Today I am interviewing Jill Mansell and giving away a copy of A Walk in the Park. Good luck!
Now, who is Jill Mansell?
JM: I'm an ex-hospital worker who now has the best job in the world. I used to have a huge fear of being alone and now I sit at home on my own all day and write books, which my friends find hilarious. I have skinny legs and my nickname at school was Matchsticks.
2. You have a new book out in the US, A Walk in the Park (which was released earlier this year in the UK). What is it about?
JM: It's set in Bath, close to where I grew up, and is about Lara returning to her home town after eighteen years away. I like to have a cast of different characters and intertwined storylines, because that's what real life is like. My speciality is mixing comedy, drama and sometimes tragedy - I love to make people laugh and cry - and creating characters who are flawed but likeable.
3. Secrets play a big part in this book! Are they fun to write? Or hard?
JM: Writing about secrets is lovely, but sometimes they're hard to keep. If I think of a brilliant resolution to a plot, I want to write it down straight away, but I have to make myself wait until I reach that section of the book, which could be eight or nine months away. Sometimes the suspense is almost unbearable...
4. You have written many books, where do you get the inspiration for all these lovely stories?
JM: All over the place! Sometimes when I sit on a train I'll look out of the window, see a particular house and imagine who lives there. Or I'll eavesdrop on a conversation and build it into a story. Restaurants are also great places for picking up ideas. I always thought everyone did this, but apparently not!
5. You always focus on many characters, and it sure is fun to get to know everyone. Is it fun to try and give everyone some sort of happy ending?
JM: I write feel-good fiction and romantic comedy, so of course there are going to be happy endings. As an avid reader of the Amazon reviews of my books, I'm aware of two types of reviewers: some like all my characters to have happy endings and some hate the predictability of this. So I do try and mix it up a tiny bit, but lovely characters do deserve nice things to happen to them...it's just not necessarily going to be what you might have thought would happen.
6. What is the best thing about writing?
JM: The commute to work is great! I come downstairs, switch the TV on, help myself to coffee and snacks and sit myself down on the sofa with my writing pad and fountain pen. If I ever want to feel lucky, I remember what it used to be like driving to work in the rain and snow, sitting in queues of traffic and praying my car wouldn't break down.
The other lovely thing is the feedback. When I worked in the neurological hospital no one ever wrote to say thank you and to tell me how much they loved my work. It's just brilliant when readers take the trouble to contact me and say they've enjoyed my books. Makes me happy every single time!
1 copy of A Walk in the park
1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends Nov 18
3. Just enter :)
A WALK IN THE PARK BY JILL MANSELL – IN STORES NOVEMBER 2012
No one could have planned for this...
Lara Carson left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no one heard from her since? Does it mean anything that she's suddenly reappeared in Bath just in time for her ex–best friend Evie's wedding? And what about Flynn? Even the most eagle–eyed observer can't tell whether he's happy to see her, or just stunned.
While secrets pile up on secrets, and the gossip mill wings into high gear, the brand–new life Lara's searching for becomes ever more elusive. There's a lot of catching up for everyone to do, and Lara's return is going to be anything but a walk in the park.
Praise for Jill Mansell:
"Mansell crafts a lovely story with multiple plotlines, characters, and love interests." —USA Today
"A tremendous look at friendship, hope, romance, and second chances." —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
"A romantic and lighthearted story...fans will eat this story up." —Publishers Weekly
"Absolutely, positively and outstanding story." —Night Owl Reviews Reviewer Top Pick, 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller, Jill Mansell has written over 20 funny, romantic novels, and has sold millions of books around the world. Jill lives with her family in Bristol, England. For more information, please visit www.jillmansell.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @JillMansell.