Author Interview: Barbara Phipps

Today, I am honoured to have Barbara come and chat to us! She is an author from Wakefield, West Yorkshire – just like me!

Her books are out now on Amazon.

Hi Barbara, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?

My WIP, with the working title ‘A Conflict of Interests’ is fiction based on fact. It is set in the late 18th and the 19th century. There are many strong, and quite quirky characters. To portray them as believable, that is to say, as characters a reader could relate to, is proving to be my greatest challenge to date.

Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?

It will take quite a while to complete my WIP, there is much more research to be done as the facts of the story are quite complicated. Turning the story into an easily read novel means I have to discard some facts which, although interesting, as not pertinent to the storyline.

Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?

I have had many, very interesting jobs, but not what you would call a career. Having worked with pharmacists, dentists, doctors, vets and pathologists, I have a little knowledge about lots of things. I was also a magistrate for sixteen years.

Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?

I like to rise early, replying to emails with my first coffee. I love my garden, so summer time pulls me outside. Because of this, writing and research takes a back seat in summer, but I try to do a little each day, even if it is just a few minutes. Winter months and rainy days see the word count rise!

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

I am not a collector, or hoarder, of anything.

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

I would say that both I, and my work, are difficult to pigeon hole. I have written a contemporary novel, a trilogy set in the 1950’s/60’s, and a historical novel, based on fact.

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

I would like to write a crime novel, but for now I find fiction based on fact, or faction as it is sometimes called, absolutely fascinating as I bring back a forgotten tale.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

As with anything, the more you do it, the better you will become. Try to write every day.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

‘Someone LIke You’, by Roald Dahl

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

I have had several reviews of my work on Amazon, even suggesting my books would make good films. That would be nice!

I hope you get your dream Barbara! Stay in touch!

 

 

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Author Interview: Julia Roberts

 

Julia Roberts author pic

Hi Julia, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

Q1. It’s Never Too Late To Say, which is out now, is the final in your recent trilogy. Was it hard to say goodbye?

It was really hard to say goodbye, almost like waving off family members to a new life on the other side of the world. I guess in one book you get to know and understand your characters but over the course of the trilogy we became quite intimate. Who knows, maybe I will do a spin off book at some point in the future and a prequel is definitely on the cards.

Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?

I have recently finished my first ever short story which I really enjoyed writing so I may do more of those. I am also working on a Christmas novella and planning a couple of other full length novels. I’ve come to novel writing comparatively late in life – so many ideas, so little time!

Q3. In addition to your books, you are also somewhat of a TV star! Which aspect of your professional life do you love the most, and dislike?

It’s kind of you to say so, but I’m only known in the world of shopping television really. I love appearing on live TV which is strange as I’m quite a shy person in real life. My role at QVC has changed over the twenty-three years I have been there with the advent of social media. Fortunately I am adaptable by nature and I must confess I love a bit of Twitter. I am also required to write a weekly blog on the QVC website and that has become a favoured part of my job.

Q4. A typical day in the life of Julia – what does that look like?

There are two different types of typical days in my life. If I’m working at QVC, I get up have breakfast, catch up on social media and email, then head off to work. When I get there I do my make-up, hair and nails ( yes, we have to do it ourselves with occasional exceptions) and then I will get to know the products I will be presenting and go and meet any guests who will be appearing with me on the shows. I normally do three hours of live television spread over a six to eight hour day. On non QVC days I will often start writing straight after breakfast and sit at it for six hours or more with only a short break for lunch. If possible I try to squeeze a Pilates workout in three times a week. I do enjoy relaxing evenings in front of the TV or reading.

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

Abandoned or mistreated cats, apparently! Our first cat, Dylan, was abandoned by his owners when they moved home. Our second, Charlie, was the third kitten in a litter and was accidentally missed by his mother’s owner when the kittens were moved to his girlfriend’s to be better looked after. He was two weeks old when we adopted him and we had to bottle feed him to start with – very touch and go, but he survived. More recently my daughter rescued a litter of kittens from mistreatment and we now look after one of them, alongside my elderly cat Poppy who has reached the grand old age of twenty-one, one hundred and five in cat years!

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

I don’t take much notice of people’s prejudices as you have to grow a thick skin in the entertainment world.  All that matters to me is that the people who read my work enjoy it for what it is… I’m not trying to be the next Shakespeare or Agatha Christie.

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

As a self-published author there are no restrictions on what I write. I will probably write a thriller at some point and definitely a romantic comedy if I’m able. I want to challenge myself to write in all the different genres that I find pleasure in reading.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

As Nike would say, ‘Just Do it.’ If you’ve got an idea for a story with a start, a middle and an end, just write it in your own words – there are plenty of professional editors who can help you lick it into shape when you are first starting out. I also used professionals for my cover designs and formatting as I want my end product to look as good as anything else on the shelves of a book shop.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

I don’t have as much time as I would like to read, but on a recent holiday I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The Litigators by John Grisham. I’ve also just finished My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse and I try to read every book written by Mary Higgins Clark. Quite diverse really.

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

I would like to have a Times Bestseller (wouldn’t we all) and it would be fantastic if the Liberty Sands trilogy was made into a movie… I can dream can’t I?? And a chat show on ITV would be pretty cool too but I guess I shouldn’t be greedy!

 

Thanks to Julia for coming to chat today – I loved the answers!

The Liberty Sands Trilogy is out now

Life's a Beach COVER Final

Life’s a Beach and Then…

If He Really Loved Me Front Cover

If He Really Loved Me…

its never cover

It’s Never Too Late To Say…

Sex – To do it, or not to do it?

I have made myself a deadline, to finish my current book by the end of August. I have other irons in the fire, publisher things, submission things, but for the moment I don’t have a deadline from a publisher, so it’s all on me to apply bottom to chair and write.

My deadline is 4th September, so I have a book all fresh and ready to edit when the kids return to school and normality resumes. I have been going great guns, till my characters decided to sleep together. The words have ground to a halt. Why?

SEX. Such a little word that means so much. I am no wilting violet, and I enjoy reading books in this genre. I have devoured Mills & Boon books for years, and the relatively new NA (New Adult) genre has a great customer in me, as I love to stock up on steamy kindle reads, as long as the plot is good. Writing it however, is different.

Amanda and Ben, my two characters in The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, were a joy to write, but my two new characters, Thomas and Kate, are raw and steamy. The sexual tension has been burning my fingers for weeks, and now we are on the cusp….there are tongues…and….and…nothing!!

I have cleaned my house, filed my bills, posted my letters, tidied my desk. All my baskets are empty, washing, ironing, bins. I have the boys at home for the summer, and the house looks great. I have nothing to do today but write. Can I take the next step? Nope. I am a shivering virgin in the writing a sex scene part of writing.

So, what do we think? Do you think sex scenes are cringeworthy, or relevant? My two characters need to take this next step, it’s relevant, it’s been coming (pardon the pun, don’t read this Grandma Grace!) a while.

What favourite sex scenes do you have? Four Weddings and a Funeral awkward sex with talk of bottoms? Raunchy 50 Shades play room antics?

All I can say is, well done to those women who have deflowered virgins and crossed boundaries on the page. For now, my characters are staring lustily at the bedroom door…..sexy cap

Happy Yorkshire Day!