January 2008


Maria Beaumont is the author of Motherland, Chicklit Club's Book of 2007, and also has just released a novel, Rubbish Boyfriends, under the name Jessie Jones. She lives in London with her husband, author Matt Beaumont, and two children.

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  1. Tell us about Rubbish Boyfriends.

    Rubbish Boyfriends is the chronological account of Dayna Harris's rubbish love life. It starts in the present day, where we find Dayna in labour. With each painful contraction, she flashes back to each rubbish guy in turn. The only question is, who's the daddy?

  2. Where did the name Jessie Jones come from?

    I needed to have a pseudonym because Maria Beaumont had Motherland being published at the same as Rubbish Boyfriends and I wasn't allowed to have two books out at the same time. I thought it impossible to come up with a pseudo - I wanted to be Paige Turner but Matt (my husband) said that was really naff. He said I should just choose my favourite sounding name in the whole wide world. I chose Jessie James but - again! - I wasn't allowed. So, James became Jones and there you have it.

  3. How important is humour to your writing?

    Humour is everything. Well, almost everything. I supposed you have to have a bit of a plot somewhere, too.

  4. How does having a husband who writes help and/or hinder you?

    It totally hinders me. What am I supposed to do when the car breaks down? Or when the pipes burst under the sink? Or the computer dies? If I was married to a mechanic or a plumber, my life would be so, so much easier.

  5. Why did Motherland get its title changed to 37 for the US release?

    37 was my intended title for the book but I wasn't allowed to call it that in the UK. My life is a series of not being allowed to do things. I am so persecuted. See? If my husband was, say, Prime Minister, I could do what I liked.

  6. Do you think a woman without children can write authentically about motherhood?

    I think you should write what you know.

  7. Where did the idea originate to count down the chapters as Fran's life went into a downward spiral?

    It seemed an obvious device. I didn't think it would be do-able, but my American publisher (Voice) pushed for it and they were so right! (Love my US publisher).

  8. And are the mothers at the school gate still talking to you?

    I could joke about this, but it is actually unbelievable how many women saw themselves in the book. It seems that people see what they want to see, which is interesting. If I had written a beautiful, selfless, supremely intelligent heroine, would the same women have seen themselves in the book then?

  9. How did your first book Marsha Mellow and Me come about?

    Ah, Marsha Mellow and Me . . . that's taking me back! This particular book came from one sentence in one conversation that I was having with Matt. He had just written e at the time, and had sent a copy off to his dad. I said to Matt, 'Isn't it funny, thinking of your dad reading all the swear words and all the rude bits? Imagine writing a book so rude and sweary that you were too embarrassed to let your parents read it?' The rest, as they say, is history.

  10. What are you working on now?

    I am working on a follow-up to Motherland and a follow-up to Rubbish Boyfriends and also, a drama/comedy TV script set in the music biz. And in between, I have to make the beds and go to Tesco. You know what they say about a woman's work . . .

  11. What's been the best and worst thing about being an author?

    The best thing about being an author is that you can work from home and so the smoking ban has absolutely no effect on you whatsoever. The downside is that you smoke much more than you would if you worked in an office.

  12. Who are your favourite authors?

    My favourite author is a guy called Matt Beaumont. He's fab.

  13. What does chick lit mean to you?

    I've never been too sure about that term. It conjures up images of fluffy airheads who are too vacuous to read anything that doesn't have the words, 'yummy' or 'mummy' or 'slummy' in them. I want a new phrase, please. Something like Girl Power Books, or Ladette Lit... what do you think?

  14. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would they be and why?

    I would invite Simon Horn, David Crutton and Pertti Van Helden - my most favourite characters from Matt's novel, e. I don't think any book has ever made me laugh so much.

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