Tag Archives: romance

Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. | The Love Of A Good Book

Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. THE ISLE OF SKYE

Every holiday throughout my childhood, my family would squeeze into our wreck of a car and drive the 250 odd miles to our grandma’s home on the Isle of Skye – birthplace of my dad and his parents and their parents and so on.

Growing up in Edinburgh was brilliant, no question. I’d gangs of friends, played out all day, dodging cars and strange-looking men. I’d climb church roofs with killer drops, clamber to the top of great high oak trees, coming home only when it grew dark. So why did I long for Skye so much?

I’d have sleepless nights beforehand. Ached to get there.

The journey was horrendous, all five passengers taking turns with the sick bag. The roads were windy, bumpy, some of them mere dirt tracks, but as soon as we reached the Kyle of Lochalsh car ferry, I knew I was almost home.

I’d leave the car and breathe deeply, as we made the crossing, absorbing the sweet scent of the peat-burning fires emanating from chimneys of the whitewashed houses dotting the landscape.

We’d arrive at my grandma’s house, late at night. The beds would have been warmed with the stone hot water bottles, a fire would burn in the range. I’d crash out the minute my head hit the pillow and next morning, I’d squint open my eyes and know I was in heaven.

To me, the freedom here seemed even greater. There was only one family living nearby, but they had five kids, so with my three sisters, I’d eight ready-made playmates alongside all the chickens, cats, dogs, sheep and cows.

We’d fish for crabs, go on boat trips to empty the lobster creels and spend hours messing around in the rockpools. We’d wade through peat bogs, stand perilous close to crumbly clifftops and take dips in the cold North sea. Once I had to swim like crazy as a huge fin appeared ten feet from where I was bathing. Turned out to be a harmless basking shark.

I’d follow heather tracks for miles, knock on any door and the householders would usher me inside, clucking away about how they’d known my dad since he was a “wee bairn”.

Last year, I returned with some of my family. Part holiday, part research. I was afraid I’d be disappointed. Our childhood friends had moved away. Some had died. Our family croft and the house I knew as my second home had long since sold. There was now even a bridge to the mainland. Where was the romantic ideal of “over the sea to Skye”?

Wasn’t a great start. I found out that I booked in one of the busiest holiday periods on the island as the Highland Games had just finished. I expected hordes of people, crowded shops and tourist sights, with the capital Portree changed beyond recognition. I was worried we’d be bored.

How surprised I was.

We visited Dunvegan castle, drank in fabulous pubs, danced at ceilidhs (where I was flung around the dancefloor by kilted members of a Chicago Piper band).

We sailed the bay to see white-tailed sea eagles soaring high above us and seals playing in the water.

We walked around the magnificent Cuillin mountains and picnicked beside the Fairy Pools.

Yes there was a bridge, but the ferry still ran. Yes it was busy, but there weren’t the hordes of tourists I expected. Maybe because each passing place on the narrow roads, is its own beauty spot. The scenery was outstanding.

I travelled back as I’d arrived, via the ferry, but no sooner had the boat left shore than I was aching again to return, knowing that I was leaving my home.

My heart belongs there.

Oh wow, I’m still amazed by that shark. Thank you so much for sharing Pam

via Pam Burks: My Heart Belongs to ………. | The Love Of A Good Book.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF ‘TO CATCH A CREEPER ON MARCH 24TH.

Frothy Reads Review: Looking For La La by Ellie Campbell

Frothy Reads review for Looking For La La  – now only 99c. 

Ellie Campbell is actually a team of two sisters who kindly offered me a review copy, which I had to decline…. because I’d already bought it! It’s akin to recently reviewed Goodness, Grace and Me in general theme- batty housewife investigates possibly cheating husband and uncovers all sorts of neighbourhood shenanigans. Luckily I read a palate cleanser inbetween to avoid confusion.

Kooks for your Kindle?– There’s almost an overabundance of characters here, it’s quite a busy book. Everyone is well characterised though, and everyone’s a possibility in the hunt for La La: Many varied mum friends, some old friends, some random acquaintances. Declan is Cathy’s stressed husband who is mostly on board with Cathy’s scatty nature, but has his impatient moments and he’s oblivious to the manipulations of his assistant at work. Raz is an old mate who enjoys a child-free, career-minded life while temporarily inhabiting Cathy’s loft conversion, while Rupert is her boyfriend who seems to have a creepy fixation on Cathy.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor- Cathy begins the tale as a rudderless housewife, struggling with domestic chaos even though her kids are at school and she has a weekly cleaning lady. Although her husband Declan first fell for her nuttiness, he’s running out of patience now and is pressuring her to rejoin the paid masses. Despite Cathy’s loopiness, she has her feet on the ground some of the time, has a refreshing outlook on life and can put away an impressive amount of alcohol. She’s kind and good to her friends, bordering on too soft especially where creepy Rupert is concerned. Now that I think of it, she reminds me of an older, domesticated Bridget Jones- I’ll have to read her latest to check.

Evaluation of your eBook?- For such a frothy book it has a cast of thousands, and more red herrings than sea world. If you can guess whodunnit before the end, bravo, I was certainly still guessing. I did like Cathy, even though her insane decision making made me shout at her occasionally. There’s a lovable collection of extras, almost all of whom are suspects at some point, and made for a warm, chaotic, dramatic and funny read.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

via Frothy Reads.

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.

It's ticking faster than we knew…

Oops!  It’s at .99 now but… Just found out that the Kindle Countdown promotion means that When Good Friends Go Bad will rise to $1.99 on Sunday instead of staying at .99 all week.  And there’s no stopping that clock once it’s in motion…  By the 15th, it’ll be back up to $3.99 and we can’t do a darn thing about it.   We goofed up, folks.  Apologies, apologies!

Sorry about the confusion but there’s no time to hesitate or procrastinate… if you’re thinking of buying this fun chicklit read about former schoolfriends, long lost first love, and tangled romance, grab it NOW!

Amazon Friends EBook

Don't miss out! The clock is ticking…

Yes, this week only, Monday 21th to Sunday 27th September, we are offering WHEN GOOD FRIENDS GO BAD in the UK only at the bargain price of just 99 pence!   It’s another Kindle Countdown Promotion and the seconds are ticking away.

Amazon Friends EBook

 Need more encouragement? Check out a few of the many 5 star reviews at Amazon.com!

‘Bloody Good. Quirky humor, crazy personalities, zany situations…This book has it all.’

‘A most wonderful book….the best book I’ve read in a while. CONGRATULATIONS Ellie Campbell you knocked it out of the park…’

‘Fun and Quirky. A book full of interesting characters leading very full lives, and lots of great Brit quirkiness. I… loved it.’

‘This is a book you can recommend to all your friends. I love “chick lit” stories and this one had twists and turns, secrets and….  well I don’t want to give away the ending.’

WHEN GOOD FRIENDS GO BAD…

All through school, tomboy Jen, snobby Georgina, hippy Meg and gentle Rowan, were inseparable. Until, that is, the unfortunate consequences of a childish prank tore them apart. As adults an attempted reunion went disastrously wrong. Rowan failed to appear. Meg behaved outrageously and – sharpest cut of all – Jen discovered just how deeply Georgina had betrayed her.  The events of that night changed their lives forever.

So now, a mother herself, in the midst of divorce, the last thing Jen needs is a call from Meg. Or is it? Will Meg’s strange mission to track down the missing Rowan re-open old wounds… is it a chance to heal the rift… or to recover Jen’s never-forgotten, first true love? As their quest unearths secrets and feelings best left buried, Jen, Meg and Georgina will be tested on love, loyalty, and friendship, discover the truth about Rowan – and wake a danger that threatens them all.

TIME IS FLYING BY  One_handSO DON’T DELAY…

And to our UK readers, sorry we can’t include you in this great promotion this time around but don’t be sad…  Crying_Smiley_clip_art_hight

we’re sure to have something else for you very soon!

Miki's Hope: Book Review/Giveaway-When Good Friends Go Bad

Miki’s Hope Book Review/Giveaway-When Good Friends Go Bad-Ellie Campbell (US, CAN, UK)-Ends 8/15

REVIEW: FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2013

I really enjoyed reading this book about 4 friends who for various reasons don’t really keep in touch. They were trouble makers in school–but always had each others backs. When Rowen decides to contact all the others for a reunion-but then does not show up herself-the others are worried BUT other problems have to be worked through first. They intermittently try to track Rowen down–but road blocks keep getting in their way. They do ultimately find her-and trouble! I do not want to give away the ending–so I am going to stop right here–If you decide to read this book (I would suggest the book although it does come in e-book format) you will not be disappointed! AND for 3 Days you can get this book from

Amazon Friends EBook

via Book Review/Giveaway-When Good Friends Go Bad-Ellie Campbell (US, CAN, UK)-Ends 8/15 | Miki’s Hope.

Lots of Winners – in time for Mother's Day

We’re delighted to announce that Nurmawati Djuhawan from Indonesia won our Rafflecopter Giveaway!  She won a free paperback copy of Looking For La La.. Congratulations Nurmawati!   But you can all be winners!  To celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, Amazon is giving away free kindle copies this weekend of Looking For La La to end on Sunday May 12th, at 11.59 PST.    Order now an help us get to #1 in the Kindle Free Top 100!    If you’re suspecting that you may not be the most ‘together’ mother in the world, if your house is a little messy and your kids won’t eat their vegetables, reading Cathy Roger’s trials is bound to cheer you up.

Want to win a Kindle copy of all three of our novels?  You have 12 days left to enter Reading Renee’s giveaway of How To Survive Your Sisters, When Good Friends Go Bad and Looking For La La.  And, yes, there are some less-than-perfect mothers in those books too…

SHAZ'S BOOK BLOG – AUTHOR INTERVIEW: ELLIE CAMPBELL

Excerpted from SHAZ’S BOOK BLOG.  Thank you Shaz.

Author Interview: Ellie Campbell

Today I’m delighted to be able to welcome Ellie Campbell to talk about her latest book Looking for La La.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new book Looking for La La?
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.
Where did the inspiration come from for the story?
Pam: Well, the postcard bit was true. It did arrive, addressed to my husband, covered in lipstick kisses. Unlike Cathy, however, I didn’t launch into some wild crazy sleuthing trying to find out the sender. I did tease my husband about his unknown admirer but he ran a health club packed with women and it could have been anyone. It was too good to waste though. I roped in my sister Lorraine to write a funny light-hearted mystery novel using the postcard as inspiration. Some might think that a strange reaction but I think most writers will sympathise. What’s a little infidelity next to a great idea, hah ha? No, seriously, we’d been married for years by then and knowing my husband as I do, I had no doubt it was nonsense.

Which came first, the characters or the plot?

Lorraine: The characters definitely. Cathy pretty much wrote herself and Declan was the perfect foil to go from romantic first meeting to showing the power struggle in marriage and how couples start taking each other for granted. Then there was Cathy’s diverse group of friends, mostly mothers with their own kid-related problems. And Declan and Cathy’s two admirers, providing temptations and creating even greater rifts. With several strong personalities and the unique way they reacted to events, they all conspired to push the plot in directions we didn’t originally plan. It was a very organic way of writing and amazing the way it all came together.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Lorraine: Pam and I loved reading Enid Blyton books, all the Famous Five adventures. We played imagination games together, where we were pirates or lived in the jungle like Tarzan. And we used to adlib plays into a little cassette recorder. I actually became a total bookworm. I’d go over to friends’ houses and read their books instead of playing with them – no wonder I wasn’t the most popular girl in school. I think we even started a a novel or two as kids. But becoming a writer – no, that was beyond our wildest dreams. I’d write 10-page letters to friends but if I hadn’t started working for Carol Smith, (who was then a literary agent, and has since become a bestselling author), and if she hadn’t encouraged me to write my first short story, I think it might never have happened. For me anyway.
 
Have you ever had writer’s block? And how did you overcome it?
Pam: Yes, but the good thing about working with a writing partner is that with luck they can move the story along when you’re completely stuck. It’s rare that we’re both blocked at the same time. Or just reading what the other has written can suddenly consolidate your half-formed thoughts about the way things should go – not always convenient if they don’t gel with what has been put on the page but we’re always open to hearing fresh ideas and changes. Since I live in England and Lorraine lives in the States, we email each other the latest document at the end of each day and sometimes it’s like waking up to a brand-new novel.
If you weren’t a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow?
Lorraine: At the moment I’m studying to be a horse trainer and there is a part of me that wishes I’d done so a lot earlier in my life, perhaps worked on an Australian cattle ranch. But I get to play with horses now as well as writing so it’s the best of both worlds. And I’ve had so many life experiences I’d never want to have missed. Including working briefly in the movie industry in Los Angeles – I’d also have liked to make movies or even act if I hadn’t been so shy.

If you could have any of your books made into a film, which one would you choose and why? Who would you cast in the leading roles?

Pam: I think they’d all be filmic but I’d probably choose When Good Friends Go Bad because there are so many secrets and twists and a really dramatic finale. Jennifer Aniston would play Jen. Georgina would be Helena Bonham-Carter or Kate Winslett. Meg would be Kristine Wiig from Bridesmaids, Starkey would be Johnny Depp, Ollie would be Ryan Goslin and we can’t cast Rowan because she needs to stay a surprise.
If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
Lorraine: We both like mystery novels which is why there is nearly always a mystery or a twist in ours. I think it would be fun to write a series like Janet Evanovich does with her Stephanie Bond bounty-hunter. Yes, Stephanie is out there trying to find someone and there is action and drama but it’s really all about the characters, their interrelationships and the humor. Looking For La La was definitely a lighter read than our other two novels, we made it funnier whereas the others were more realistic with funny moments, but we loved getting that sleuthing element in there. We’d also like to write something around horses, our other great passion.

Do you have much spare time to read books? If so, what was the last book you read or what are you currently reading?

Pam: Last book I read was Yours Truly, Kirsty Greenwood. Loved it. Great fun. No wonder it got to No. 1 in Kindle bestsellers. At moment I am too busy writing blog posts and working on the sequel to La La.Lorraine: We really don’t have much spare time except the few pages I read at night before my eyes close. I did manage to devour half of Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin while travelling to Indiana for the weekend. But don’t tell Pam – she’d have me sitting on the plane editing or updating our blog.
Can you describe Looking for La La in 20 words or less? 
A love postcard brings mystery and turmoil into a mother’s dull routine, jeopardizing her marriage, friendships, and even her life.

 

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.

I heart books! | For lovers of chick-lit, adult and romance books.

A lovely interview with I Heart Books.  Thank you, Kirsty!

cropped-i-heart-books2

Sisters, doing it for themselves!

POSTED ON APRIL 24, 2013

Who is Ellie Campbell?

L&PGrand Canyon2Actually ‘Ellie’ is two people – sisters and co-authors Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell.  We love all kinds of novels but particularly women’s fiction with a great story, recognizable characters and the ability to make us laugh one minute and perhaps cry the next.  We still share the same sense of humor that got us into so much trouble as kids and so it has been fun writing books that allow us to enjoy the comic aspects of everyday life while still exploring some serious issues and indulging in our taste for romance, drama, and intrigue.

Your book is called ‘Looking for La La’ please could you tell me about it?

We got the inspiration from a postcard that was sent to our house several years ago.  It was from someone called La La, covered with lipstick kisses and proclaiming passionate love to my husband.  So of course my sister Lorraine and I borrowed the event for the first chapter of Looking For La La: a novel about a bored, unappreciated housewife and mother of two, Cathy, whose predictable world is turned upside-down by the arrival of a love postcard addressed to husband, Declan.  We had her investigating the mystery, full of joy at this unexpected excitement.  But her sleuthing just gets her deeper into all kinds of trouble, threatening her marriage, bringing surprising attention from a sexy artist, stirring up conflict with friends and fellow-mothers with secrets of their own and even – it turns out – inciting the wrath of a murderous opponent.   It’s a wild ride with a lot of humour and we had great fun writing it.

‘Looking for La La’ is based around a thirty something mother of two, please could you tell me about her?

Cathy is definitely on the ‘slummy-mummy’ end of the scale, disorganized, chaotic, the kind of person who runs around the house tidying up before the cleaning lady comes and then has to hide or leave the house because she feels so guilty about hiring help.  (Nothing like me, obviously!) Her second child has just started school and she has no idea how to go about returning to work, being nervous of new technology and victim of a terrible interview phobia. So she’s putting off the evil day as long as she can, the source of regular arguments with her husband.  Meanwhile she has a great bunch of friends: Raz, who lives in their attic: the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, fellow mothers who share riotous alcohol-fuelled evenings out.  She’s fiercely loyal and she genuinely loves Declan even if they bicker, especially as suspicions grow about his young new assistant. It has to be said Cathy is prone to misreading situations – not nearly the great sleuth she fondly imagines herself to be – and this combined with her impulsive, reactive personality gets her into a lot of hot water, often with comic results.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?

how to survive_2_4I began by going to creative writing classes as a form of escapism – I had three young children, all under the age of 4, and I needed to get away occasionally. I loved turning up to these classes, listening to all those fabulous writers, not really thinking I would ever particularly be one.  With encouragement though I began writing short stories, thrilled when I had my first one published in a UK weekly magazine.  From there on, I continued writing short stories, and small articles, mostly done in the short space of time while the children were at school or nursery.  When Lorraine settled in Colorado, we started writing a novel together.  It was a red-letter day when Caroline Hardman, our agent, agreed to take us on and even more exciting when Arrow Books wanted to publish How to Survive your Sisters and gave us a two-book contract.  There were a lot of firsts – it was our first novel, we were Caroline’s first clients and it was the first fiction acquisition by the editor at Arrow.  As everyone says finding an agent is incredibly challenging – we were lucky.

Are any of the characters in ‘Looking for La La’ anything like you?

Cathy, the narrator, is like me in some ways, in that I love going out with my female friends and just having a blast with them.  I don’t go out drinking as much as Cathy does though, (I wish!), and my children are a lot older.  I can however remember the days of not knowing what I wanted to do once the kids didn’t need me around so much and being terrified of the thought of returning to work. Saying all that, luckily I found my career path early on.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.

So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

In Looking for La La, it would have to be Cathy.  I would like to go the Spa she visits with her friend, Gabby, but unlike Gabby, (who went to sleep instead) would listen to her problems and talk some sense into her and tell her not to be so hard on herself and not to feel she has to be all things to all people all the time.

You write as a sister team, how did this come about?

When Good Friends Go BadLorraine started being published first, well she would, she’s older, ha.  But no really she worked for a literary agency, for the novelist Carol Smith.  Carol encouraged her to write.  When I began writing, I would never show anything to Lorraine, for fear she’d think it rubbish.  Obviously, though, once my work was in magazines I felt a lot more secure about sharing it.   After a while Lorraine and I began to email each other our stories, especially if we’d reached a sticking point and could use a bit of input.  When we both wanted to write a novel about our experience of being sisters, and particularly about our amazing mother, we decided to write it together. It was difficult at first, working out the logistics, but once we had the plot down on paper, we each picked a chapter or scene or character and just ran with it.  To be honest with all the rewrites and different versions we send back and forth, it’s hard even for us to tell who wrote what exactly.  It all streams into one.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?

Yes, we have just finished our fourth novel, Million Dollar Question, which is currently with our agent, Caroline Hardman at Hardman Swainson.  It follows the stories of two very different women, one in the States who loses her fantastic career, her wealth and her super-eligible fiancé, and the other, an impoverished divorced parent in the UK, who wins a million pounds, both events occurring on the same day.  They are connected in more ways than they know and eventually the two stories converge as each has to deal with the change of identity, issues of self-worth and all the challenges that come with such an extreme turn of fortunes

If there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?

Don't worry, be happy !“Don’t worry, be happy.”  Having said that, although I’m basically a happy person, I have wasted so much time worrying about things that don’t happen.

If ‘Looking for La La’ was to be made into a film, who would you like to star in it?

I would say Eva Mendes (Cathy has a thing about her) but she’s far too feminine and pouty and it would be hard to see her as slobby, chaotic Cathy.  Perhaps Drew Barrymore or Renee Zellwegger – she was so amazing in Bridget Jones. Definitely Damien Lewis for Declan, Raz could be Charlize Theron, Belinda would be Melissa McCarthy, Henrietta would be played by Emily Watson with her pixie cut hairstyle and Rupert – Cathy’s love interest – would have absolutely to be Colin Farrell.  Or Johnny Depp.  I don’t know if they’re what we pictured exactly but if they were on the set, nothing on earth could keep Lorraine and I away.

Please could you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Well, it might sound as if writing in partnership is easy but really it has its pros and cons.  One good thing about Lorraine and me is that we are in some ways very alike in our thinking, sense of humour, even in our voices and use of words and expressions.  To the point that in our dating days it was impossible for both of us to shine.  If one was on form, telling stories, grabbing the attention, the other would automatically fall back and fade into the background rather than compete.  We don’t look at all identical – Lorraine is taller, I’m darker in hair and skin – but people often used to ask if we were twins.  So writing in the same voice isn’t as hard for us as it might be for other people.  Basically we work out a storyline – which evolves as we progress.  We decide who wants to write each character viewpoint, send the chapters over, the other rewrites as they feel fit, sends it back, the other edits and makes more changes, and back and forth like that several times.  By the time we’re finished, it’s very hard to remember who exactly wrote what.  Kind of like our childhood memories – we each claim that such-and-such an event happened to us – who poured the bowl of ice-cream over their head in a fit of childish excitement, who got into a stand-off with the neighbourhood bully.   The stories blend – and at the end of the day, well, it’s sort of annoying, someone else claiming ‘your’ past but it’s sort of wonderful too.   I guess it’s a sister thing.

I would like to thank Pam and Lorraine for taking the time to talk to I Heart Books!

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