Wendy, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for Alison's Book Marks!
My pleasure, thank you for asking me.
1. What is your writing process?
I always have a plan, but it always changes. Someone you thought was a villain turns out to have a nice side – and vice versa. This happened especially with Belle, the actress from hell in Beautiful People. And the paparazzo being a teddy-bear at heart was another case in point.
2. How has your process changed since you wrote your first book?
I probably save my work more on the computer as I’ve had a couple of crashes and lost stuff. But otherwise no, it’s the same. I get up, go down to my office, switch on the machine and get on with it. And every day I’m thankful I have such a great job to do.
3. I have to know: Were the characters in Beautiful People based on any celebrities we know? (Not that you would be able to admit who they are!)
Well they were composites. I am an avid celeb watcher and bits of everyone went into these characters,
4. You seem to have a harsh opinion of movie actresses in Beautiful People, do you enjoy movies?
Adore them. I love movie actresses too, but mostly for their real lives, which are so bizarre and fascinating. The acting’s almost a side issue.
5. If Beautiful People were optioned for movie rights, would that be a dream come true or a painful irony?
Are you kidding? I would love it. Like every British person I am completely fascinated by America and particularly desperate to immerse myself in the whole shallow, glorious Hollywood thing. However, I have had books optioned by Hollywood studios before and know that it usually grinds to a halt way before the Oscars. Although last time it happened the option paid to re-roof my house, which I suppose was something.
6. What are you currently working on?
Two new novels. One’s about pushy parents – a subject with endless comic potential - and the other’s got a royal theme. I am fascinated by royalty, especially our own here in the UK, who are one long incredible soap opera, bless them.
7. What are you currently reading?
A Victorian bodice-ripper called Lady Audley’s Secret. It’s such a hell of a title; I just had to find out what the secret was.
8. Other than your own, what are your three favorite books?
I love big, fat nineteenth century novels; Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is probably my favourite of those. And I love contemporary comic fiction – many of the Adrian Mole series by the English writer Sue Townsend are works of genius, especially the later ones like The Cappuccino Years. Ditto the English illustrator/author Posy Simmonds, whose graphic novels Gemma Bovary and Tamara Drewe are fantastic.
9. What do you do when you're not writing?
I love travelling because I spend my whole writing life sitting in the same place in front of a computer. I go for old European glamour destinations like Venice, Antibes, Paris and Rome.
10. Did you always know you were a writer?
My earliest ambition was to be a princess or someone who lived in a stately home. Failing that, a prima ballerina. Basically, I was a hopeless fantasist and so writing was a natural career move.
11. You have published so many successful books, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The most useful thing I ever did was not tell anyone when I was writing my first novel. It took a lot of the pressure off. Also, don’t be a diva. The book world is full of banana skins and you can’t take yourself too seriously.
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE by WENDY HOLDEN—IN STORES APRIL 2010!
A witty, utterly addictive novel from bestselling author Wendy Holden, Beautiful People is a tale wicked in its observations yet buoyant at its heart: an irresistible confection you’ll want to devour immediately.
Darcy—a struggling English rose actress when The Call comes from L.A. An Oscar-tastic director. A movie to make her famous. The hunkiest costar in Hollywood. So why doesn’t she want to go?
Belle—a size-zero film star but she’s in big, fat trouble. Hotter than the earth’s core a year ago, she’s now Tinseltown toast after her last film bombed. Can she get back to the big time?
Emma—a down-to-earth, down-on-her-luck nanny trying to weather London’s cutthroat childcare scene and celebrity mom whirlwinds. What will it take for her to get back in control of her own life?
Jet to London, Hollywood, and Italy; toss in a passionate star chef, a kindhearted paparazzo, and a reluctant male supermodel; and find Wendy Holden at her best—a smash international hit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Holden (U.K.) was a journalist on The Sunday Times, Tatler and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK, and is married with two young children. Her novels include Farm Fatale (in US Stores from Sourcebooks Landmark in July 2010), Bad Heir Day (also coming to US stores from Sourcebooks Landmark in September 2010), Simply Divine, Gossip Hound, the Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Azur Like it, and Filthy Rich.
For more information, please visit http://www.wendyholden.net/
Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have TWO copies of Wendy Holden's Beautiful People to giveway!
Contest will run through Friday, April 30, 2010
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