February 2012


Nicola May is the author of Star Fish and Working It Out. She lives in Ascot in Berkshire and also work as an event manager. When she is not writing she loves crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. (Interview by Swati Sharma)

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  1. 1. What was the inspiration behind Working It Out?

    Just like Ruby, my heroine, I was made redundant. I had to do a variety of different jobs to get the mortgage paid and hence the 12 jobs in 12 months idea came to fruition.

  2. 2. Tell us about your heroine Ruby Matthews.

    Ruby is a feisty 30-year-old red-head with a very kind heart. When she loses her job she throws herself wholeheartedly into finding one that will make her happy rather than fuel her lifestyle. Her father died when he was young and this has had a big effect on her, in fact it sometimes makes her live for the moment a little too much. This too has made her a little commitment-shy when it comes to men. Ultimately, not only does she get her head around what makes her happy work wise, her relationships with the people she loves develop for the better.

  3. 3. What is your writing process? Do you plan first or just dive in?

    I usually have the basic plot outline in my head but then I do just dive in. Characters and plot spring to mind and get developed as I go along.

  4. 4. How long did it take you to write Working It Out? How many drafts did you write?

    It took around a year to write. I look at a novel as one big draft that shifts and changes until I am completely happy with it.

  5. 5. How did your publishing deal came about?

    I actually published myself. Disheartened by the traditional publishing route, I decided to take the plunge to get my stories out there.

  6. 6. Did you always want to be a writer?

    I love writing and the feeling I get when I suddenly have a great plot idea. I didn’t actually start writing until my 30s, so it was never really a burning ambition, but now I don’t want to do anything else. I actually still have to work as unless you are a bestseller it is hard to make money out of writing. I am an event manager - so Ruby’s job at a celebrity birthday party was a very easy chapter to write. I would love to be an actress.

  7. 7. What are the pros and cons of being a writer?

    Pros are making people happy with my writing. My reviews for Working it Out have been fantastic. Cons – working very hard for very little reward at the moment.

  8. 8. Are you comfortable that your book is being grouped under the chick lit label?

    When I do my signings at Waterstones I do tend to describe my book as a romantic comedy, rather than chick lit. However, I am comfortable with it being grouped under this label. There is and always will be a market for this genre.

  9. 9. Why should people read this book?

    Because it will make you laugh out loud, plus maybe shed a little tear. Also, there are a plethora of eccentric characters that you will grow to love as the book goes on. You will find yourself rooting for Ruby to find love with the right person, as well as happiness in her chosen job.

  10. 10. What are your favorite chick lit novels?

    Anything by Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

  11. 11. Which authors have inspired you in your journey of being a writer?

    Marian Keyes was my initial inspiration as she manages to combine humour with deeper issues brilliantly. Miranda Dickinson has been a magnificent support throughout my journey; in fact she said that my book ‘is the kind of special book that only comes along once in a while’. That makes me smile, a lot!

  12. 12. What’s next?

    I have just released Star Fish as an eBook on Amazon. Tired of looking for love, Piscean Amy decides to date a man from each sign of the Zodiac. I am also working on the sequel to Working It Out, plus I’m going to release another e-book in January called Better Together - about an older woman, younger man relationship. This is a much deeper novel which evokes a lot of emotion.

  13. 13. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

    Persistence over resistance! It is very hard to get published, but if you believe you have the talent, just keep writing and showing off your work and eventually your dreams will come true.

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