Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling author of romance. She is the winner of the international Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance.
Mandy lives near Salisbury with her husband and two daughters.
Mandy has kindly agreed to appear on Chellsandbooks blog to talk about her new book Single for the Summer out 27th July, her writing and what inspires her.
I would like to thank her for agreeing to an interview and to her publishers Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing for accepting me to review her book pre-publication.
- Tell us a little about your new book?
My new summer beach read is called Single for the Summer. Tess is a serial dater who won’t commit, but she can NEVER be seen without a man on her arm. So when she heads to Greece with best friend Sonya and pledges there will be no man for the whole holiday, she has no idea how she’s going to cope… especially when she meets gorgeous Andras!
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Tess is special because she has a fear of commitment but won’t be without a date. I really enjoyed telling her story. She’s a strong, independent woman but has maybe toughened up a little too much. Will Andras break down her walls this summer? You will have to find out!
- What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always written since I was a child but never thought I would be able to make a career out of it. But, as more and more books got written I started to think it might happen. So, I took a leap, left my job in 2010 and wrote full time in between looking after my two daughters. I’ve not looked back and things are going really well! *touches wood and strokes a rabbit’s foot*
- Which writers inspire you?
All authors inspire me because I know just how hard it is to be a writer. There is so much more to it than just writing that story. There’s research, marketing, social media and interviews (like this one!). Even if you’re traditionally published you still have a hand in all those things. I love all aspects of my job but a few more hours in the day would be nice! It’s not easy being a writer but it is pretty fantastic!
- Describe a typical day in the life of author Mandy Baggot?
I am a school run mum so the first task is getting the children ready for school and driving them there. When I get back I get straight into social media, sharing links to my books, chatting about other writers’ books, snooping around on Facebook (LOL) and then, finally, I will start writing. I write from about 10.00am-2.30pm and then again from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. But every day is different. I might take my work to my husband’s office or I might be off to London for a meeting or a party. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it?
- Do you have a favourite place to write?
I do have my own office at home with a lovely view of the Wiltshire countryside. I also write at my husband’s office sometimes as accounting work going on around me seems to inspire – who knew?! I can pretty much write anywhere on anything – laptop, pen and paper, on planes, on trains, on the beach in Corfu…
- What is your writing process?
Haha! Hmm! I am not a planner at all. I usually come up with a vague outline for a story, the characters and the setting and then… I write. My characters reveal themselves fully to me on the journey. I would love to have it all mapped out but, in some ways, not knowing what’s going to happen is part of my fun!
- How do you come up with your ideas?
I get ideas from pretty much everywhere. Conversations I have, conversations other people have, places I’ve been, things my children tell me. Quite organically we can have had a conversation in the car on the school run and I’ve got to a point in my story and that topic has put itself in my book. Obviously, I am the Getaway Queen lately so one book is always going to be set somewhere sunny – usually Corfu – and the other is Christmas-themed so that gives some structure to the ideas.
- What are your top 3 tips to anyone who wants to become a published writer?
- Keep writing. The more you write the more you learn and it will help you find your own unique voice.
- Read. You can never read enough books. Find out what style you like, look at things from a commercial point of view. Where does your voice fit into the market?
- Be completely unafraid. Keep submitting. Keep entering competitions. Never give up.
- What was your first thought when you saw your first published book?
Yikes! It has a plain black cover! I didn’t take enough time thinking about that.
- How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have definitely evolved from that first book! Practice makes perfect and I feel I’ve grown with every new story. Being originally self-published all my growing up has been available to buy (and still is!) and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Just think, those first attempts might never have made it into the hands of readers if I hadn’t published them myself. Having said that I am super excited to be working with Ebury at Penguin Random House now.
- What was on your book shelf as a child?
I loved Enid Blyton, The Faraway Tree etc. and I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew mysteries.
- What are you reading now?
I am currently reading a Paige Toon and a Debbie Johnson novel because I’m greedy like that. I’m also really looking forward to the next read by Zara Stoneley.
- How can readers discover more about you and you work?
You can follow me on Twitter (@mandybaggot) or Facebook MandyBaggotAuthor or check out my website http://www.mandybaggot.com