Tag Archives: Looking For La La

Rabid Readers Reviews – Book Blogging Fun for the Person Who Loves to Read

HUGE thanks to Rabid Readers Reviews for making Looking For La La one of their favorite Rabid Readers Reads of 2013. To find out who else made the list, click the link below…

Rabid Readers Reviews

Book Blogging Fun for the Person Who Loves to Read

Best Rabid Readers Reads of 2013!

The best of the year is one of my favorite posts to do but its also one of the most difficult. How do I narrow down the many outstanding novels that I read this year to the best? What follows are some of my favorite reads this year in no particular order and if any fall into your genre, you should pick them up. These are novels that deserve to be read.

Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell: A UK based story of a woman whose husband receives postcards and goes on a quest to discover if he’s cheating. The story was funny, strange and everything that is right with chick lit.

Click here to read my review.

via Rabid Readers Reviews – Book Blogging Fun for the Person Who Loves to Read.

National Friendship Day… yes, we're at it again.

We had so much fun last weekend with the kindle kindle #1 Bestsellerpromotion of Looking For La La (41,500 downloads and reaching #1 in the Kindle Top Free 100) that, hey, we’re going to do it again.

NEWSFLASH!!!!!

It’s National Friendship Day in America this Sunday, August 4th and we all know there’s nothing more valuable in life than our friends.

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To honor them and to celebrate the long-awaited launch of How To Survive Your Sisters and When Good Friends Go Bad on the US market – complete with stunning new covers by Design For Writers  –  we’re holding a three day FREE download weekend of When Good Friends Go Bad for US readers – again through Amazon.com.

Of course we know YOUR friends would never go bad but that won’t stop you enjoying the novel Chick Lit Reviews and News called ‘outstanding… unique… a fabulous read.’  (To learn more, click here.) When former friends reunite,Pudding bowl there’s  intrigue and mystery, laughter and betrayal, the agony of discovering a long-lost true love when it’s plainly too late, the knowledge that your old friends know you best of all… and the inescapable truth that inside the most staid or sophisticated of grownups lurks the wild or awkward schoolgirl of their youth.

Dates for your diary: 2nd, 3rd and 4th August only on Amazon.com 

DON’T OWN A KINDLE?

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Don’t let that put you off – Amazon provide free Kindle apps for your smartphones, iPads or computers.

*GOODREADS GIVEAWAYS*

And don’t forget, for those who’d like a FREE paperback version of Looking For La La, How To Survive Your Sisters and When Good Friends Go Bad, we are holding three GoodReads Giveaways– 2 copies of each. Sign up now for a chance to win copies of all three novels…

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Dates for your diary:  NOW until 13th August

So be kind to your friends.  Give them a hug, spread the word, and don’t forget to start downloading.  After all… 

It’s Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

File0008                           RembrandtHome

And La La wins… Amazon.com #1 bestseller!

FABULOUS NEWS!   Our Free Download Weekend for Looking For La La was a huge success  – much better than anything we could have hoped for.  Number One in the Kindle Free Top 100.

kindle #1 Bestseller

Over 40,000 downloads in three days – that’s enough new readers to fill an America football stadium!

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Thanks so much to all the lovely people out there who blogged, tweeted and best of all downloaded.  We hope you’ll enjoy reading Cathy’s misadventures as much as we enjoyed writing them.

We’ve just got our first review from the Kindle promo and – whoopee – she loves it!   It’s the greatest feeling in the wolrd when people like your books… I don’t know why but it always takes us slightly by surprise.  So keep those reviews coming… some authors claim never to read them but we love ’em!

Thanks again, so much for helping make this promotion such a success.

pam and lorraine Pavilion_2

Socrates Book Reviews – Guest Post: Desert Island Delights

 

If you were stranded on an island what 10 things would you most want with you?

1) Kindle, filled with books and solar powered so that it wouldn’t run out of charge as I guess they’ll be no plug sockets on this island. Note to Self: Preload Kindle before you go on any cruises or plane journeys where there’s a likelihood of crashing into the sea.

2) Laptop, again solar powered, then I could write away to my heart’s content. I would so love internet access to go with it so I could do my own research and Skype people, let them know I’m safe, ask for pick-up etc, but I guess that wouldn’t be possible if I was in a hugely remote place.

3) Water I guess – especially if there was none in the island. Pretty important. Should have been first really. Or maybe I’d become a real survival expert and learn how to extract salt from seawater or set up some kind of water-gathering device. Another Note to Self: Preload to Kindle, lots of “how to do things when stranded books”.

4) Food. I’m assuming the island has some natural foods that I can eat, berries, fruit and fish, etc. but just in case it didn’t, then I guess I would have to have a huge hamper of food enough to last until I am picked up. (And tin-openers with it and chocolate, lots of chocolate).

5) Shoes. I know what it’s like on the beach when the sand gets excruciatingly hot. Hopping from shady spot to shady spot. I assume this is a hot island. But even if it wasn’t, and it was all cold and craggy, I’d still need a good pair of shoes, stop my feet getting torn to shreds. Just a nice pair of trainers, don’t need to worry about make or anything.

6) Clothes – I wouldn’t want to be rescued naked, although if there was a choice I suppose I’d forego my modesty. But I hate being too cold and too hot and clothes would be hugely important. I mean I may get all clever with the vegetation and vines and make myself a banana leaf sarong or waistcoat or something, but it would be much nicer just to have some clothes washed up on the shore with me.

7) Sunblock. If I was there for months, I’d probably get very brown, but risk skin cancer? No way.

8) Moisturizer. There may be natural oily plants, like aloe vera plants or coconuts that I could crack open and rub into my face, but it would be so much easier to have a big old tub of moisturiser to hand. When I’m rescued I don’t want to meet the press looking like a wrinkled old prune as I model my banana leaf sarong and show them my home-made water collection contraption…

9) Animal. Little furry thing that I could befriend, like a squirrel or wallaby, or heck, even a rat (as long as there was only just one). I would be their friend. Tame them and they would follow me everywhere, and I would whistle and they’d come running to me and put their little paw up when they wanted more nibbles. I would talk to them and teach them commands like sit, beg, down. They would lie in my arms at night and I’d tell them stories or read to them from my memoirs. Because you might as well write them if you’re on an island, leave something behind for your family to remember you by.

10) Cigarette Lighter/ Fire starter. So I’ve been fed and watered, am comfortable clothes-wise, wandering around my island in my shoes and bikini under my banana leaf sarong, followed faithfully by my highly-trained squirrel/rat creature, been writing and reading with no disturbance (bliss), and my skin is well moisturised (for the press and future movie-makers watching on TV), then my No 10 would have to be a cigarette lighter. I love real fires and I’d need one for warmth, scaring off ferocious animals (if I can’t tame them), cooking, attracting passing ships/planes, gazing into and dreaming of lost loves, etc. Of course I’d have learned how to rub two sticks together my preloaded “desert island survival” e-book, but honestly, every night…? What a faff.

Do you know, writing this, I am actually wanting to go to this island, it is seeming more like bliss every moment.

Excerpted from Socrates Book Reviews – thank you, Yvonne, for featuring us today.  

Mama J Hearts: Guest Post: Ellie Campbell

Thank you, Mama J Hearts!

Jealousy – A Wasted Emotion?  Discuss.

There I was this morning with a pair of slinky little knickers in hand. I’d just found them curled up inside my husband’s jogging bottoms (track suit pants for our American readers), almost as if some sultry mistress had placed them there to be found by my prying eyes. I knew they weren’t mine. I know my knickers (panties) – intimately. As most women do. I know they’re not my daughter’s. Even though she’s coming out of her teens, she still can’t seem to work out how to rotate that switch on the washing machine. Nor find it for that matter.

My son ambled past, yawning and stretching. “Here,” I chucked the knickers at him. “Do these belong to your girlfriend?”

“Maybe,” he looked them over, skimpy, lacy at the top, silky at the front, then left the room and came back moments later.

“Nah.”

“Is she there?” I asked, surprised. If so, she’d been very quiet all morning.

“No. But I took a photo of them with my phone. And she said they’re not hers.”

So should I confront my husband? After all they came out of his trouser legs.

Well, if I was a jealous woman I possibly would. Then again, if I’d been a jealous woman a few years back when “the postcard” dropped through the door, professing undying love for my husband, Lorraine and I might not be here, talking about our third Ellie Campbell novel, Looking For La La.

Just as in the novel, the postcard was from a woman, who called herself La La, addressed to my beloved spouse. Maybe fleetingly, a doubtful thought might have crossed my mind, and yes, I could have smacked him over the head with the toaster and demanded to know who she was, why she had written to him….barraged him with questions, accusations, burst into floods of tears.

Sad truth is, I’m used to it. It’s been a constant throughout our courtship, years of living together, and now our married life. As an athletic, good-looking, young (and, even now, not so young) man working in the leisure industry, my hubbie is constantly in the company of shapely young women with abs like the Baywatch babes. Teaching aerobic classes, acting as fitness instructor and personal trainer, he has been surrounded half his working life by semi-clothed health-conscious predatory females. Comes with the territory.

So like Cathy’s husband, Declan, in Looking for La La (who all Cathy’s friends drool over), ‘Him indoors’ has had a lot of attention from admirers over the years, to the point of acute embarrassment. I was once in one of his circuit training classes when the girl star-jumping next to me hissed, “Teacher’s a bit hot, isn’t he?” What could I reply? “Actually that’s my husband” or like I did at the time, mumble, “Not really my type”.

Another time he had a horrifying stalker, who having failed to seduce him, (he managed to push her out of the health club door late one night, locking it quick) ran up three flights of stairs, along a corridor, down another flight, to sneak back in through a fire exit, scaring him rigid. I had to make him a stiff drink when he arrived home.

In fact it’s almost surprising there weren’t a few more La Las over the years, maybe not all sending him postcards but…you get my drift.

It’s hard enough keeping up with a husband who is two, (he says three) years younger than myself, who runs marathons like most people were going for a Sunday stroll. And, unlike me, relishes organising and taking part in various sporting challenges.

This Sunday he’s running his 10th marathon – having already done the biggies, such as Edinburgh, Brighton, London, Paris, Dublin. In a few months’ time he’s cycling from Redhill, Surrey to Paris, France – 175 miles in 24 hours. Shortly after that it’s the Three Peaks – three of the highest mountains in Wales, Scotland and England, all to be climbed again in 24 hours.

Mount Snowdon

Mount Snowdon – Hubbie’s idea of A Good Time

Then it’s the North Downs Trek, the South Downs Trek, South Downs Way – 100 miles in a day off-road mountain bike challenge. Last year of his own free will (durr), he jumped out of an aeroplane, walked on burning coals, took part in a cycling road race, a gruelling walk through the boggy Yorkshire moors, bungee jumped off a bridge with a dodgy rope in South America. You get the picture. All for charity, of course, but still…

He’s on a high protein, no alcohol Paris 2009diet right now (for the marathon), while I’m on an eat as much as I can and drink till I drop phase. Well it is still winter, so I need a few layers around my middle. Can I keep up? Could I in any way be described as toned or in shape? No is the brutal answer. I walk the dog, play a bit of badminton, tend my allotment, do the odd bit of gardening, and am practically forced every year to join him on the tandem – he must still love me then? – to cycle long distance challenges…to Paris, Gibraltar, Montpellier, and this year 300 miles (in 3 days) to Copenhagen. I guess I must love him too.

Because frankly I’m basically lazy. If I could get away with it, I’d lie under my duvet every morning, tapping away on my computer writing the next “Ellie Campbell” novel. Exercising only my fingers and thoughts.

More importantly, should I be worried about the stray knickers at present lying neatly folded on his neatly folded jogging bottoms? No, I’m sure there must be a perfectly innocent explanation. Maybe he wanted to try them out himself before he bought a similar pair for me?

And what did I do when the postcards came through the door? Well, do writers ever waste anything? Being a trusting soul, (and an author) instead of leaping up to attack him, I leapt out of my chair, raced up the stairs to the attic, jumped onto my computer and furiously began typing the first few chapters of what was to become Looking for La La, roping in my sister and co-writer, Lorraine. We enjoyed ourselves hugely as we took what was likely a mean little prank and turned it into a funny mystery novel about a scatty housewife who stirs up a whole lot of trouble by turning sleuth.

They say jealousy is a wasted emotion. Lorraine and I believe it’s far more than that – it’s a wasted novel.

And the underwear? Turned out to belong to my daughter after all.

via Mama J Hearts: Guest Post: Ellie Campbell.

WiLoveBooks – 10 Things I've Learned From Being A Writer

Today the authors behind Ellie Campbell are here to tell us what inspired Looking for La La and share what they’ve learned from being a writer. 

Ten Things I’ve Learned from Being a Writer

It happened…well, let’s just say it was a few years back.  My sister, Pam, co-author of our Ellie Campbell novels, was having a peaceful breakfast with her family when a postcard decorated with scarlet lipstick dropped through the letterbox.  Surprisingly, the sender, La La, was proclaiming impassioned love for Pam’s husband.  Below you can read how it appears in our novel, Looking For La La.  (What, us waste a great piece of material like that?  Never!  Particularly when this La La was clearly up to no good.)

“Not a sound is heard as it lands silently on the mat. No drums rolls, crashing thunder, shafts of light. The walls don’t start crumbling, the ground doesn’t vibrate with terrifying tremors and a yawning fissure fails to zigzag across the kitchen floor and separate my husband from his breakfast marmalade.

In short, I’ve no clue as to the impact it’ll have on our lives. Mayhem. Marital breakdown. Murder. It should at least have been written in blood or come in the beak of a dark-winged raven.

It is a postcard. “Love from London” blazoned above a giant pair of pouting lips kissing a cherry-red heart.

At first sight it appears to be one of those “Please Come to Our Rave” flyers which get thrust through my door periodically. Now the chances of me, a world-weary, put-upon mother-of-two, going to a rave are slim to none, but heck it’s nice to be invited.

I turn it over.

Dearest, sweetest Declan – it begins. My eyes widen as I take in the blue spidery handwriting and race to the signature. ‘Love from La La.’”

We never found out who sent the card, Pam’s husband claiming innocence of the whole affair.  (More accurately that there was no affair.)  Knowing her hubbie – and his friends’ questionable sense of humour – she wisely chose to believe him.  It could have been end of story if we hadn’t used it to inspire our third Ellie Campbell novel.  In it bored housewife, Cathy Rogers, goes slightly crazy searching for the identity of La La and discovering everyone around her is concealing secrets… including an alluring romantic admirer and a deadly opponent.

I guess we’ve learned that in life sometimes your gifts come in disguise. Which made me think of other important things I’ve learned from my journey down the author path.  Here are just 10.

1. Writing is cheaper than therapy.  And a lot more productive.

2. You will see countless pairs of reading glasses scattered around your house until the moment you actually need them.

3. Never forward an email chain to your publisher, agent, or person of influence, without checking for rude or personal comments further down the page.

4. Don’t send out anything in writing, be it angry email or lyrical piece of prose, until you’ve had a night to sober up and read it again in the cold harsh light of day.

5. Procrastination is an underappreciated art.  Also known as ‘the creative pause.’

6. Google is specifically designed to suck all the productivity out of a working day.

7. Everything you take in, from childhood on, will leak out someday onto the printed page.

8. Don’t share your friends’ intimate confidences with the world.  Unless you have an endless supply of friends.

9. The instant you’re faced with a computer screen and a deadline, you’ll be filled with an urgent desire to fold laundry and polish that ancient silver teapot you inherited and will never use.

10. Always disguise your sources.  Unless it’s La La and then it’s open season.

via WiLoveBooks.

10 Lows And Highs Of An Author's Life

One of the highs of being an author is being invited to do a guest post.  Thanks to Bookish Whimsy for inviting us on their site.    Click on the banner if you want to see the whole thing.

bookishwhimsy-header
THE LOWS

1. Lorraine: The dire feeling all creative people share that they’re not good enough, that their books aren’t the masterpieces they visualized. The ‘mean blues’ when you read someone else’s brilliant prose and decide it’s time to throw in the towel. Both Pam and I try not to read other people’s fiction when we are deep into writing a novel, in case we start comparing or find ourselves unconsciously imitating their style. (Not so great when you start off sounding like Ellie Campbell and end as a bad Ernest Hemingway). If at all, Pam will dip into various autobiographies, while I manage a couple of pages on horse training before I fall asleep.

2. Pam: The walking into a bookstore and seeing millions of books on the shelves and wondering why you feel impelled to add to the madness. Aren’t there enough books in the world, historical novels, romantic novels, horror novels? Bookstores bulging with authors who have profoundly important things to say as opposed to our inane ramblings.

3. Lorraine: The days when you’re stuck and think you’ve forgotten how to write and will never manage another sentence let alone another book. Or someone hears you’re a writer and expects witty imaginative things written on their birthday cards or signed in their copy of your novel. It’s like going up to a comedian and saying “Go on then, be funny. Go on.” Like our heroine, Cathy, in Looking For La La we usually find ourselves scrawling a lowly ‘best wishes’. And then think of a million brilliant alternatives when the moment has gone.

4. Pam: The marketing of your novel, having to sell yourself, when you’d rather hide away in your warm house behind your PCs. Lorraine and I are both naturally quite shy and there was quite a lot of firsts for us when we published our first and second novels, How to Survive Your Sister and When Good Friends Go Bad. First radio interview, first phone interview, first photo-shoot, first book signing. There were all wonderful in their own way and we will be forever grateful to Laura, our great publicist at the time, but boy did we find it hard putting ourselves forward and “tooting our own trumpets”.

5. Lorraine: The * or ** star reviews. Ugh. The minute you see them, all those **** and ***** stars are obliterated from your mind and you immediately start wondering if it’s too late to train for that alternative career… like sword swallower, tightrope walker, cliff diver, tarantula trainer… Or maybe just give it all up and sail off into the sunset.

THE HIGHS

1. Pam: Doing a job you would rather do more than anything else in the world. I work part time in a college, during term time, which I love doing while Lorraine is busy working with horses which she is totally passionate about, but we both still consider writing novels as our main occupation. When it’s going well, you think, gosh I’m my own boss, I get to do the hours that I want, the days that I want. Total freedom. And if I want a holiday (depending on deadlines of course), I can have one. Great thing is, you can take your laptop with you, lie on a hammock maybe, tropical beach and still be “working”.

2. Lorraine: The fantastic feeling you get when you finish a paragraph, a scene, or a whole chapter and love what you wrote. Some days things go perfectly. Words seem to come out of nowhere, pages write themselves. Even better when there’s two of you writing and you wake up and the other has written all the bits you were struggling over. These days we’ve even started enjoying the editing process. There’s a weird satisfaction in cutting out words and characters and huge chunks of text. Sort of like the joy of cleaning out your closet, recycling unwanted clothes and feeling so virtuous afterwards.

3. Pam: Seeing your book in bookstores and especially in the library. I love picking out our Ellie Campbell novels on the library shelves, and seeing that people have actually borrowed them out of all the fantastic old and new books that they lend there. I’ve also spent afternoons looking them up on the libraries’ online sites. Sad I know, but you can see how many copies they have and how many are out and you can visualise those people sitting there, reading and (hopefully) enjoying them.

4. Lorraine: Imagining how proud our parents (long deceased) would be to know we became published novelists. They died relatively young and poor Mum wanted so badly for us to do something – anything – she could boast about. I swear she used to make things up because aunts, uncles, people she worked with, were always complimenting us on great accomplishments that were total news to Pam and myself. She was ecstatic when I got my first short story in print. The sales of Woman magazine must have rocketed that day – I pity the poor neighbours!

5. Pam: Having your agent ring you up and tell you, you have a two book publishing deal. Fantastic. Then seeing one of your books finally in print, glancing through it and realizing it’s your baby and – huge relief – you love it. Sometimes you find bits you’d totally forgotten and actually laugh aloud. Sometimes you can’t believe those words came out of you and when writing in partnership like Lorraine and I sometimes they didn’t. (We get very confused about who wrote what.) Our latest Ellie Campbell novel, Looking For La La, was inspired by a prank love postcard someone sent to my husband and when I look at that opening scene it still makes me chuckle. Especially imagining what the postcard-sender will think if she ever happens to read it.

Excerpted from Bookish Whimsy.

Wall-to-Wall Books: Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review & E-book Giveaway!)

We got a lovely review from Wall-to-Wall Books.  You can read it here or check out their website for this and more awesome reviews. 

Wall-to-Wall Books.

Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review)

4 Stars

ABOUT THE BOOK –

Looking for La La follows the story of Cathy, a bored, unappreciated housewife and mother of two.  Her world of school runs, ferrying children here and there, and the occasional nights out with friends is radically transformed by the arrival of a love postcard to her husband.  What follows next takes Cathy on a wild ride of suspicion, temptations, marital breakdown and some very dangerous territory.

MY REVIEW –

This book was fun British Chick-Lit at its best. I keep saying that I do not like British books, but keep finding books that make me a liar! This story is total Mayhem (a state of rowdy disorder) from beginning to end, and totally fun! This book has a great little mystery to it, and to be honest – I was very much surprised at the end.

Great character development. I didn’t even really like the main character but I wanted to keep reading just to find out what more trouble she and her friends could possibly get themselves into. Lets just say that almost no one ends up with the same person they started out with in the beginning.

A few fun quotes –

“Mummy, who’s the card from?’ He shares Declan’s coloring, the gingery hair, blue eyes and pale but cheeky face.  ‘La La, darling. Apparently a tellytubby’s sending love letters to Daddy.”

“Alec? Not Baldwin?’ she jokes. ‘Meg Ryan’s long-suffering husband?

No drip. Meg Ryan married Denis Quaid until she ran off with Russell Crowe before he ditched her for Nicole Kidman, when Tom Ditched her. This is way before Nicole married rock star Keith, I might add. Alec Baldwin’s wife is, or rather was, Kim Basinger. They’re divorced now. Fought over Ireland.’

‘Cathlic/Protestant dilemma?’

“No, their daughter, Ireland.”

“Men,’ Gabby sighs. ‘Spend all their time trying to turn you into their mothers, wanting clothes ironed, meals cooked, but then they despise you because you remind them of their mothers.”

Thank you author – Lorraine Campbell for sending me an ebook copy of this to read and review! It was great fun.

via Wall-to-Wall Books: Looking for La La – Ellie Campbell (Review & E-book Giveaway!).

Interviewed By A Chick-Lit Goddess!

Isabella Louise Anderson interviewed Ellie Campbell.Isabella Louise Anderson

Some fun questions.  Thanks, Isabella. You can read the original at:

www.chicklitgoddess.com

INTERVIEW 

What made you two want to write a book together?

Pam:  Lorraine and I have always been close, being the youngest of four sisters, sharing a passion for horses, and seeing a lot of each other when we both lived in London.  I started selling short stories when Lorraine was traveling and when she settled in Boulder, Colorado, I’d often email her my latest piece of fiction.  Since she was writing too, it was natural for us to talk about the things we were working on or, when we were stuck, to ask for input.  Turned out we were both planning to write a novel about the ‘sister thing’, wanting to use some of our experiences growing up, especially our eccentric and very funny mother (sadly deceased) and all the joys and pains of being a family of four girls, eternally bickering and making up.  It seemed natural somehow to write it together – that way we didn’t look like one was copying the other! “How to Survive Your Sisters” was our first published novel and we were thrilled to be able to share the publishing journey together.

Coffee or tea?

Pam:  Tea. Always.  If I drink coffee I have to eat biscuits. I always feel tea is better for me, more refreshing.  Although I’ll go out for a latte and it’s a bit of a treat.

Lorraine:   Depends.  At breakfast – especially if we go out for it – definitely coffee.  American restaurants can’t make tea.  They give you tepid microwaved water and a teabag – ugh!  If we have a pot of coffee brewing at home I’ll work my way through that and then switch to tea.   I blame my mother for my caffeine addiction.  She used to wake us up with a cup of milky tea laden with sugar.  Funny thing is I hated coffee until I started my first menial office job and then it became the bright spot in a long boring day.

Walk us through what the writing/editing/publishing process was like:

Lorraine:  Well, we squabbled our way through the first novel… no, not really, it was surprisingly easy.  We’d agree the basic story, plan out chapters and then each write a scene and send it to the other one – who would then make alterations and edits as they saw fit and send it back.  And so on.  In a way we were constantly editing and then when it was finished we had a really long book and had to go back and make drastic cuts.  When we started sending it to agents, we were lucky enough that a new agent, Caroline Hardman, liked it and agreed to take us on.  She confessed we’d be her first ever clients – she’s got hugely successful since – and we confessed Ellie Campbell didn’t really exist. Arrow Books offered us a two-book contract, we got the same in Germany, Italy and Serbia.  It was all hugely exciting, especially since Pam and I got to do the publicity stuff – radio interviews and book signings – together.  Being somewhat cowardly, it was nice to have the moral support.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Pam:  In the case of our new book, Looking for La La, it was a heavily lipsticked postcard that arrived through my door, proclaiming – surprisingly enough – passionate love for my husband.  It was exactly as happens to Cathy in the opening chapter. However, unlike Cathy, instead of running frenziedly around town, looking for suspects and alienating all her nearest and dearest (including a murderous and unexpected opponent) I wrote it off as a bad joke.  It did however spark the idea of writing a funny book about marriage and motherhood several years down the line after the honeymoon has worn off.   And I did get a little extra satisfaction from imagining La La reading it.

Lorraine:  I might add that Pam and I are natural storytellers, get us started and we can go on and on…and on and on… We must inherit it from our mother who had a wealth of funny anecdotes and a warped sense of humor.  She’d be telling a story about my father falling down a flight of stairs and getting knocked out cold and she’d be incoherent and crying because she was laughing so hard.

If you could be on one reality TV show, what would it be?

Pam:  Britain’s Got Talent. It’s a show that anyone of any age or any talent can enter. Last year it was won by a dancing dog.  There’s all sorts that enter, group dancers, single dancers, singers, strippers, the lot!  I’d bring my dog along – a border terrier. She probably wouldn’t do anything, but I could let her have her moment of fame.

Lorraine:  Dancing With The Stars.  I’d get super-skinny and incredibly fit, I could indulge in my Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers fantasies, and all the friends who used to laugh at my moves in our disco-dancing days would watch it and marvel.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know:

Pam:  That just like, Jen in When Good Friends Go Bad, I entered a stock car race with absolutely no prior experience, and in less than two laps I had crashed into a post and written off the car.

Lorraine:  That I have studied different forms of energy healing and even practiced professionally a tiny bit.  My first ever client, a sweet lady in pink twinset and pearls, showed up accompanied by her tall, dark husband who was wearing a flowered dress, lipstick, make-up, and heels.   Halfway through our session my client jumped up, ran to the bathroom and vomited profusely, before returning and meekly climbing back on to the massage table.  It was an interesting experience, I think, for all concerned and I decided shortly afterwards that I’d better stick to writing.

How long did it take to write the first draft of “Looking for La La”?

Pam:  Probably about 6 months from start to finish.  It was one of those inspired books that almost seemed to write itself.  After that though there were plenty of rewrites and alterations.   We made changes to the storyline, beefed up the murder mystery, took out huge chunks to make it move faster.

What was the easiest part about writing the book, and what was the hardest?

Pam:  We really enjoyed writing from Cathy’s viewpoint and following a single character. In so many ways, it was simpler than our other two novels in which we were writing in the third person, balancing four characters, all with their own individual stories.  Plus Cathy’s world was so familiar and fun.

Lorraine:  The hardest part was cutting.  We took out at least two of our much-loved characters and a whole subplot that we realized was fun but not essential to the story. It made the book better in the end, but sometimes it’s painful to let go, even though we’ve learned that usually, as far as novel writing is concerned, less is more.

How did you celebrate the publication of “Looking for “La La”?

Pam:  I booked a Spa. In the novel Cathy is treated to a Spa day by her friends.  It sounded wonderful, so I thought once the book was out that I would go myself with a good friend of mine.  We’re going in the next couple of weeks.

Lorraine:  I bought myself a Kindle Fire.  Between writing, the horse training course I’m taking, volunteering at horse sanctuaries to practice techniques, and taking care of my own animals, the only chance I have to read is in bed.  And then my husband wants the light out right away.  So now with my Kindle I can actually read books again without it bothering him.

What are you reading right now?

Pam:  I hardly have time to read anything, but I’ve just smuggled a book out of my friend’s house, which is “Up the Junction” written by Nell Dunn.  It is quite an old book and it was made into a film, but the dialogue is great and you can dip in and dip out of it.

Lorraine:  I just finished ‘Love The One You’re With’ by Emily Giffin, managed to read most of it on a plane to Indianapolis and home.  I plan to start ‘Yours Truly’ by Kirsty Greenwood.  Just as soon as I can find my new Kindle.  Which is probably buried under the papers on my desk.

If you had to do it all again, would you, and what advice would you give to yourself knowing what you do now?

Lorraine:  Yes, I would do it all again.  I think we had a fantastic childhood, some amazing experiences, incredible luck.  I loved working in publishing.  I loved backpacking. I loved living in LA for two years and also in France.  I loved sailing.  In many ways my life seems to fall into distinct segments that feel like a dream now. Advice – well, I felt very shy and deeply insecure in my late teens and twenties.  I would tell myself to be bolder and not worry about what people thought of me.  It took traveling alone to break me out of my shell.  But even the bad stuff contributed to the person I am today.  And my life is pretty good.

Pam:  I have loved the journey so far, especially my writing career.  It was amazing travelling around the world when I was younger, seeing all these amazing countries – living out in Australia and America.  But I am deeply happy now settled in England with my wonderful family.  I have few regrets as everything that happens turns you into the person you are, good and bad.  I wish I’d spent more time with my parents, as they both died too young and I wished I’d started my writing career earlier I guess.  Advice  to myself would probably be not to have worried so much about things that never happen.  Celebrate the positive, disregard the negative! Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Do either of you have an upcoming project, whether it be together or separate?

Pam:  We have just finished our fourth novel together, Million Dollar  Question:a story of two women, strangers to each other, whose lives are overturned by an outrageous stroke of fortune  – good and bad – on the same day. At the moment it is with our agent, Caroline Hardman at Hardman and Swainson.  As for the book after that, well, it remains to be seen.  There may be a sequel to Looking For La La one day – Cathy is the kind of character you hate to leave behind.

**Additional comments by Ellie Campbell:  Lorraine and Pam: Yes, we’d like to thank you, Isabella, for inviting us to be interviewed on Chicklit Goddess.  It’s been fun answering your questions and maybe we can come back and do a guest post some day. Also just to say to all your lovely readers out there, to please contact us.  We love hearing from everyone out there and we do answer all our messages.

ChickLit Goddess also did a book feature on Looking For La La with excerpt.      Read it here. BOOK FEATURE: LOOKING FOR LA LA.