I’m delighted to welcome to the blog, author Daisy James, whose debut novel ‘The Runaway Bridesmaid‘ was published on 28 September 2015 by Carina UK. Daisy has kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions.
Why do you write?
I’ve written for more than twenty years – initially for myself – and I love it. But I never finished anything – I have two or three novels gathering dust on the top of my wardrobe – I really must chuck them out. It was a throwaway comment from a friend that spurred me into at last completing one and sending it off out into the wide world.
Can you please share with us a brief summary of The Runaway Bridesmaid.
Here’s the blurb:
Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister can’t get any worse. But discovering her boyfriend with Freya in the linen closet ten minutes before she is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequinned wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.
Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.
Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s illustrated recipe journal – Bake Yourself Better – Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants.
The Runaway Bridesmaid is your debut novel. How do you approach the writing process, do you plan in detail first or do you start writing and just run with the story?
I’m a plotter. I have an idea for the main character – Rosie – and then I plot the whole novel from start to finish. Unfortunately, I’m also a pen and paper girl – and a stationery addict! There’s nothing I like more than the smell of a brand new notepad – with a pretty illustrated cover (although my last one had Minions on the front and every page throughout – very disconcerting.)
How long did it take you to write the book and go through to publication?
The inspiration for Rosie’s story came when we were stranded in New York in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit. We had an unscheduled six extra days in the fabulous, frenetic city – but this time everything was closed. There was very little to do so I grabbed my notebook and started scribbling the story. It took about six months to write – so almost three years from germ of an idea into fully fledged publication.
What is the best writing advice you have received?
To Read, read, read and then to write until you reach the end. I love starting a new story, but it requires determination to reached the words The End.
What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure; what are you reading now?
I love travel memoirs. I enjoy reading about those courageous writers who have moved away from everything they know and love to fulfil their dreams – whatever they may be – running a farm, a B&B, a vineyard, renovating an old house. I loved Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes and of course A year in Provence and Driving Over Lemons. I’ve just finished reading The Ripening Sun by Patricia Atkinson which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also loved Karen Wheeler’s ‘Tout Sweet – Hanging up my High Heels for a new Life in France’.
What is next for you as a writer? Is there another book being planned?
Yes, I’ve another book coming out soon with HarperCollins/CarinaUK. It’s set in Yorkshire which is where I’m from – so I’m very excited about it.
Thanks ever so much for having me on your blog, Karen.
It’s been a pleasure Daisy, I wish you every success with The Runaway Bridesmaid – I look forward to reading it.
More about Daisy:
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations triple-tested for her debut novel – The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of Afternoon Tea – china plates and teacups are a must.