With only one day until the big publication day (Exciting!) and having already made nine stops on the blog tour we have learnt a lot about various characters from the book. Now it’s time to learn a little about Giovanna’s thoughts and experiences that have lead up to her debut novel.
Imagine you’re sat down with a lovely cup of tea and a nice slice of cake, you’re in a quaint little tea shop with miss-match tables and cute decor. Sat across from you at your polka dot covered table is Giovanna Fletcher author of Billy and Me. This is what I did, okay maybe it involved the Internet but I definitely had tea and cake!
I asked Giovanna some questions solely relating to her book and writing career and here is what she had to say:
1. Please tell us a little about your new novel, Billy and Me.
It follows Sophie May as she falls in love with teen-heartthrob Billy Buskin. He forces her outside of her comfort zone and makes her deal with her past.
2. You are known as an actress, a singer, a journalist, a book reviewer, and of course Tom from McFly’s wife… Clearly a lady of many talents. Background aside, what inspired you to write your first novel?
I’ve always been a total bookworm with a massive love of books. A few people have said that they thought I should write one myself… I suddenly realised it was time to stop dreaming and start doing.
3. How did you find yourself signing a TWO Book deal with the lovely folk over at Penguin Michael Joseph?
After I’d finished my first draft (following millions of self-edits), my agent sent it out to a handful of publishers. I was invited into the MJ office to meet Claire Pelly and was won over as soon as I saw the cupcakes she’d placed on the table. And if that wasn’t enough, I was thrilled to see how much she clearly loved Billy and Me.
4. Writing a novel is like a full time job that you can do from the comfort of your own home, in your PJ’s with your cats!
How does an average day in the life of Giovanna usually go?
This is an answer I’m ashamed to give… I procrastinate far too much, find myself wandering off and doing unbook related tasks, and then, once I am at my desk, spend far too much time on social media. BUT, at around three o’clock, I sit in my PJs and start writing until bedtime. There’s no correct way to write, and even though my way might seem unproductive to others, it works for me.
5. A lot of writers tend to write from experience, do you see yourself or your experiences in the story and characters you have created?
Well, in my acting training I was always encouraged to use part of myself when starting to build a character, it enables truth and grounds the whole thing. I guess I’ve used those skills when writing this book. That’s not to say the book is in any way autobiographical, it’s really not, but somewhere deep in its core there is an element of truth.
6. Have your experiences of dating and being married to a man who is also in the spotlight like Billy influenced your writing in any way?
I know what I’m writing about when it comes to certain emotions and situations that others won’t have experienced. It’s a crazy world being with someone in the spotlight, and I think it’s perceived in a way that’s not altogether truthful. It’s not as glamorous as people might think.
7. My favourite character is Molly as she is very sweet and kind hearted, who is your favourite and why?
Molly is easily my favourite and that’s because she’s the only character that’s based on a real person. The real Molly is a lady I used to work with in my local florist growing up, a wonderful woman who had time for everyone.
8. Like many people I love the idea of owning my own quaint little cupcake shop with a book section, a place where people can read books all day while eating cake and drinking tea. Just like Tea-on-the-hill. If you weren’t a writer what do you see yourself doing?
The easy thing for me to say would be acting, but if I took that out as well then my dream would be the same as yours. I’d love to own a little place like Tea-on-the-hill. There’s something simply gorgeous about village life and being part of a community… Plus having tea, cakes and books all under one roof waiting to be devoured is my idea of heaven.
9. You are currently writing your second book, will it be a continuation from Billy and Me or another story all together?
It’s a completely different story, although I’d love to visit Billy and Sophie again in the future and see what they’re up to.
A huge thank you to Giovanna for taking the time to tell us about her writing experiences and congratulations on the release of Billy and Me!