I recently read a very funny book – Pink Wellies and Flat Caps and just knew that the author would be my kinda gal. So having enjoyed a lovely session of book chat, coffee, cake (and a 'mix-up' over Maltesers) at her place, I invited the fabulous Lynda Renham over to mine. My mission was to discover her writing secrets, over copious coffee and cake.
Lynda, I love Alice who is feisty, funny and bright. The character is so well written I felt like I was alongside her during her adventures in the country. So if Hollywood called tomorrow and optioned the book for a film, who would you like to play the part of Alice?
If Hollywood called tomorrow, the lost likely scenario is that I would drop dread from a heart attack and would never get to shout ‘Emily Blunt.’ In my mind I have no doubt that it should be her. I adored her performance in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and she is so versatile. She would be perfect and of course we would become best friends J Most importantly she is British and would understand the British humour.
When I was nineteen and I still have the original draft copy in a chest in our summer house. I have written many since then and have numerous unpublished novels knocking about the house. The moment I decided to go for it with comedy was after my humorous blog took off. I had just returned from Turin where I had gone to attend a wedding and where along with my mother in law we transported a wedding cake. From this whole experience a small germ of an idea was transplanted and later became ‘Wedding Cake to Turin’ My first comedy romance.
What a lovely story and around Italy too - such a romantic setting. So, your next book can you tell us what it’s about, what’s inspired you to write this, and when we can get our hands on a copy?
Ooh, always reluctant to talk about WIP. But I can say that there is a monkey involved, a few East End Gangsters, lots of misunderstandings and a touch of Downton Abbey and of course a gorgeous hero.
Sounds great! I know what you mean it’s always difficult to talk about a new book because you don’t want to give anything away – yet at the same time you can’t wait to share it with everyone. But with all that potential hilarity and a delicious hero, it sounds like a winner already.
The hero is definitely the most gorgeous yet I think…the book’s out in September and of course it also contains a huge amount of comedy.
I can’t wait! So while you’re slaving over a computer and spending afternoons busy with gorgeous heroes at your writing desk, what do you nibble on?
Whatever I can get my hands on… I even stole the builder’s Snickers bar from the fridge when they were building our extension. I would also buy them doughnuts and then steal one or two for myself. Shameful but necessary for the creative juices to flow…
Absolutely! And as I always say, if it’s someone else’s chocolate it’s someone else’s calories.
Stolen Snickers Bar
So apart from other people’s food calling from your fridge what keeps you awake at night?
Guilt at the number of doughnuts I’ve eaten that day and whether a spider may run over my face, as happened once, and oh yes the plot of my novel, of course…
Ah yes, doughnuts... but let's not be side-tracked by soft dough yielding to wickedly sharp yet sugary sweet raspberry jam - as can so easily happen. No we'll stay with writing...we will... for now. Back to books; a plot can cause many sleepless nights until it’s firmly nailed down and what with a fear of spiders and Snickers calling from the fridge I can see you may have your work cut out. So who is your favourite writer? Have any writers inspired your own pen?
I have many. Iris Murdoch I particularly admire as was lucky to meet her husband John Bayley and see her study. A new favourite writer is Kimberley Chambers, a good friend. I am a huge fan of Salman Rushdie, Jo Carnegie, and Ronni Cooper. My writing has been more inspired by films than by books and Richard Curtis I admire greatly.
Yes I am also inspired by films and as a writer of romantic comedy I can see how Richard Curtis films (Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Notting Hill etc) would be the perfect inspiration for you. Me too!
Several. ‘The Heart Listens’ by Helen Van Slyke. I never forgot the main protagonist Elizabeth Quigley. ‘End of the Affair’ Graham Green. ‘Calico Palace’ by Gwen Bristow and ‘Blood Secrets’ by Craig Jones. I also loved ‘The Feud’ by Kimberley Chambers and ‘The Sea The Sea’ by Iris Murdoch.
Talking of favourite books, one of mine is Stephen King’s psychological thriller, ‘Misery.’ Paul Sheldon the novelist in the book has various rituals while writing and on completion of each novel indulges in a cigarette to celebrate. Do you have a special treat you enjoy when you finish that final sentence?
Not really because it is quite a worry knowing if it will be received well…But if it does go well, however, we would celebrate with some bubbly.
That sounds perfect! So until the new book is completed and you open that bubbly, more coffee? It’s been so delicious sharing cake and some of your writing secrets Lynda so while I put the kettle on, here’s a final, silly but extremely vital question; if you were a cake, what would you be?
A fruitcake, in fact sometimes my husband thinks I am one!
Ha ha... that reminds me, do help yourself to another fairy cake... and thanks so much for joining me.
To read more about Lynda go to her blog here.http://lrcook.wordpress.com/tag/lynda-renham/
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lynda.cookFollow her onTwitter https://twitter.com/Lyndarenham
And if you want to know more about Pink Wellies and Flat Caps (how could you not?) Then pop over to Amazon