Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Q&A with Tilly Tennant

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This week I'm very honored to have Tilly Tennant on the blog as part of her blog tour with the GoslingGirlsBookTours. Thanks for organizing this lovely ladies.
       Tilly Tennant's novel Hopelessly Devoted To Holden Finn is a great read, you can find me review here: Hopelessly Devoted To Holden Finn Review. Enjoy Tilly's answers :)
       Thanks lovely lady for answering them, xxx.

      Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family.  Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). She likes nothing better than curling up in a quiet corner with a glass of wine watching the world go by, but can more usually be found taxiing her daughters to parties or taking them on emergency shopping trips. After a huge list of dismal and disastrous jobs over the years, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing, she began working as a temporary secretary in a hospital to boost her income whilst doing a degree in English and creative writing. This job lasted nine years. Not terribly temporary. But it does mean that she knows just what it’s like to make monumental admin cock-ups, spend the month’s wages in the hospital coffee shop and fall in love with all the doctors. As she’s a smug married, however, it’s fortunate that the doctors in question don’t usually feel the same way.

      1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

      I think I did without realising for a long time! I always loved to hear and tell stories, and as a kid I would always imagine what happened once the end titles rolled on a film or after the final page of a book and use it to add to the story.  It wasn’t until I went to university to study creative writing that I discovered the confidence in my storytelling ability and started to write my own.

      2.    Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn is about a mother who fancies a rock star. How did you come up with this idea and how did the story develop?

      I have to admit with a certain amount of shame that I am a terrible daydreamer about celebrity hotties, so I think there is definitely a bit autobiography in there. But the original germ of the idea came from a One Direction song, appropriately enough, and I began to wonder what it might be like if one of them really thought that I didn’t know I was beautiful!  Most of my stories sort of run away by themselves once the initial idea is in place and the rest of the characters and plot for this one came along as the book unfolded.  Before long, it was about a lot more than just a rock star.

      3.    What does your family think about you being a writer?

      I think they’re generally appalled by the amount of dinners I burn because my mind is on the latest plot instead of the sausages on the stove.

      4.    You have a blog on your website. What do you like to blog about?

      I tend to blog about anything that pops in my head really. So it might be about something I’ve done, or some news I’d like to share, or it might just be a silly story.  Mostly it’s all pretty silly.

      5.    What are you working on right now?

      I wish I could share what I’m working on now but I can’t just yet. I’m not being mysterious; it’s just something very practical that I have to look into first!  I think that people will like it, though. I can say that it is set in the same town as Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn and that although it features a new set of characters, we do get to meet one or two from Hopelessly again, which made me ridiculously excited to write!

      6.    The cover of Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn is so gorgeous. How was it developed?

      Oh thank you! It did take a very long time to get right.  My poor designer, Tash, produced about twelve initial designs from our brief but none of them seemed quite right. Then she decided to send one through that she had thought of randomly and I fell in love with it, even though it wasn’t what I had asked for.  It contained most of the elements that were important to the book without being too obvious. That’s pretty much the cover we have now.

      7.    Where and when do you write your stories?

      I have to make do with a laptop on the dining table most of the time. Often I write when my kids are in bed, so it can be a very long night. Sometimes I get a quiet few hours in the day, but it’s not often.  I do prefer to write in the day if I can though.

      8.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

      I love the theatre and live music but I don’t get to go as often as I would like. I also read, of course and watch TV. I like to go running when I can and sometimes I bake but that’s not so often these days either now I’m so busy writing.

      9.    Who is your favourite author and why?

      I honestly don’t have one.  I love so many books by so many people that it’s impossible to choose.  Sorry, that’s a rubbish answer!

10.    If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Oliver Twist and The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Those are the first three that popped into my head. In reality, I would have to take a chest full and sacrifice some food or something.

11.     If you could plan the perfect holiday, what would it be?

Again, so many choices! I’d love to travel Europe by rail, car, boat – not organised, just go wherever the wind blows me!  I’d need to do it properly and take months to explore.

12.    What are 5 items you never leave home without?

Phone, purse, keys, lip balm, cough sweets.

13.    If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

I’d go to university at eighteen instead of leaving it until my thirties as I did.  But then I do wonder whether I would have done as well if I’d been younger – I’d have probably been too busy getting drunk and trying to pick up boys to concentrate on my studies.

14.    Is there research about locations and places involved when you write a story?

It all depends on the story. Often I do look at maps or visit, particularly if it’s a real place. Even when the location is a fictional place, like Millrise, I use a real place to imagine the logistics before I write scenes.

15.    Imagine one of your books is turned into a movie. What would your dream cast be for Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn?

I actually made a dream cast list on IMDb (sad, I know). The link is here if anyone wants to look… http://www.imdb.com/list/qXcAU-sHjYE/

 16.    Coffee or tea? Tea

 17.    Paperback or e-reader? 

Paperback (but I carry my kindle everywhere because it’s so light)

18.     Mountains or the sea?

Tough! I have to say sea because my family has strong connections to the sea. But I do love mountains too.

19.     Summer or winter? Summer

20.    Sweet or salty? Salty

Twitter: @TillyTenWriter

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