Hello there, you lovely people. Today I am super duper excited to be a part of Jill Mansell’s Blog Tour for her newest shiny novel „You and Me, Always”. I am even more thrilled because I have a Q&A with the Author herself – something that I always wanted to run on my blog! Thanks so much Elizabeth for making it possible and thanks so much Jill for taking your time to answers my questions! And you, guys, just enjoy
1. Jill, this is your 27th book. I know that asking an author if they have their favourite book is like asking which child they love more, but is there a book that is special to you? Why?
I’d have to say Three Amazing Things About You was the most special to me, purely because as a result of reading it, so many people have been in touch to tell me they’ve added their names to the organ donor list.
2. Can you say what all of your books are about or having written so many of them (and thanks heavens for this!) it’s not possible anymore?
Haha, I have the most terrible memory, so it’s hard for me to recall plotlines. Sometimes when I have to look at one of my older books for some reason, I am astonished to see what’s in it – it all feels completely brand-new to me, as if the whole thing had been written by somebody else!
3. Readers (me included) are loving your books – when writing a new novel are you afraid that you can disappoint them this time? That the book isn’t going to live up to their expectations?
It’s something I always worry about, and the fear has worsened over the years. Luckily, readers continue to enjoy my books – if they didn’t, I’d probably think the time had come to stop!
4. What five words would you use to describe your new novel, „You and Me, Always”?
Emotional, funny, sad, feelgood fiction. (I hope!)
7. How did the title get chosen?
I always write the book first, then come up with a title afterwards. I usually end up trawling through song titles on Amazon until I find some that fit the story and sound nice. Then I submit my list to my publisher and agent, and they choose the one they like best. (Or they reject all of them and ask me to find some more!)
8. How carefully did you plan this novel in advance?
I don’t plan carefully at all. I begin with characters and a starting-off situation, and carry on from there, coming up with new ideas as I go along. I ran a poll on Twitter and Facebook to find out where to set this novel – a big majority of readers preferred my Cotswold-village settings, so this is why I invented Stanton Langley. Cotswold villages are fun!
9. There are usually many characters in your books and their stories intertwine – do you have a special system to keep on track with them and their lives?
I construct a long timeline and fasten coloured post-it notes along it, to keep track of all the different characters and plot points in the book. It makes life a lot easier and I highly recommend it.
10. After writing almost 30 books, is it still easy to find inspiration, ideas, characters, dialogues…?
The characters and the dialogue are always easy for me, but sometimes I do struggle to come up with brand-new scenarios – everything I think of turns out to be a plot-line I’ve used before. Thankfully something always comes along in the end. It would probably be far easier to write sequels – maybe I should consider this at some stage!
11. How does a publication day look like for you? Is it a special day or just a normal one?
Well, this year is going to be especially exciting because my publishers are throwing a gorgeous launch party for me and I can’t wait – it’s going to be fantastic! In the last few years though, publication days have become much more fun thanks to the rise in popularity of social media. Hearing from people on Twitter and Facebook who are excited to be reading the new book makes a world of difference!
12. What is your recipe for success?
Oh goodness, I have no idea. All I can say is, I love my characters – even the naughty ones! I think it makes a difference if you really care about them. Nothing stops me reading a book more quickly than discovering I don’t care about the characters and therefore have no interest in finding out what happens to them.
13. Last question (as I’m hoping you will be answering them after Christmas) – what did you get for Christmas?
I got some black Ugg slippers decorated with Swarovski crystals and they’re fantastic – I might be the last person on the planet to discover how gorgeous and comfortable Uggs are! I was so impressed with them that I have since bought myself a pair of matching Ugg boots in the sales. I may wear them to my publication party, you never know!
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