Tuesday, October 8, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - CHICK LIT WRITER CATHY BRAMLEY



1) Can you give us a brief overview of Conditional Love?

Conditional Love is my debut novel and it’s a romantic comedy with a property and design theme. Sophie Stone, the heroine, who works for the local newspaper, is a thirty-something, stuck-in-a-rut procrastinator. When she unexpectedly finds herself as the main beneficiary in a stranger’s will she is forced into action. But there’s a condition attached to the will which threatens to rock her world: this is the opportunity she has been dreaming of, but accepting the challenge will throw her safe and predictable life into turmoil. 

She doesn’t have to navigate these turbulent waters alone; she has two bickering flatmates, a manipulative Madonna-tribute-singer mother, an ex-boyfriend with dubious motives and an architect with as much social grace as Doc Martin.

As the story unfolds, Sophie learns that not all love is unconditional and finally begins to make a new life for herself on her own terms.


2) What's your favorite quality about your heroine/hero? 

I love Sophie’s determination; she keeps going even when times get tough. Towards the end of the book, she has gained a lot of confidence and when she is offered an easy way out of her problems, she finally shows her independence and I’m proud of her for that! 


3) What made you want to write Conditional Love?  

The initial idea for the story was born out of my own family situation when my husband inherited a bungalow out in a village miles from where we lived. The rest of the story is pure fiction though, well, all except one unfortunate incident when I used the wrong expression in a business meeting, I’ve used that in my book!

  
4) How long did it take you to write Conditional Love? What is your writing process like?

This book took me quite a long time to write as I was learning how to do it at the same time. I originally finished in the Spring of this year, but then was advised to re-write it in the first person. I’m so glad I did, it’s a much better book because of the point of view change. With my second book, I’m much more organized. I’ve written the first draft and I’m about to start going back, developing the characters a little more and adding some more tension to the scenes. 


5) If Hollywood comes calling and asks you to sign over the movie rights for Conditional Love, who would you like to see play Sophie and the men in her life on the big screen?

Well I’m so glad you asked this question, Tracie! If Nancy Meyer, Director of The Holiday one of my all-time favourite films was thinking about making Conditional Love - The Movie, I’ve already done the hard work for her and created a cast list on the IMDb website and you can see my choices here: Hollywood Cast List As you can see I’ve got Isla Fisher as Sophie and Jude Law squaring up to Ryan Gosling. Quite frankly, I’d go and watch those two in anything!





6) How do you think of titles?

I sit down with a notepad and pen and scratch my head, write down some nonsense and throw the page away. Then when I’m least expecting it, The Title just pops into my head! 


7) Tell us about your cover art design. How did you come up with the concept? Did you execute it yourself or have a professional do it? 

I love my cover design so much! I’ve had it printed onto mugs, onto a chocolate box and even onto a huge cake for my launch party! I used a British company called "Design For Writers," who specialize in covers for indie authors, that was recommended to me. They asked me to pick a memorable scene from the book and I chose the moment when Sophie meets Nick for the first time. It was raining…



8) As you have a background in marketing, do you have any advice for newbie authors who are trying to find an audience for their work? What do you think are the most effective ways an author can promote herself? 

Wow, that’s a tricky question as I’m still so new to publishing myself. Firstly, you need to know who your audience is. Who will buy your book? Then you need to target that audience through your marketing efforts.

I have divided my activity between online marketing: Twitter, Facebook, and blog tour and more traditional marketing: press releases to my local newspapers and radio stations and a physical event for the launch of the book.

I think it’s important to remember that books are launched every day so your book launching isn’t newsworthy. Also, journalists aren’t really interested in books, they’re interested in the person behind the book. Try and find an angle or a hook for your press releases to make capture their interest. 

For example, I have billed my book launch as the "World’s Smallest Book Launch." It’s a bit of fun as I’m using the iconic red
telephone box in our village as the venue for my launch and I’ve even applied to the Guinness World Records office! 


9) What are your thoughts on love scenes in books? Do you prefer to read/write sweet/romantic encounters between your hero and heroine or spicy ones? 

Oh sweet, definitely! 


10) What are you working on now? 

The working title of my next book is Holding Back. It’s about three women who meet in embarrassing circumstances at a funeral and then decided to help each other’s wishes come true – a sort of Bucket List caper! 


11) Who are the authors who inspire you? 

Irish Author Marian Keyes would have to be my favourite. Her Dublin accent comes through her writing loud and clear and I love her story lines. I also enjoy Jenny Colgan, Adriana Trigliani, Jodi Picoult and Tess Gerritsen! 


12) What genres do you like to read? Do you stick to one or are you eclectic in your reading tastes? 

Haha see above! I love women’s fiction, but like a good thriller from Jo Nesbo sometimes too. 


13) What was the last book you read that really WOWed you? 

Jojo Moyes – Me Before You. Warning: Kleenex required.



14) If you could be plopped down in the middle of any book, which one would it be?

Bridget Jones's Diary – I’d love to be one of Bridget’s friends who got served the blue soup and witnessed the Cleaver v. Darcy fight! 


15) If you could invite any five people (living or dead) over for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Marian Keyes, the author, Miranda Hart, Catherine Tate and Alan Carr, British comedians. These four would make me laugh all night. And finally James McAvoy, because he’s gorgeous!


Fast and Flirty

Favorite scent?  West Indian Lime aftershave
Favorite color?  Green
Favorite food?  Chicken Tikka Saag
Favorite word?  Onomatopoeia
Favorite article of clothing?  Leather boots
Dream vacation spot? 
Barbados
Favorite time period in history?  When Robin Hood roamed the forest with his bow and arrows.
Favorite girl's night out drink?  Kir Royale
Favorite date night activity?  Dinner and drinks with my husband.
Favorite song?  "Don’t You Want Me Baby" – Human League. (I’m an 80s chick!)
Celebrity hottie on your laminated list?  James McAvoy!
Novel hero crush?  Austin Tyler in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe.
 


Book Blurb:  Sophie dreams of building her own grand design, she just hasn’t got round to it yet...

Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much.

But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, even Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is a catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.

Not a fan of surprises, Sophie would rather not; why not let sleeping dads lie? Besides, her mother would kill her.

With interference from an evil boss, bickering flat mates, warring parents and a sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth.

But it soon becomes clear that she will have to face the past and learn some uncomfortable home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.


Author Bio:  After growing up in Birmingham, Cathy went to Nottingham Trent University at the ripe old age of eighteen and five days to study European Business. Upon graduating she spent the next few years in the corporate world of marketing working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker waterguns, adding hair extensions to Girls’ World styling heads and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears. After making it onto Timmy Mallet’s Christmas card list, she realised it was time to move on and so in 1995 set up her own agency, Apples & Pears Marketing.

Avid fans of the TV series, Cathy and her husband realised their Grand Designs’ dream of building their own house in 2011. They now live in rural Nottinghamshire with their two daughters and a cockerpoo called Pearl. 

This project provided the inspiration for Cathy’s debut novel Conditional Love, although it is by no means autobiographical, apart from the unfortunate incident in the boardroom! She shares her time between her marketing agency, writing and taxiing the girls endlessly from one activity to the next. 

Cathy is a fan of Masterchef, strong coffee, chocolate brazils and Marian Keyes books. She is addicted to her Kindle and has an irrational fear of bananas.


Buy Conditional Love:


Connect With Cathy Bramley: 
Twitter 
Blog 
 

5 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really fun book. I'm putting it on my list.

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    1. Thank you Janine! I hope you enjoy it x

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  2. Hello Tracie, just thought I'd update you on my launch event on Saturday. It was a beautiful Autumn day in the village, 50 people turned up and bought books, the Mayor cut the ribbon and we all tucked into the cake. My local newspaper turned up and printed an article yesterday, but luckily they've also put it on their website which you can see here:
    http://www.nottinghampost.com/World-s-smallest-book-launch-Lambley-phone-box/story-19896744-detail/story.html
    Thank you so much for having me on your blog Tracie. If your readers have any questions that they wish to post as comments, I would be happy to answer them.

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  3. Great interview, ladies! Sounds like a fun read! Wow - 50 folks for the launch and a newspaper article as well! Sounds like the book is off to a great start!

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    1. Thanks Jackie, it was a great day and I was vey pleased with the result seeing as I am a new author.
      Cathy x

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