March 2011


British author Katie Fforde has written more than 15 novels, including A Perfect Proposal and Wedding Season. Her latest, Summer of Love, is released this month. She is also the current chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association. (Interview by Angela Smith)

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  1. 1. Describe your latest book Summer of Love in 10 words or less.

    A young mother meets an older women. Both lives change.

  2. 2. Did you always have intentions of becoming a writer?

    I became aware I wanted to be a writer quite late compared to other writers. I always thought it was beyond me as I couldn't spell, but I always knew I wanted to communicate in some way. When I discovered I was a writer - long before I was published - it was just heaven.

  3. 3. What do you love most about the chick lit genre?

    I love chick lit because I think falling in love is the best feeling in the world and writing or reading about it is a way to go on having that feeling. I tend to write about younger women than myself because that's how I feel! So it's a perfect genre for me.

  4. 4. What do you think are the main differences between a romance novel and chick lit?

    I think it's very hard to say what the difference is between a romance novel and a chick lit novel. May be romance novels are only about the love story and chick lit novels have other things going on. But don't quote me! I'm not an expert.

  5. 5. What books inspired you as a child?

    I started reading Georgette Heyer novels when I was about eleven. She's been a big influence on my writing, but my very first love was the Arthurian Legends which my mother read to me, long before I could read myself.

  6. 6. Which three fictional characters would you most like to invite for dinner?

    Bridget Jones would be my first choice. She'd be funny and supportive and uncritical. Then I'd like Dermot Flynn (from Love Letters), who's possibly my own favourite hero, although he might flirt with Bridget, so to offset that I'd have Tristram from The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer. He might appreciate the older woman.

  7. 7. What are your responsibilities as chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association?

    I am responsible for chairing meetings, making speeches and generally heading up the organisation. I have a really wonderful committee who do most of the work. I like to feel I represent our members.

  8. 8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

    I like to watch property, cookery and gardening programs on TV. I like to shop - clothes and things for the house, and being with my family and friends.

  9. 9. Would you rather be stuck on an island for a year with no book or no radio?

    This is a very hard question! I am addicted to reading but also addicted to talk radio. I think I'll have the radio. I could write a book.

  10. 10. Is there anything specific you would like your fans to walk away with after reading your books?

    I like my fans to feel they've had a satisfying time reading about people they like, who are like them and who have a good time. I want to take them out of their lives for a bit, and entertain them.

  11. 11. What do you consider the most challenging aspect about writing a novel?

    Writing is one of those skills which doesn't seem to get easier. It's always hard. I think for me working out the plot is the hardest. The characters just seem to arrive! I think a good plot is vital to any kind of writing.

  12. 12. Have you developed a specific writing style?

    I expect I have developed a particular style but it's like growing, you see it happening but you don't seem to have any control over it!

  13. 13. What is your greatest strength as a writer?

    I don't know what my greatest strength as a writer is apart from, possibly, always having another book I want to write.

  14. 14. Have you ever had writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

    If I have writer's block it's usually because I'm tired, so rest or shopping or going out for lunch usually fixes it. Or a good walk.

  15. 15. What is your favourite TV show, movie and chick lit book?

    This is hard too! My favourite TV show is the early episodes of Sex and the City and Friends. (snuck in two there!). My favourite movie might be Local Hero, a lovely film set in Scotland with a lovely cameo role for Burt Lancaster. But there are many films I love! Bridget Jones's Diary is my favourite chick lit book, I think....

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