May 2010


Ronni Cooper is a pseudonym for a newspaper columnist. Her first novel Rock Chicks is out in June. She has worked in nightclubs and now lives between the UK and LA, writing full-time. (Interview by Anna Bell)

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  1. 1. What inspired you to write Rock Chicks?

    In the 80s I was a teenager with an intoxicating addiction to Jackie Collins, Sidney Sheldon, Shirley Conran and Judith Krantz novels. Even now, I never go on holiday without one of those huge big 80s bonkbusters in my suitcase. In the 90s, I managed nightclubs and the combination of those two experiences gave me an insatiable urge to write something that was raunchy, sexy but most importantly, authentic … a book for every female who ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where normal rules don’t apply.

  2. 2. Was it an easy transition from journalist to author?

    Absolutely! The discipline of deadlines and getting straight to the heart of the story definitely helps – with the added bonus that I can fall madly in love with a character and make him do whatever I want. I still have ongoing musings about Dax… sigh… If only he was real.

  3. 3. You painted the music industry and the rock’n’roll lifestyle to be unglamorous. Is that based on your own experiences with the industry?

    I loved the whole crazy mix of business, excitement and hedonism in the nightclub industry. The club and music worlds are very similar. Both ooze glamour, fun and decadence … but there’s also a dangerous dark side that can be just as addictive.

  4. 4. Rock Chicks been hailed as the noughties equivalent of a Jackie Collins/Shirley Conran novel, would you agree?

    I can’t tell you how much I hope that’s true! As I said before, Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran are my literary heroes, so that would be a huge compliment.

  5. 5. Rock Chicks is centred around three very different women - is one of them like you?

    Lori – no question. From a very young age I was independent and worked ruthlessly hard because I knew that I wanted to build a great life for myself - one that had nothing to do with who I married or what anyone else brought to the table. However, I also have a little of Coco’s wild side, her loyalty to her friends and her sense of humour … and I definitely have her predilection for taking risks and living in the moment.

  6. 6. Would you see a reprisal in another book of any of the characters in Rock Chicks, maybe Marny's daughter when she is all grown up?

    Definitely. At the moment I’m working on Book 2 and some of the Rock Chicks characters make fleeting appearances in it. However, Book 3 is a sequel that meshes the first two stories together and takes the characters into the 90s and beyond.

  7. 7. Are any more of your future novels going to be set around the music industry?

    The next two are, but after that maybe we’ll switch themes. However, I’ve a feeling it will still have to be a dysfunctional, crazy, wild world with very flawed but perfectly toned men.

  8. 8. Your novel is quite sexually explicit in places. Has it been embarrassing when friends or family have read it?

    I’m never embarrassed by it but there are some friends that couldn’t look me straight in the eye for a couple of days after they read it. And I’ve banned my grandmother from reading it … there are some things that she should just never know.

  9. 9. Do you live and breathe rock music and who's your favourite rock band?

    Ooooh yes. Show me a pair of beat-up leather trousers and I’m lost. Even though I’m now a wife and mum of two with a very normal family life, a day doesn’t go by without a little Guns & Roses, a touch of Bon Jovi and some Springsteen and Bowie. But I also listen to more current artists from different genres like Snow Patrol, Gwen Stefani (love her!), Usher, Kanye West, Jay Z and Keane.

  10. 10. Do you have any guilty music pleasures?

    It’s not so much a guilty pleasure as perhaps an unexpected surprise, but I LOVE country & western music too. Love it! When I’m making dinner, Kenny Chesney and I get a great thing going.

  11. 11. As Rock Chicks was set in the 1980s-90s, was it a nostalgic experience writing the novel and was it a lot of extra research to ensure you got the cultural references right?

    There wasn’t a moment of writing this book that I didn’t feel like I was 21 again and living in that world so yes, it was an incredible experience. There was a fair amount of research involved but a lot of it was sitting in my memory just waiting to be put on paper.

  12. 12. What are you working on now?

    Yet another sexy, wild story with strong women who are never, ever predictable.

  13. 13. What's your favourite book you've read this year and why?

    I took a few days off at the beginning of the year and chilled out with a retro-fest of Valley of the Dolls, Lace and The Stud. Sun-lounger reading just doesn’t get any better than that….

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