Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Interview with Milly Johnson

I'm so lucky that Milly Johnson has also agreed to do an interview for my blog.  Milly is the lady who through reading her books, taught me that anything is possible and that if you really want to do something, you should just go ahead and do it! She made me value myself and my beliefs!

Thanks to Milly for such inspiration and motivation and for your help and support.  I can't wait for the latest book "Here Come The Girls" to land on my doorstep, as when I read Milly's first book, I went out, bought all her others and read them all back to back.  I didn't get a thing done for days!  Her books show that she puts her heart and soul into writing them creating amazingly real characters and situations that you can genuinely imagine yourself in.  Find out more about this fabulous writer at http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/.

At what age did you decide you wanted to be an author and who inspired you most to do it?
I can’t remember a time before writing books and wanting to be an author.  I’ve always loved reading books and wanting to write my own.  I was a huge Catherine Cookson fan and loved how she wrote about the people in her county, so you could say she was a massive influence on me.  Nearer to home, I had the most wonderful English teacher called Kate Taylor and she brought literature alive for me.  She made it so interesting and exciting and I used to leave her classes on a real high.

How did you feel when your first book was published?
When I landed my first book deal I sat on the stairs and cried with relief and happiness – and a little bit of disbelief.  Next to seeing my two sons for the first time, it was the most emotional moment of my life.  I didn’t think anything could top it – but it got even better with the following books.  I hope I never get blas√© about the feeling of seeing another of my books published.
Are your characters based upon real people or are they completely fictional?
A few are completely fictional, some are based very loosely on real people however,  they have a tendency to become rather diva-ish and become their own personalities by the end of the book.  I don’t ‘clone’ a real person for a story – tempting as it might be in some cases, I’d hate to get sued!
How do you carry out your research?
I use the internet a lot, talk to people in the know – in fact I’m always consulting doctors, hospitals, solicitors, bee keepers – even soldiers and priests.  It was an interesting moment asking a priest what he would advise if someone came to his confessional box and told him they’d been pricking holes in condoms!  Sloppy research can totally alienate a reader – I always make sure that where I’m writing about something I know nothing about, I learn.
Where do you write most and what is it about that place that inspires you to write?
I nicked one of the bedrooms in my house and use that as an office.  It’s a lovely square room, just the perfect size and my desk is huge and battered and old and I adore it.  The cat sits in the window at the side of me, the dog sleeps in the doorway.  It’s just a lovely, friendly room that I can spread out in.
Who do you look up to?
My dad.  He is the most reliable, honest, hard-working man I know.  He instilled in me strong family values, loyalty and a damned good work ethic.
What book are you reading right now?Alan Carr’s autobiography – ‘Look Who It Is’.  It’s making me laugh out loud.
Who are your favourite authors?
Sophie Hannah, Mo Hayder, Lynda La Plante, Nicci French, Sue Welfare, Charlaine Harris, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie... there are so many more, but these are the first that came to mind.
After Here Come The Girls, what’s next for you?
I’m releasing two books a year for the foreseeable future.  Autumn Crush will be released in September, then there will be two releases next year, including the Winter book of the series.  I also do some broadcasting for the BBC and column writing for local newspapers.  I’m penning a sitcom, and a joke book, doing after dinner speaking and will be involved as consultant in the process when The Yorkshire Pudding Club is made into a film.  And I like to keep my hand in writing copy for greetings cards too, I like to ‘chase a cheque’ to keep me on my toes.  Exciting and busy times for me but I always make sure that I have plenty of time with my sons as well as work.  They’re growing up too fast!
Your characters are so real and we get to feel their emotions as if they were our own.  How do you manage to create your characters so well?
What a lovely compliment. And I don’t really know!  I’m an emotional person, I just draw on that and try and make my characters speak and act as real people would in given circumstances.  I imagine myself in conversations with them.  By the end of the book, I feel as if I have almost created real people and experience a sense of loss when I have finished writing about them.  That’s why it was such a joy in Summer Fling to bring the ladies of The Yorkshire Pudding Club back.  It was like being reunited with old friends.


Kate said...

Good interview. I can't wait to hear how the filming of TYPC goes.

Jules said...

Great interview I'm another Milly fan :)

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