Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Blog Stop: Poppy Dolan joins me to talk about There's More to Life than Cupcakes

(Published10th October 2013: Novelicious Books)

I'm thrilled today to be joined at my blog by the brilliant author Poppy Dolan.  I finished this book just a couple of nights ago and it was completely fab! Her last book was pretty superb too.  If you've not read anything of hers yet, you really should give her books a try.  Sooooo entertaining! 

Poppy joins me today to talk about her writing.  Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by Poppy.

    This much I know after 3 and 1/3 novels…

I will admit I was ‘writing tips’ junkie. A complete addict. If I saw a tweet or blog post entitled ‘My Top 5 Writing Tips’ I would be clicking in a heartbeat, eager to know what the secret was, how these successful writers did it, book after book, and – most importantly - how they stayed sane through it all. I read writing tips that seem to agree with tips from other authors; I read tips that conflicted completely; I read tips I didn’t really agree with. And now I’ve finished writing my third novel (and a third of a novel that’s staying locked in a drawer) I think I’m over my tips obsession. Because I’ve realised that writing a novel is such a big, sprawling, messy activity that I haven’t even managed to approach each one of my own novels in the same way, so I’m not sure there can be ‘one size fits all’ tips. It’s great to have guidelines to follow and to be inspired by how other people approach their writing, but it’s also important not to feel like you’re somehow lacking or wrong if you tackle your novel in your own style.
I’ve planned religiously and I’ve not planned at all: both times I ended up with lots of problems with structure and pacing. I’ve read lots of other novels while writing and I’ve also read nothing but cereal boxes too, not wanting to be subconsciously influenced. Again, both times I hit on the same problems with clunky dialogue and labouring jokes.
So in future, I’m not going to beat myself if I don’t have a timeline sketched out or post its on a wall. I’m going to go with my gut and work really really hard at writing, rewriting, writing again and editing like crazy. Because the only thing you can count on is that you won’t get it right first time!   

Really interesting for all the budding authors out there who don't know whether they've got it right or don't know where to start.  So, now it's time to hear a bit about the book itself.  Here's the blurb. 

A fresh, sparkling new voice and a wonderful addition to women's commercial fiction!”
Sunday Times Bestselling Author Claudia Carroll

 Ellie Redford has a husband, a job and a home. According to the rest of the world, it’s baby o’clock already. Shame life doesn’t come with a recipe…
Ellie knows that starting a family with lovely husband Pete would be an amazing adventure. Pete would make a brilliant dad and she’d have an excuse to eat shed loads of Cherry Bakewell. But Ellie’s bestie would rather she was up at 3am with a bottle of Malibu, not formula. And with redundancies looming, Ellie’s boss isn’t exactly going to throw her a shower if she disappears for a year, with pay.
While Ellie juggles her feelings (and everyone else’s) as competently as a drunken clown, she finds herself signing up for a baking class, alongside the young, free and sizzling hot Joe. As they work buns and shape tarts, is there more to their friendship than a shared appreciation of Paul Hollywood? 
Ellie’s soufflés may be rising, but her personal life is one big soggy mess. If she doesn't make a decision soon, she may just lose everything that matters to her. Maybe it's time to take off the pinny and face up to the truth: there’s more to life than cupcakes...


Poppy Dolan is a rom com aficiando. After watching When Harry Met Sally at the impressionable age of 14, she’s never stopped dreaming of having the perfect ‘meet-cute’, that one-liner that steals your heart and the grand romantic gesture to end all grand romantic gestures. Since her real-life dating experiences were more often situated at Nando’s than the top of the Eiffel Tower, she turned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies of her own.
When she's not glued to her laptop, Poppy loves cooking, reading and getting emotional over reality TV. She is in her early thirties and lives just outside London with her husband. She writes in a coffee shop nicknamed Terence and also - when it's not too chilly - in the shed.

Why not connect with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn't bite. Unless you are a muffin.

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