Today I’m welcoming the fab Laura Kemp to the blog to talk about her amazing career as a women’s fiction writer.
Hi Laura, can you tell me a bit about you and your latest work?
I write feel good fiction about women who believe they’re ordinary but are anything but – just like every woman I know!
My latest is a rom-com called Bring Me Sunshine and is about seizing the day: timid Charlie Bold is forced to leave her comfort zone when she is relocated to a dying radio station and finds she’s not working behind the scenes but the new DJ. Can she find her voice – and love – at Sunshine FM? It’s out on ebook already but published in paperback on June 27 by Orion.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Prone to over-excitement!
How would you Twitter pitch your novel?
Bring Me Sunshine – Life is short so grab happiness where you can!
What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
Write whatever mood you’re in – it requires discipline. Waiting for the words to come doesn’t get them written down.
Read your genre – you’ll learn from other authors and pick up ‘the beat’ of the books you want to write.
Be determined – rejection is part of being an author, and constructive criticism will only make you better.
Are you a panster or plotter?
A plotter in the main: I need an outline to make sure I don’t digress and go off on a tangent. However pantster comes when I’m writing, ideas pop up along the way.
What does success look like to you?
It begins with writing the words down, that’s a reason to celebrate in itself. Letters and messages from readers saying my books have made them happy is a huge achievement too. My dream is to be on the supermarket shelves and keep writing one a year until I drop!
How do you choose your character names?
Some names I just love while others reflect who they are, what they’re facing and where they’re going. I set my books in Wales so there are always some gorgeous Celtic names in there too.
Do you ever Google yourself?
No but I do keep an eye on how my books are doing.
What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
I’ll get off the screen, drink coffee then walk the dog (or stuff my face with cheese and crisp sandwiches).
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes three months to think up a book, another three to write and then a couple more to edit.
What’s your main weakness as a writer eg. SPaG, continuity etc?
Getting carried away with the words and not sticking to the concept!
What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
Easiest bit is the first draft – you’re free, you’re inspired and the words flow. The hardest is the editing bit, reigning yourself in and being strict with yourself.
Describe your writing process in 3 words.
Escape, joy, insomnia.
If your book/one of your books got made into a film, who would play the main roles?
It’d be the amazing Welsh actress Eve Myles (Keeping Faith) as my romantic heroine because she’s brilliant at playing real, vulnerable yet strong women and Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Pride, Sherlock) as the gorgeous, funny and flawed romantic hero.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
You can tie yourself up in knots, worrying about all sorts of things you can’t control. I try to remember it’s my job and mine alone to write and to focus on that. Then once you’ve delivered, hope for the best but prepare for the worst! It’s all about the long game.
Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
Pen and paper with the ideas – scribbling anywhere and everywhere – then computer when I start writing.
Who’s your favourite author and why?
Milly Johnson because she puts everything into her books – and every one, impossibly, is better than her last. She’s genuine, warm, hardworking and an inspiration.
What’s your favourite book?
Wuthering Heights was the book that left a huge impression on me as a teenager and it’s stayed with me.
So far this year The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.
How do you relax?
Lego, jigsaws, crosswords, yoga and gardening when I want to introvert and when I’m not, friends, rambling, dog walking, gin and carbs.
And now for some silly questions just for fun…
Tea or coffee?
Tea first and last thing, black coffee in between.
Beer or wine?
Chips or curly fries?
Chippy chips with beans.
Puppies or kittens?
Puppies although kittens if we’re talking my own cat and she’s reading this.
Summer or winter?
Summer for sea swimming, sunshine
Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.
But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.
Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.
Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?
Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies
which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman.
Her uplifting message – based on the notion that everything is research apart from the rude bits – is ‘You Don’t Know How Brilliant You Are!’.
A journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun amongst others, she is married with a son in Cardiff, where she pretends to be a domestic revolutionary so she doesn’t have to do the ironing. Runs to eat crisps and drink wine, adores her mates and family and loves her dog, cat, Lego and sweary cross-stitch.
I absolutely adore the sound of this novel and will definitely be adding it to my TBR pile. Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2GsmCpr