Oh, I can express how excited I am today to have Cate Woods on my blog, brilliantly answering all of my questions! (OK, almost all of my questions. There was one that I didn’t dare to ask – which books did she ghost – written, but I can live with this ). Cate’s debut novel, „Just Haven’t Met You Yet” (you can see my review here ) is going to be released tomorrow and it’s going to be a great hit, that’s for certain, so please be sure you have ordered your copy!
Thank you Cate for your time, and thank you Alainna for making it possible! And you, guys, just sit comfortably and enjoy!
1. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers of the blog?
With pleasure! My name is Cate and I’m a journalist-turned-ghostwriter-turned novelist who lives in London with a husband, two small children and a hamster. I have written quite a few books before this one – mainly celebrity autobiographies, most recently for Mary Berry – but this is the first under my own name.
2. Would you be so kind and tell us what „Just Haven’t Met You Yet” is about?
It’s the story of Perseus James, a dreamy 31-year-old who lives in Norwich. Perseus – or Percy as she is known – has a good job, wonderful friends and a long-term boyfriend, but her well-ordered world is rocked when she is approached by a mysterious company called Eros Tech, who claim to be able to use mobile data to match people with their soulmates wherever they are in the world. Percy learns she has been selected as the perfect match for one of Eros’ wealthy clients, but she’s about to move in with her boyfriend. Should she tell them she’s not interested, or risk her relationship for a chance at destiny?
3. How does it feel to finally, eventually, be published under your own name?
Amazing! I still can’t believe it’s happening, and I feel extremely lucky that my wonderful editor at Quercus liked the story enough to take a gamble on it and me. It’s also quite terrifying, though, the prospect of people reading something I dreamt up while sitting on my bed, trying to feed my newborn son, delirious with sleep deprivation!
4. Have you ever got a writer’s block? How do you cope with it?
Oh absolutely, the whole time. For me, the best way to deal with it is move away from my laptop and do something that involves physical activity: luckily, I have a very good coffee shop a short walk away. Also, inspiration often seems to strike when I’m in the loo!
5. Please, give us an insight into your main character – what does make her exceptional?
I hope many readers will be able to identify with aspects of Percy. At the start of the book she feels that although she’s in her thirties with a good job and her own home she’s still waiting for her life to begin. It takes an embarrassing wake-up call for her to realise that she needs to start living the life she has, rather than daydreaming that her life would be perfect if only she had better clothes/thinner thighs/a more glamorous career. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but Percy is basically the younger me!
6. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from „Just Haven’t Met You Yet”?
In my head I have already cast Amy Schumer as Percy and I am currently auditioning for the male leads with Chris Pine, Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth fighting it out. (Literally. With their tops off.)
7. Where does the idea for the book come from?
I was on a walk with my Dad and we somehow got talking about how relationships would be so much easier if there was a machine that could measure how compatible you are with a potential partner. That conversation generated the spark of the idea that eventually turned into Eros Tech, and the book grew from there.
8. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Before ‘Just Haven’t Met You Yet’ I ghostwrote two novels for a TV presenter. As she wanted to approve the plot at the outset, I had to provide a detailed synopsis before I even started the first chapter – and I guess I’ve now got into the habit of writing the outline first. Having said that, I’ve got an idea for my next novel but have no idea how it’s going to turn out, so I might try flying by the seat of my pants for the next one!
9. „Would you – could you – pass up a chance to meet your one true love?”, like Percy?
Definitely not. I am extremely nosey. If someone told me that they’d found my soulmate I would have to go along to meet them, even though I’m happily married.
10. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That there’s no such thing as just the one perfect person for you; we can have many soulmates over a lifetime.
11. Which of your characters would you want to date?
Ha – that’s a fantastic question! Definitely Milo, as I fancy myself as a bit of an action woman.
12. What do you wish you knew before you started writing?
That it is better to under-describe than to over-describe. For my two ghostwritten novels I devoted great chunks of text to describing my characters, but I now feel that it’s more interesting not to be too prescriptive about the physical appearance of your characters, as it allows your readers to fill in the blanks and create their own versions in their heads.
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