I was really excited when Sourcebooks gave me the chance to interview Jill Mansell. As I've mentioned previously, I love Jill Mansell's books...they are the absolute perfect solution to any grumpy mood you might have! I hope you enjoy this interview!
You have written a lot of books! Do you have a favorite or one that you're really proud of?
Ooh, that’s such a difficult question. But basically, no I don’t. I always start writing with the intention of making this next book the best yet, better than all the rest, then as it progresses I start to think I’m actually writing a load of unpublishable rubbish. It’s a horrible feeling but it happens every time. By the time I reach the end of the book I’ve convinced myself my agent and editor will hate it. Then when they tell me it’s great I start to relax, but it isn’t until I read the final set of proofs that I’m able to see that it’s not as bad as I thought it was. All I can say is that each book has bits in it that I particularly like. In Miranda’s Big Mistake, the scenes where queues of fans are camping out on the pavement to get tickets for the tennis at Wimbledon are some of my all-time favourites. I love those particular characters too!
Have you ever wished you could go back and change something from a previous book?
Yes, yes, all the time. It’s why I don’t re-read them!
I have to admit I love your books and tried to find all of them in the States. I'm thrilled Sourcebooks is releasing them here. Any chance you'll come for a book tour???
Amy, I’m so thrilled you like my books and have read so many! I’d love to do a book tour, but I guess we’ll have to see how sales go before something like that can happen. I toured Australia and New Zealand last year, and South Africa the year before that. Exhausting but so much fun!
So everyone please buy Jill's books so she can come see us!! What is your favorite part of the writing life?
No commuting. If the kids are sick, it’s not traumatic to take a day off work. I’m never too far from the fridge, so I can graze constantly. I can wear slippers instead of uncomfortable shoes. As to the writing itself, I just love writing the last fifty pages of each book, when you know what’s going to happen and it feels like cycling downhill. That bit always gets done really quickly – if only the rest was as easy as that!
Man, I am so jealous of the no commute! What's the biggest challenge of writing?
Hitting a brick wall and realising I don’t have a clue what to write next. At this point I usually create a new character to throw into the mix and liven things up a bit. Basically, the biggest challenge is that it’s all down to me. When I mess up the plot and don’t know how to mend it, it’s not like getting a flat tire and asking my husband to fix it for me. It’s my book and I have to fix it myself.
What authors do you admire?
I love so many authors. Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and Lisa Jewell over here in the UK. Adriana Trigiani, Elizabeth Berg and Elinor Lipman in the US. And loads more I can’t think of at the moment! Oh yes, the Spellman books...
I love some of those, too, and will have to check the others out. How do you feel about the rise of book and literary blogs in book marketing?
I love it! I love reading blogs about readers and writers. It’s how I’ve discovered so many favourite new authors. I owe so much to the readers who say nice things about my writing. Personal recommendation is always the best, isn’t it?
I see you like to watch TV. What's your favorite show?
Lots and lots of TV shows. Oprah. Ellen de Generes. Veronica’s Closet. Friends. All the reality shows. Movies too – watched When Harry met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle for the millionth times last week and they’re still brilliant. And Mamma Mia!
Thanks so much, Amy. I love your blog!
Please everyone go pick up a copy of An Offer You Can't Refuse and look for my review of Miranda's Big Mistake coming soon!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Interview with Jill Mansell