Friday, 25 April 2014
Today, I am thrilled to be able to welcome Fern Britton to the blog. Fern's new book, A Seaside Affair was released on the 24th April. Fern very kindly answered some interview questions. Fern very kindly also made a video of herself where she answered not only one of my questions, but the questions of some other fab book bloggers. Have a peek at the video at the end of this interview.
|Image © Headshot London Photography|
JB: Where did the idea for this book come from?
FERN: A SEASIDE AFFAIR is partly inspired by my recent tour with Strictly Come Dancing. So it’s set back in the theatre world, which was lovely for me to write as I trained to be a theatre manager – and the plot revolves around a local theatre that needs saving!
JB: How long did it take you to write your first book and do you find that with each book you write, the process becomes easier or is that dependent on each particular book and plot development?
FERN: It normally takes me about 6 months, and if anything, it doesn’t get easier, but instead it’s actually harder as I want to write something better each time. I argue with myself a lot as I’m writing, worried that I’m not doing very well and the book’s not good enough. I want to write stories that people want to read – something cheering and uplifting. And the reception so far has been wonderful, so thank you to you all for enjoying them.
JB: Do you plan the plot of a book in advance or do you simply sit down and write?
FERN: I do like to have a beginning, a middle and an end laid out before I start. But the best piece of advice I ever received was: once you’ve started writing, don’t stop! You could write the first sentence or the first chapter for ever and ever – don’t! I try to write chapter a day if I can. The next day, I’ll go back and revise if necessary. But don’t ever stop!
JB: Did any particular event also inspire this book?
FERN: I was partly inspired by my tour last year with Strictly Come Dancing. I used to be a stage manager myself in the 70s, and when I was on tour I spent a lot of time with the stage management crew, sharing stories about all the scandals that went on, and thinking, yes, I want to write about the theatre next!
JB: And finally, can you share your top writing tips for all the budding authors out there.
FERN: First, you need a plot – I like to know what’s happening at the beginning, the middle and the end. Then I draw up the characters, their back stories and their interests etc. I also like to have a detailed chapter breakdown, so about 40 pointers on where the story is going and what’s happening at each point, which helps to prevent tangents! Finally, I write every day - and once you’ve started, don’t look back! Keep going until to you reach the end, and revise afterwards!
Thank you so much to Ms Britton for taking the time to answer some questions. Click on the video interview link to hear more.
When the residents of the Cornish seaside town of Trevay discover that their much-loved theatre is about to be taken over by coffee chain, Café au Lait, they are up in arms. It is up to Penny Leighton, hotshot Producer and now happily married Cornish resident, to come up with a rescue plan. Armed with her only her mobile phone and her contacts book, she starts to pull in some serious favours.
The town is soon deluged by actors, all keen to show their support and take part in a charity season at the theatre. One of the arrivals is Jess Tate, girlfriend to TV heartthrob Ryan Roberts. His career is on the rise while hers remains resolutely in the doldrums. But when opportunity comes calling, it isn’t just her career prospects that are about to change. Trevay is about to put on the show of its life – but can the villagers, and Jess, hold on to the thing they love the most?
Praise for Fern’s previous novels:
‘Complicated friendships and tales of a chaotic love life make this a must-read’ Woman
‘A light-hearted, fun read that perfectly captures the sights and smells of village life’ Heat
‘Fern Britton has transferred her fun and friendly charm to the page’ Good Housekeeping
Fern is one of the nation’s best-loved broadcasters, and has fronted Coast to Coast and ITV’s flagship show, This Morning, as well as competing on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Most recently, Fern has interviewed high profile guests (including Dolly Parton, Tony Blair and Sheila Hancock) about their faith for the BBC series Advent. This spring, she will be on screen presenting a BBC 2, 6 part series called The Big Allotment Challenge: The Patch – Grow, Make, Eat Fern is deeply committed to a number of charities, in particular those working with and for women, children and childbirth. She has completed several gruelling women-only sponsored bike rides across Egypt, India, Cuba, Jordan and most recently Sri Lanka, raising money for the Genesis Research Trust to find cures for devastating conditions that affect mother and baby. 57 this year, she is fitter and healthier than she has ever been, and says that her life has been enriched by both the physical challenge, the camaraderie with her fellow cyclists and the fact that they are helping the next generation of women across the globe to build the happy, healthy families they deserve.
A SEASIDE AFFAIR is Fern’s fourth novel. All her previous books – The Holiday Home,
Hidden Treasures and New Beginnings – were Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. She lives with her husband Phil Vickery, the well respected chef, and her four children in Buckinghamshire.