Once in a while, you come across an author that persuades you to try out a new genre. For me, that author is Lynda Renham, for whom I have crossed the road to the lighter side of life. Her novels, Croissants and Jam, Coconuts and Wonderbras and Pink Wellies and Flat Caps have made me laugh out loud in far flung places and on plane rides and I, for one, am delighted that her latest novel, The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties, is out today. I love to find out the nitty gritty behind a novel so I am super pleased that Lynda has joined me for a chat…
Q: So, you must be really pleased that your novels have become so popular that no sooner have you finished one, than folks are clamouring for more. Is that fun or scary?
Well fortunately people aren’t clamouring for the books outside my front door. I have to say that would be pretty scary But I have to say it is mostly fun. I’ve worked a long time for this success so I’m very happy to have people clamouring and demanding more. It’s the first time in my life I have had people clamouring. It’s rather nice. I could enjoy this kind of fame (says she tongue in cheek) I just need better shades to avoid the paparazzi now.
Q: Where did you get the idea for this novel? Has someone given you an outrageous Valentine’s present maybe?
I’m sure they have and I imagine it was so terrible that I’ve blocked the memory, hence why I can’t tell you what it was. The idea for this novel came in all honestly out of three pretty disastrous starts and after indulging in some popcorn and watching the film ‘The Long Good Friday’ Go figure…
Q: Tell us a little about the story – just to whet our appetites…On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet, finds her life irrevocably changed when she discovers her flat ransacked and her boyfriend missing. In a matter of hours she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgment becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds. It’s a cocktail of misunderstandings, three unlikely gangsters, a monkey and a demented cat which make this novel a hysterical read. Follow Harriet s adventure where every attempt to get out of trouble puts her deeper in it.
Q: Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
Oh, most certainly the three Jacks. I think you will love them too.
Q: If you were in a film of one of your own books, which character would you most like to play?
Well, they would have to be cool, sexy and good looking, I mean, obviously and of course have a great adventure. It would have to be Bels. Just to get a little bit close to that Christian would make it all worthwhile. All the more worthwhile if he was played by Bradley Cooper (heaven). When do we start shooting?
Q: You have a marvellous instinct for what makes us laugh. Why do you think that is?
I was brought up on laughter. My dad was a clown and my husband is as nutty as me so it helps. Mostly though, you have to have a sense of humour, to be me and to live with me, because I am the woman who walks into the gent’s loo and leaves her handbag in supermarket trolleys. Not to mention crashing the parking system at an NHS hospital car park only last week.
Q: Now, for any budding writers out there: What piece of advice would you give to would-be authors of humorous novels?
Write comedy that people can relate to, the more embarrassing the better. People love to laugh at themselves.
Q: Okay, the question every author hates having just finished a book: What next? Do you already have an idea?
Of course *bangs head against wall* Absolutely *pops head into fridge* I’m just about to write the first chapter *Sneaks onto Facebook* As soon as this procrastination is over I’ll be on it.
Thank you for joining me Lynda, and here’s what you’ve been waiting for; the link to the answer to Lynda’s competition question:
At 8pm Lynda will announce the winner and will email me the winners name, email and postal address for me to send you a signed copy of Sleeping People Lie. Good luck, everyone!
Here are lots of useful links for Lynda and her work:
The hashtag for today is #renham
Here’s where you can get her new book right now!
Jae De Wylde is the best selling author of The Thinking Tank and Sleeping People Lie.