Friday, April 30, 2010
Author Guest Post & Giveaway: WENDY HOLDEN
Today, Apprentice Writer is delighted to welcome one of her favorite comedic authors, UK novelist Wendy Holden.
It's wonderful to see your books make the jump across the pond with Sourcebooks!
First things first: the cover. The UK original continues the upbeat figure outline drawing on white background. This US edition has gorgeous saturated color with striking black silhouette, which I loved. Did you choose the title and have input on cover art?
WH: Sourcebooks is brilliant and involve me all the way. I saw the art and loved it immediately. It's so stylish and glamorous, and as the novel is set in a very glamorous world, it helps get the message across.
On this side of the pond, there has been much talk of the demise of classic chicklit and shift of its authors into other subgenres (for example, I recently reviewed an excellent novel described as Regency Chicklit). Has there been a similar development in the UK, or can you hold out hope for fans of classic chicklit?
WH: Many Brit chick litters have gone into Hen Lit - writing about families and children. I'm more interested in exploring the comic potential of various exclusive milieux. 'Beautiful People' is about the film industry and 'Gallery Girl', the book I've just finished, is about the crazy, sexy, wealthy and hilarious world of contemporary art. But there's always a girl heroine fighting her way through difficult people and situations and so in that sense they're as classic chicklit as you like.
What comes to you first? Heroine? Antagonist? Great one-liners?
WH: All three, ideally. Usually the anti-heroine, as I like writing those people best. Call it auto-biography.
My favorite scene in the story is Marco's confession - so morose, so sincere, so funny What is your favorite scene?
WH:I love Belle being summoned to the office of the very powerful and very scary studio boss and being told her latest film has bombed. She is outraged and has a diva tantrum. The studio boss is very short and has a very fragile ego - his executives sit on kindergarten chairs to make him feel better.
What does a typical writing day look like for you? All boas, bonbons, and fan adulation....
WH: Yeah! Except you missed out the people peeling the grapes and pouring the pink champagne!
....and what is the truth about the rumor that UK authors are conspiring to storm J.K.Rowling's castle en masse to stake out their own territories in the turrets and battlements?
WH: This is a metaphor, right? Because J.K.Rowling lives in Scotland and most UK authors don't even know where that is. I'm not planning to storm her castle in any way as boy wizards aren't my thing; besides, I've got a castle of my own!
Best writing habit? Worst writing vice?
WH: Best writing habit is working a full day. My worst writing habit is endlessly checking email.
Nightstand inspection! What was the book you last read in your own genre that made the greatest impression? Out of your genre?
WH: Well my genre is comic fiction really and the last thing I read in that genre was Posy Simmond's graphic novel 'Gemma Bovary'. She's an English author/illustrator and a social observer of genius. Outside my genre, I'm reading Dickens. He is a one-man crash course in thrilling plots and brilliant characters.
My preschooler's favorite alphabet book is 'Freezing ABC' by Posy Simmond! And yes it is beautifully illustrated and filled with clever little details that make gentle fun of human nature (disguised as animals).
Who is your writing idol and why?
WH: The English writer Sue Townsend, creator of the Adrian Mole series. She is concise, compassionate, clever, brilliantly observant, and absolutely hilarious.
I will have to take a look at Adiran Mole, in that case.
Which literary character do you wish you'd thought of first?
WH: Well, Harry Potter, obviously. I take back everything I said about boy wizards.
Haha! Anything else you'd like to share with Apprentice Writer's readers?
WH: If you're writing your first novel, don't tell anyone. People are desperate for you to fail. If no-one knows you're doing it, no-one knows if it doesn't work out. But if you stick at it, it will work out.
Whoops. Too late. I've already told everyone. Clearly, I now have no choice but to stick with it, first three agent rejections notwithstanding.
Thank you Ms. Holden for taking the time to stop by and chat with us!
Gentle Reader: learn more about the author here, including upcoming title: Gallery Girl
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