1.) What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
My very first job was an Avon Rep. I did this when I was aged 15-18. My round was the area where I lived and I absolutely loved doing it. I made quite a bit of money and used to have such fun organising the orders. I had to stop doing it as I moved away to university
2.) Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
I have several! My biggest ones are driving-related and include drivers who:
· Never use their indicators
· Don’t give you a thank you wave when you’ve let them out/waited for them to pass when it isn’t their right of way
· Steal your parking space when it’s clear you’re waiting and indicating
· Drive through red lights, especially on a pelican crossing
· Park on the zigzag lines outside school or any other no-stopping zones
· Crawl along then just stop without warning (again, not using indicators)
I could go on!!! My other big pet peeve is spitting. There’s absolutely no need for it. Grr ;-)
3.) Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ____?
Ha ha ha. I don’t have any sort of style!!! If we’re talking clothing, I’d describe my style as comfortable (leggings and stretchy dresses). If we’re talking my house, it’s probably cosy … and a bit messy!
4.) Tell me about your book, Dreaming About Daran, and where you got your inspiration for it?
Dreaming About Daran is the final part of a trilogy set in the fictional North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. Part 1, Searching for Steven, was inspired by a true-life event. I was at a bit of a crossroads in my personal life and my career when a friend gave me a gift voucher for a telephone clairvoyant. It’s not really my thing, but I decided to give it a go. The clairvoyant told me that I’d be leaving work to set up my own business (which I did) and that, shortly after moving back to the north (which I did), I’d meet the man of my dreams called Steven. Which I didn’t. However, it inspired a great premise for a story: what if the protagonist was told that the man of her dreams would be called Steven and she became obsessed by that idea.
In Steven, my protagonist, Sarah, has two best friends: Elise who she’s known since primary school and Clare who she met at university. As I wrote Sarah’s story, it became apparent that Elise and Clare had their own stories to tell, so the trilogy was born.
Part 2, Getting Over Gary, is Elise’s story. It picks up exactly where Steven leaves off, with Sarah getting her HEA as Elise’s marriage falls apart. Dreaming About Daran, which came out last month, is Clare’s story in which she confronts a past she’s kept hidden for seventeen years.
Although Steven was inspired by a real-life event, Gary and Daran are purely from the depths of my imagination.
5.) Who is your role model? Why?.
That’s an interesting question … without an interesting answer. I can’t say I have a role model. There are writers whose work I love like Jill Mansell, Lisa Jewell, Marian Keyes and Alexandra Potter, but I wouldn’t say I know enough about them as individuals to call them role models. The first romcom book I read was by Jill Mansell and she was responsible for making me discover and fall in love with that genre.
6.) How much of your book is realistic?
I write about ordinary people doing ordinary jobs and living in ordinary places. For example, Sarah runs a florist shop, Elise works in a comprehensive school, and Clare works in PR. The situations they face are realistic and explore secrets and lies, love lost and love found, hopes and fears, and changes in friendship. I think most readers can relate to a lot of what the three women go through.
7.) What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Number 1 bestseller, Oscar-winning film, and world domination, of course! Realistically, I’d like to write at least one book a year and perhaps crack the top 100 on Amazon at some point in the next couple of years. Pretty please!
8.) Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.
In my late teens to late twenties, I was pretty adventurous. During that time I went parasailing, parascending, bungee-jumping and took part in various other outdoor challenges like climbing, abseiling, zorbing, gorge-walking. I absolutely wouldn’t have the confidence – or the waistline – to do most of those things now.
Dreaming About Daran
Blurb & Tagline
Where do you go when it's your own past you're running from?
Sometimes, you can run from the past, but you can’t hide. Since the age of sixteen, Clare O’Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:
1. Don’t talk about Ireland
2. Don’t think about Ireland
3. Don’t go to Ireland
4. Never let anyone in
And so far, it’s worked well. She’s got a great career, some amazing friends, and she’s really happy. The future’s all that counts, isn’t it?
However, when her boss insists she travels to Ireland to repair a damaged relationship with a key client, Clare finds herself drawn back to the small village of Ballykielty where she comes face to face with the one person she’d hoped never, ever to see again.
With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Can Clare stick to rule number four?