as a secretary and can just about keep up with my brain.

The best thing about being published is...
I can behave very badly and call it research.

The book I’d wish I’d written…
One Day by David Nicholls.

Win Booker prize or land Hollywood film deal?
Hollywood. How shallow am I?

An author should never...
Take anything for granted. I’m only doing this job because I have fantastic loyal readers who will spend their hard-earned cash on my books.

 Daily Mail or The Times?
 Daily Mail. The most amazing source of stories for a women’s fiction writer!

Independent bookshop or Amazon?
I hate to say this, but Amazon all the way. Click, click, click. And I adore my Kindle!

You really must read...
Any of the Tudor books by Philippa Gregory. She just makes the whole Tudor court come to life. Love them!

I really can’t stand…
Having to wear fingerless gloves in the winter to type as my fingers get so cold.

Left on a cliffhanger or told all?

My biggest tip for a Women's Fiction writer is…
Write what comes from your heart rather than chasing the market.

What comes first – character or plot?
Hmm. Bit of both. No point having a great character with a wet plot and vice versa.

My journey to publication was...
Relatively short. Got my first deal 17 years ago at the start of the whole chicklit wave. Thank you, Bridget Jones!

Desert Island companion?
The love of my life, Lovely Kev. He’d kill all the creepy crawlies and could make fire and catch fish. 

Carole's website can be found here:  http://www.carolematthews.com 

THANK YOU for taking time out of your busy schedule and visiting Strictly Writing,  we wish you every success with your latest book and, of course, a very Merry Christmas, Carole!



Thrifty Gal said...

Thanks for stopping by! Great interview (the behaving badly and calling it research struck a chord!)

Anonymous said...

Great questions and answers! Thanks, Strictly and Carole.


Carole Matthews said...

Thank you for having me, Debs!

Deb said...

Lovely interview, Carole and Debs.