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Author interviews from World of Books.com

Author Interviews

The Gifted Storyteller | An interview with Gregg Korrol.

Here at World of Books, we are excited to hear of new authors across the globe. Gregg Korrol released his first novel The Gifted Storyteller in January this year.

Using his knowledge and expertise from working in the educational field for over 20 years, his novel/guide on creating a better personal journey has received 5 star reviews, across all booksellers. From Amazon.com to Goodreads you will find an array of happy readers across the globe.

We managed to catch up with him, to learn more about his writing process and how he spends his spare time.

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Author Interviews

Chestnut Tree House is the New Charity Partner for World of Books

CH 10 1By Admin

We’re delighted to announce that Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice will be our charity partner for the remainder of 2013.

Through this partnership, we will be donating 10p for every book sold for the rest of this year. The whole team will also be involved in other fundraising events and keeping you right up to date with our progress so far.

Chestnut Tree House provides vital care for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses as well as offering support for their families. On a recent visit to the House, we were blown away by the amazing facilities on offer and humbled by the compassion shown in very difficult circumstances. But in order to keep up their fantastic work, the charity is almost entirely dependent on public donations.

This is just one of the reasons why we decided to help – even if only a little.

Over the coming months we will be showcasing Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, their stories and also how your efforts have helped to support this amazing cause.

So How Does it all Work?

SwimmingAs mentioned, we will be donating a shiny 10 pence piece for every book we sell on Worldofbooks.com. Our great prices will be unaffected, so there won’t be a negative impact for our customers – just a positive one for Chestnut Tree House. Indeed we are back-dating donations to the beginning of July, ensuring Chestnut Tree House enjoy six full months of support from World of Books.

Better still, if you visit the site through www.worldofbooks.com/chestnuttreehouse we will donate a further 20 pence for every book you buy. We wanted to provide Chestnut Tree House with an opportunity to engage their supporters and boost donations, so this was the perfect solution.

We believe that it is the simplest and most interactive way of providing donations. Our intention is simply to get all of our customers involved, grow awareness and help a great cause to continue their fantastic work.

And Finally, a Quick Word from Chestnut Tree House

‘We are so grateful for the fantastic support from World of Books and look forward to our charity partnership together. They have shown resourcefulness and commitment to help us provide our specialist care for local children with life limiting illnesses and their families. , We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their help and support.” – Sarah Arnold, Corporate Fundraising Manager, Chestnut Tree House.

Author Interviews

Kathy Lette describes herself as “Mischievous, feminist and deranged” in our latest Author Interview

Picture of Australian author Kathy Lette

Author Kathy Lette

By Admin

Bestselling Australian writer, Kathy Lette was born 11th November 1958. As a teenager Kathy co-wrote ‘Puberty Blues’ (1979 – a strong autobiographical, pro-feminist teen novel about two thirteen-year-old southern suburbs girls attempting to improve their social status by getting involved with a gang of surfers. The book was later made into a film in 1981, and then into a mini-series). After several years as a singer with the Salami Sisters, a newspaper columnist, and as a television sitcom writer, Kathy turned her hand to writing novels once more in 1988, beginning with ‘Girls’ Night Out’. Other titles you may have come across include: ‘Men- A User’s Guide’ (2010), ‘Dead Sexy’ (2004) and ‘Mad Cow’ (1997). Since starting out as a writer, Kathy’s novels have been published in 17 languages around the world. As well as this Kathy also appears regularly as a guest on BBC and Sky news, and often writes plays; one of her novels, ‘How to Kill Your Husband (and other handy household hints)’ (2007), was even turned into an opera by composer Alan John in 2011! Kathy now lives in London with her husband and two children. Her latest novel, ‘The Boy Who Fell to Earth’ is released in paperback on April 11th. Her Quick read ‘Love is Blind’ is also out now.

Q) How would you describe yourself in three words?
Mischievous, feminist, deranged.

Q) Something a lot of people may not know about you is that you helped write the 500th episode of ‘The Simpsons’ (aired Feb 2012) called ‘At Long Last Leave’, which you describe as “the most fun thing I’ve done”. Was it a strange experience being a part of a series that has been running for so many years? What made it so fun?!
If I have any skill as a writer, it’s putting down on paper the way women talk when there’s no men around. It’s a great male myth that women aren’t funny. I think men only say this because they’re terrified what it is we’re being funny about. My books have all had a feminist message, but hopefully they also disarm with charm. Laughter makes even the most difficult subjects, palatable. I have also written three plays, two non-fiction books, quite a few film scripts and I also used to write sitcom for Columbia Pictures. I worked on a show called ‘The Facts of Life’, which was a huge hit in America. It was bigger than ‘Mash’. Columbia Picture executives read one of my books, ‘Girls Night Out’, and flew me over to inject some fresh energy and humour into their scripts. So, when Julian Assange was going to be the cameo in the 500th episode of ‘The Simpsons’ he asked me to rewrite his dialogue. I thought my best line was when Marg is trying Julian’s marinade for the barbecue. She tells him it’s delicious and asks for the recipe, to which Julian replies “I never reveal my sauces”.

Q) One of your self-admitted career highlights was a three month writer’s residency at London’s Savoy Hotel in 2007. You had a £1200 per night suite at your disposal and you even had the opportunity to create your own cocktail – the ‘Kathy Cassis’. Asides from lots of sleepovers with your girlfriends, what work did this residency actually entail? And would you do something similar again?

Savoy Hotel

The pretigious Savoy Hotel London

Most writers in residence programmes are run in prisons. But the Savoy was keen to rekindle its literary links, because, as you say, the hotel has been home to a minestrone of famous scribes – Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham, Hillarie Belloc, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Fielding, Rudyard Kipling.….Kathy Lette – a natural segue I told myself! In the literary world, news that an Aussie had landed the coveted gig, went over like Pavarotti over a pole vault.
My duties as resident writer were as light as a Savoy soufflé – I was required to host a few literary dinners. I lined up a delicious human menu comprising Stephen Fry, Salman Rushdie, Richard E Grant and the late Sir John Mortimer – all writers with wits so sharp they should be registered at police headquarters as lethal weapons. This left me three gloriously free months in which to get to know the hotel’s glamorous history. My natural haunt was the American Bar, where I took my girlfriends, Ruby Wax and comedic co to help me perfect a personalized cocktail, as you mentioned in your question. I also spent a lot of time in the Savoy Grill, where a dish was named after me, Kathy Omelette. Legend has it that out of all the famous regulars, the guest who caused waitresses to drop the most plates was Clark Gable, dressed in his American Air Force Uniform. On the day of Winston Churchill’s funeral, his table was left unlaid with just a vase of flowers from Chartwell, his family home. Carried away by all these flamboyant tales, I was inspired to throw a pool party and entertained my guests with the British synchronized swim team. The mezzanine Art Deco pool was actually my favourite place to play. Long-term friend Danni Minogue and I would get our nails painted in this cool, green grotto as we watched my kids swimming. Now that’s the way to baby sit! The hotel also proved very handy for children’s homework. Concierges have to answer every question – theatre tickets, restaurant bookings, museum times… When stuck on a maths equation my kids would simply ring down to reception. One evening, we had five Concierges looking for the square root of the Hypotenuse. (I didn’t even know it was lost!)
It really was the best four months of my life. But that’s the only trouble with being the Savoy’s writer in residence – parting is such suite sorrow. And yes, yes, I would definitely do it again. I am still their roving ambassador and am in the bar so often, they’re going to string up a hammock!

Q) What top three things would be on your bucket list?
Eating fugu fish. It’s a Japanese delicacy which is a palate orgasm, apparently, but can also be poisonous, so it’s like gastronomic roulette. A whipped cream orgy with George Clooney and Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp. Space travel. (Yes, I do have a head for heights…and I don’t just mean social climbing!)

Q) You’re an ambassador for Women and Children First, Plan International and The White Ribbon Alliance. What can you tell us about this charity?
Women are still runners up in the human race. In the developing world girls are fed last and least, and one woman dies every minute in childbirth, meaning the daughters are pulled out of school and put into domestic slavery or prostitution. One in three women on the planet will be beaten up or raped in her life time. In the more ‘enlightened’ West, women still don’t have equal pay ­ we receive only 75 pence in the pound. We are still get concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling, plus we’re expected to clean it whilst we’re up there. The three charities I support, help women find their feet and their voice.

'The Boy Who Fell to Earth' book jacket

‘The Boy Who Fell to Earth’ by Kathy Lette (out in paperback)

Q) What can you tell us about your novel ‘The Boy Who Fell to Earth’ which was released March 2012 and is now out in paperback?
‘The Boy Who Fell To Earth’ was my most personal book ever, because it was inspired by my son. I didn’t want to invade his privacy without his permission, so waited till he was 21, to reveal the heartache and hilarity of raising a child with Asperger’s. It really is a love letter between mother and son. I felt rather raw and exposed, writing and talking about something so personal, even though it’s a work of fiction. But the amount of letters and emails and tweets and facebook messages I’ve received from other parents thanking me for putting their experiences into words, has convinced me that I’ve done the right thing. And so many people are affected by special needs, you know. One in five children has some form of special needs. One in a hundred is on the autistic spectrum. Not to mention all the undiagnosed adults walking around. I’ve been saying to women in my talks, “Listen in Ladies. If your husband is obsessed with football or trains, if he doesn’t make small talk and misreads social situations… there’s a very good chance he has undiagnosed Asperger’s.” And they all laugh and nod and gasp with recognition!

Q) What can you tell us about ‘Love is Blind’?
As well as ‘The Boy Who Fell to Earth’, I have penned a Quick Read called ‘Love is Blind’, a 20,000 word mental espresso about facial prejudice. It’s out now and only costs a pound.

Q) You’ve said “All I do in my books is write down the way women talk when there are no men around”. What sort of feedback have you had because of this style of writing you adopt?
Women like the fact that I can put into words what they’ve been thinking, but might not have the chutzpah to say out loud. And for me, well, writing is so much cheaper than therapy!

Q) Kindle or physical book?
I prefer a physical book, the smell, the texture, the permanence… What happens if your Kindle battery runs out before you find out who dunnit in the “Who Dunnit”?

Q) In September 2009 you teamed up with Radox and wrote a splash-proof book, ‘All Steamed Up’, which was released online for free as part of their Be-Selfish campaign. The idea was to encourage women to be more selfish with their time and to re-energise themselves by pausing their hectic lifestyles once in awhile. What do you personally do to take time out of your busy schedule and relax?
All mothers tend to put their children first. Your guilt gland throbs if you don’t! But the mother of a special needs child tends to go into Martyr Mode. It’s very easy to let your own life dwindle to a speck. But I don’t think this is healthy. I’m a great believer in grabbing joy wherever you can. Which is why I’m often to be found swinging from a chandelier, champers in hand, loudly laughing at life. I relax with my women friends. To me, your female friends are your human wonder bras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.

Q) What is your biggest fear?
That someone will steal the epitaph I’ve made up for my headstone, which is “Finally, a good plot.”

Q) One last question, World of Books is dedicated to providing good-quality second-hand books to the public. In a world with an ever-growing digital media base, and increasing environmental concerns, do you believe in the importance of giving each physical book the chance of a new home?
I don’t feel at ease in a house with no books. Books bring life. But it’s important to pass them on. Back packers tell me how they share books on the road. They read it, then leave it at the next hostel, but sign their names in the back. I’ve had dog eared copies of my books find their way back to me with hundreds of name scrawled on the end pages. It gives me great joy to think of my books moving across borders, with no passport, and hopefully, bringing comfort and joy on a cold and lonely night.

Excellent interiew – Many thanks Kathy!

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Or visit the World of Books site and check out our range of Kathy Lette books today!

Author Interviews

“My characters only work when they become real to me, and then they let me tell their stories” – Elizabeth Haynes talks to World of Books about her writing, her work, and The Wurzels

Author Elizabeth Haynes

Author Elizabeth Haynes

By Admin

Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Sussex and began to write from an early age, even buying herself a typewriter at the age of thirteen. She studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University, and moved on to become a Police Intelligence Analyst. It wasn’t until 2005 when a friend introduced her to National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/), that she began to work on her writing with a greater sense of purpose. National Novel Writing month is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words of a story throughout the month of November. Over the next few years (particularly each November) the first draft of Elizabeth’s debut novel, ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ came into fruition. That was in 2008. By February 2011, the book was published by Myriad Editions and featured on Channel 4’s TV Book Club. It was also voted as one of Amazon UK’s Rising Stars and won the Amazon UK Best Book of 2011. Since then Elizabeth has released ‘Revenge of the Tide’ in March 2012, and last month her newest book, ‘Human Remains’ was published. Her books have been released in 30+ countries globally and in over 20 languages. Elizabeth now lives in the South East of England with her husband and son.

Q) You’ve given up working as a Police Intelligence Analyst in order to concentrate on being a writer full-time. Are there elements of the work that you miss?

Definitely! I miss it every day. I worked with a fantastic bunch of people and I loved being part of a team, especially one that had an impact on serious and organised crime. It’s hard to beat the buzz of being involved in something that has such an effect on the people’s lives, and on the area where you live. I also find it quite difficult to work on my own, in a quiet environment having previously worked in a busy office – I have to have my radio tuned to Talk Sport because that was what the guys in the office would listen to.

Q) Obviously your books have stemmed somewhat from your experience in this job. How closely did you draw from it?

With each book, I’m using my experience more and more. I think at first I was nervous about accidentally giving away some crucial aspect of police procedure, or, worse, getting something badly wrong and losing credibility. Luckily I’ve managed to get some senior officers to check each one. I’ve always been a bit disappointed that intelligence analysts don’t feature in crime fiction very often, and I wanted to address this oversight which is why my main character in ‘Human Remains’ is an analyst. I’ve also managed to get an analyst into a prime spot in my fourth and fifth books, too. Unfortunately a lot of crime fiction is quite unrealistic and I know many police officers and staff find it difficult to read because of this. It was very important for me to get the details right, whilst still writing fiction that was engaging – quite a difficult balancing act. Real life crime is often visceral, grubby, painful; and also, sometimes, pointless and mind-numbingly dull. When it comes to violent crime, the motive is often something as ridiculous as one party getting drunk and being annoyed at the other party – or there might be no motive at all. It’s much harder than I thought it would be to get the balance right between realism and entertainment, and I’m still not sure I’ve done it. I need more practice.

Q) You’re obviously a great advocate of National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) – why do you think this worked for you so well?

If it hadn’t been for NaNoWriMo, I would never have finished a novel. I had written short stories, extracts of things, ideas, for many years but always got to the ‘this is silly’ stage and put it to one side. If I got stuck, I would give up. NaNoWriMo forces you to get over those stumbling blocks and just carry on writing. I managed to write 50,000 each November but it was only on my fourth attempt that I managed to write a complete manuscript with a beginning, middle and ending. That was the novel that eventually became ‘Into the Darkest Corner’.

Q) How much research did you do for each book?

I still do all my first drafts during November for NaNoWriMo and because of that I don’t do extensive research before I write. I usually know roughly what I’m going to write about (for example, boat renovation and pole dancing for ‘Revenge of the Tide’; decomposition and mind control for ‘Human Remains’) and I research just enough around those topics so that I can write without becoming completely unstuck. Once the story is written, I have a much clearer idea of the gaps in my knowledge and then I can research more into those particular areas before I crack on with the editing process.

Q) You mention on your site that you actually lost the last 5,000 words of your first Nanowrimo story because of a hard disk failure, and so you stress always backing up your work. What other crucial lessons/words of advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?

I’m very good at stating what I think is the bleeding obvious, so forgive me if these tips sound a little basic: firstly, you need to finish something. If all you have is half-finished manuscripts, it’s hard to get anyone to take you seriously as a writer. I think it’s better to have a completed story that needs editing and has flaws, than to have a perfect fragment of genius. Secondly, get used to sharing your work. Let everyone read it, and listen to feedback. That one is particularly difficult when you first start, but it’s a stage you have to go through! Thirdly, and more specifically, I’ve just started using Scrivener to organise my writing and I wish I’d discovered it years ago – I can highly recommend it, especially if you have a complicated story and/or multiple narratives.

Q) Oftentimes authors say that their characters stay with them even when they’re not writing their story. Kathy in ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ has a particularly harrowing back-story – did she, for example, take a long time to let go of after the book was published?

'Into the Darkest Corner' book jacket

‘Into the Darkest Corner’ Hayne’s debut novel

I don’t think I will ever let go of her. I know she is really a figment of my imagination but she did become very real to me and I felt it was important to tell her story and get her out there. In another sense, she will never leave me because I get emails and messages from women around the world who feel like she is real, too. Cathy represents a lot of people for whom violence in the home is a daily reality and not a story. I also get emails from people who want a sequel to the book so that they can be reassured that Cathy and Stuart are safe and happy. I like to think they are, and that Mrs Mackenzie is living comfortably in a retirement home in Suffolk. Unfortunately, in the interests of keeping it realistic, it’s likely that Cathy is going to be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life, isn’t she?

Q) If you had to lose one of the five senses (touch, sound, sight, smell or taste), which one would it be?

That would be so difficult. I think the one I would miss the least would be my sense of smell as at least I’ve experienced that a bit when I’ve had a cold!

Q) What is the oddest bit of feedback you’ve received from a fan?

Quite recently I had an Amazon review for the US edition of ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ which said “I found myself asking ‘why don’t you shoot him when he breaks in’ a lot.” Taking aside the issue of guns not being as easy to come by here in the UK, I thought that if Catherine had shot Lee it would have made for a very short book, wouldn’t it?

Q) Your newest novel ‘Human Remains’ was published 14th February this year. It tells the story of Colin who is very intelligent but socially awkward, and spends his time collecting academic qualifications and attempting to meet a woman. When a decomposing body is found by a female Police analyst called Annabel in the house next door to where she lives, it doesn’t seem like anybody had noticed the woman was missing in the first place. Understandably appalled by this, Annabel then finds evidence that women are going missing all over her home town with no-one raising the alarm, and sets out to investigate. You’ve mentioned that the difference in this book to your two previous releases is the exploration of the absence of relationships and how the loneliness surrounding this can affect people differently – sometimes dangerously. Did you approach writing this book differently because of this? And what sort of reaction are you expecting from your fans?

'Human Remains' came out Feb 14th

‘Human Remains’ came out Feb 14th

It’s important to me to make each book different, so initially I did want to explore the absence of relationships and what social isolation does to us. The other main difference with this book is that I’m not writing a past/present narrative but using two main narrative voices: Colin’s, and Annabel’s. It’s the first time I’ve written a male first person narrative and it was hard to do. It was particularly difficult because Colin is much more intelligent than I am and it took a long time for him to start to ‘talk’ to me – it only happened when he realised I wasn’t going to make him a figure of fun, or a caricature of evil. I know that sounds pretty wacky but my characters only work when they become real to me, and then they let me tell their stories. I never have any idea of what reaction I’m going to get! I think this one is particularly dark and grim in tone, but people seem to like that, so who knows? My best critic is my husband, who is unswervingly honest, and he says it’s his favourite of the three.

Q) What two things do most people not know about you?

Most people who meet me seem quite surprised that I’m quite a happy soul and despite how gruesome ‘Human Remains’ is, I’m actually really squeamish. The other thing not many people know is that I’m a massive fan of The Wurzels.

Q) Would you ever try writing for another genre?

Definitely. Before I tried my hand at writing crime I wrote romance/erotic fiction. Not that it was any good, mind you, but I quite liked it. One of these days I’d like to write a ghost story, too.

Q) And finally, World of Books is dedicated to providing good-quality second-hand books to the public. In a world with an ever-growing digital media base, and increasing environmental concerns, do you believe in the importance of giving each physical book the chance of a new home?

The idea of a book being destroyed, unwanted or unloved is abhorrent to me. I believe in passing on books, either because you love them and want to share them, or because you don’t love them and think someone else might. Lovely as it is for me to be able to make a living from writing, the real joy is that there are people I’ve never met, who are reading things I’ve written – that gives me a massive buzz.

Elizabeth Haynes

Elizabeth Haynes

Thank you for a fantastic interview Elizabeth!

Don’t miss ‘Human Remains’ out in stores now. And if you fancy reading ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ visit the World of Books store and grab a copy today. For more information on Elizabeth Haynes and her work, visit her site at http://www.elizabeth-haynes.com/

Author Interviews

Deborah Moggach speaks to World of Books about her new book, last year’s hit film – ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, and her animosity towards patio heaters…

Picture of author Deborah Moggach

Deborah Moggach

By Admin

Growing up with both parents as writers, it’s not surprising that Deborah’s career path led her to publishing after attending Bristol University. She also tried her hand at waitressing, horse riding, and eventually trained as a teacher, when she also got married. In the mid-70s Deborah moved with her husband to his new work placement in Pakistan for two years, which is where she began her writing career writing in Pakistani newspapers and working on her first (autobiographical) novel, ‘You Must Be Sisters’. After two years, Deborah moved back to London, and had a son and daughter. Several more books followed (Deborah has written 16 in total), many of which she adapted for TV. One of these included ‘These Foolish Things’ (2005), which later evolved into the all-star 2012 movie ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.   Throughout her career Deborah has been Chairman of the Society of Authors, has worked for PEN’s Executive Committee, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her children have now left home, and she now lives in Hampstead Heath, where she has an allotment!

Q) Many of your novels have an autobiographical basis, for example ‘Close to Home’ (1993) stemmed from your own life in Camden Town with two small children and a husband who was often away. Do you feel as though sometimes through your books you wear your heart on your sleeve for the world to read?

'Close to Home' by Deborah Moggach

Jacket of ‘Close to Home’ by Deborah Moggach

A) Not really. None of my novels are really autobiographical, except for the first two. When I wrote the third I was largely liberated from my own life. It’s complicated, however – my latest novel ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ has many of my feelings about ageing within its story; so one can never really extricate oneself. Having said that, many of my novels don’t touch on my life at all, and indeed have male protagonists.

 Q) You began writing screenplays in the mid-eighties saying that you “like moving back and forth, between the interior world of the novel and the conflict-driven life of drama”. What are the key differences between the two, and which world do you prefer?

A) Screenplays are like a verb whereas novels are like a noun. Screenplays are driven by action whereas novels can be entirely interior – very little needs to happen in them at all. There are many more differences – for instance, screenplays are largely collaborative and novels are a solitary process. 

Q) In 2005 you adapted Jane Austen’s classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ into a successful blockbuster film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, for which you received a BAFTA nomination. What was it like working on such a big project and meeting the stars involved?

A) It was daunting to adapt such a well-loved book, but fantastic fun – the plot is so shapely and beautiful. I only went on set a couple of times, however, and mainly hung around with the extras. Stars are too busy working.

Q) The film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ came out last year (starring Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and even Dame Maggie Smith), and a revamp of your book ‘These Foolish Things’ was released under the new film title. The story was a light-hearted celebration of life and love still open to a group of elderly people who decide to move to India. What sort of feedback did you receive about the film? And do you feel it does the original novel justice?

A) People adored the film because the performances were so wonderful, and it gave us all hope. Life doesn’t end at 70 if you have an open mind and spirit. It was very different to the book, so people can enjoy both and have a different experience.

Q) If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self any advice, what would it be?

A) Work every morning, don’t miss a day. And be true to your characters. And don’t “write” a novel, let them tell their story.

Q) You say on your website that you enjoy “…biking around London, looking through people’s windows and imagining all the other lives I could have led”. Do you often perceive a story in people you see around you?

A) Yes, I’m very nosey.

Jacket for 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Deborah Moggach

Deborah’s new title – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

Q) Your new book, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was released on Valentine’s Day! The novel tells the story of dodgy actor Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffrey who has moved from Wales to London and has decided to run ‘Courses for Divorces’ at his run-down B&B. Courses such as cookery, mechanics and household finances not only get the hotel back on its feet again (at no cost to the gleeful Russell), but the friendship developed allows the lovesick attendees to move on with their lives in unexpected ways. Where did you draw inspiration for this book? And what is its appeal?

A) It appeals because it says it’s never too late to fall in love, and it isn’t. And I drew inspiration simply from thinking what a great wheeze those courses would be. Wish I could go on one.

Q) What is your biggest pet peeve?

A) Patio heaters.

Q) Your house has been described as “a work of art in itself”, and sounds like a veritable cave of wonders, including a bathtub in your L-shaped bedroom! What sort of style appeals to you and why?

A) Gosh I don’t know. My house is very old and pretty shabby actually. But it has a lot of atmosphere and is rather inspiring to work in. but I’d also love, one day, to live in a modernist house full of light. My house is very dark.

Q) Your Father wrote children’s fiction. Would you ever consider another genre such as this?

A) No, because both my parents wrote children’s books and so does one of my sisters. I can’t write non-fiction either, or poetry. 

Q) “You need to know the characters as living, breathing people before you start the plot, otherwise you’ll feel panic, anarchy and chaos” – These are your words of advice for aspiring writers. How much preparation do you do before writing a novel in order to know your characters this well and even know the ending before its begun?

A) I live with my character for weeks, even months, before I start writing. I ask myself questions about them – what sort of shoes do they wear? Were they bullied at school? Until they thicken up and start to feel real. Then I can start writing.

Q) Lastly, World of Books is dedicated to providing good-quality second-hand books to the public. In a world with an ever-growing digital media base, and increasing environmental concerns, do you believe in the importance of giving each physical book the chance of a new home?

A) YES! I love books – physical books – and can’t bear the thought of people simply gazing at Kindles or whatever. The relationship is quite different. And you don’t have the ownership. I’m very sad that so many second-hand bookshops are closing, but hopefully some will keep afloat by selling books online.

Thanks Deborah!

Don’t miss Deborah’s new book ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ in stores now! And if you fancy having a read of any of her previous books, visit the World of Books store and see what’s available!

Author Interviews

Author Robert Feather talks about historical mysteries, causing controversy and witnessing history.

By Admin

Robert Feather is a Chartered Metallurgist, an experienced journalist/broadcaster/lecturer, and has written a number of books and numerous articles and appeared in TV documentaries on archaeology, ancient history and religion. His book, The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Qumran, was published by Inner Traditions, of America, in June 2003. A BBC TV documentary, entitled The Pharaoh’s Holy Treasure, based on the book, was first screened in March, 2002 and the author participated in a BBC/Discovery documentary entitled The Spear of Jesus in 2003. A sequel to the documentary, co-presented by Robert Feather, was screened by National Geographic at Christmas 2010 in America. A Biography of Jozef Milik entitled Doyen of the Dead Sea Scrolls, co-authored with Z.J.Kapera, was  published in 2011, and A Clash of Steel, published by Copper Scroll, 2012.

Robert Feather

Robert Feather

Q: When you were younger, what career did you imagine yourself having?

A: Surgeon

Q: What is an average day in the life of Robert Feather like?

A: Rise very early, perform ablutions, exercise for about 30 minutes, breakfast, bath. Check e-mails start research or writing. Logistic activities, usually play some chess to relax, bed rarely before 12.00pm

Q: How does the writing process work for you? Do you set yourself goals when writing?

A: When in the mood work for 5 or 6 hours at a time. Break for a bite and often resume pm. Much of my inspiration comes when I am asleep or half awake. Much more motivated by a deadline.

Q: Your writing in the past has caused controversy in academia, do you ever shy away from a subject or do you have to re-write sections to avoid such controversy?

A: I am usually careful not to insult people, but like to challenge unsound theories. Continually re-write my work to try and get it as good as possible, usually by reading it out aloud.

Q: If you could go back and witness one event in history – what would it be and why?

A: That’s an amazingly difficult question. Maybe watching and meeting Joseph and Jacob  with Pharaoh Akhenaton and his Queen Nefertiti in the Great Temple to the Aton at Amarna.

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: Planning my next non-fiction book provisionally entitled ‘Where Moses Stood’

Q: You tend to write about diverse subjects, is there anything you’d love to write a book on but haven’t?

A: The answer is linked to the previous one. I believe if you would love to writeon a subject, the best thing is to get on and actually do it. Apart from the answer to the above question, plan further books related to Jospeh, Kaballah, Response to the God Delusion people like Dawkins, a faction book on the 10 Commandments, Vic Lewis’ Life in Cricket and Charity Work, —a Musical!

Q: What historical mystery would you love to see solved in your lifetime?

A: There are mysteries for which I have a good idea about answers, but it would be nice to have absolute proof of the burial place of Jesus, more of the treasures I located at Amarna.