Meet Carole Matthews, international bestselling author of hugely successful romantic comedy novels. Her unique sense of humour has won her legions of fans and critical acclaim all over the world.
As well as appearing on the Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Carole is published in 30 different countries. Her novel Welcome To The Real World was shortlisted for the RNA romantic novel of the year award. She has recently an award from The Festival of Romance for her Outstanding Contribution to Romantic Fiction.
Previously very unlucky in love, she now lives happily ever after with her partner, Lovely Kev, in a minimalist home with no ornaments or curtains. She likes to drink champagne, eat chocolate and spends too much time on Facebook and Twitter.
When she’s not writing novels she likes trekking in the Himalayas, rollerblading in Central Park, taking tea in China or being cajoled up the Andes by Lovely Kev. More often than not, she can be found daydreaming in her garden shed in Milton Keynes.
Carole very kindly agreed to answer a few questions and I’m very pleased to share her answers with you.
Paper or laptop? Which medium do you prefer to write on. I treasure my Mac which has made my life so much easier, I still have notes all over the place mind you. What about you?
Desktop computer! I’ve worked for so long on a computer, that I can barely read my own writing now. I think the only time I ever do it is when I’m writing shopping lists, birthday cards or signing books. I’m lucky that having been a secretary in a former life that I can touch type, so I can just about keep up with my brain. I can’t work on a laptop either as I find the positioning of the keyboard and screen too restrictive. If you’re going to spend hours typing, then you need to be both comfortable and as ergonomically positioned as possible. Two things in a writer’s life are certainties – you will get RSI and you will get a fat bottom.
Are you a disciplined writer? Do you make yourself sit down every day or do you write in bursts?
Very disciplined! The bulk of my work is done in office hours. Email at 8 o’clock until 9, then breakfast. Back in the office for 10 and write through until 1. An hour for lunch during which I read the newspaper. Write again from 2 -5 or 6. If I’m going well I might push on and be in the office until 9, but I try not to do that too often. I also try not to work at weekends unless I’m really behind with the admin! People often look for shortcuts when it comes to writing a book, but you’ve just got to put those hours in. Sorry, but there’s no way round it!
What would you like people to remember most about you?
As a person, that I’m nice, funny and try always to do my best. For my books, I’d want people to remember that I provided them with a bit of escapism and fun. I hope that I’ve made a lot of people laugh.
I love writing in different styles. Have you ever switched genres, or considered doing so?
I love writing women’s fiction and feel comfortable in that genre. I see my future there as long as readers keep buying my books. I have written other stories in the past for my own pleasure. I’ve got an unfinished thriller novel in my desk drawer and also, because I adore vampires, there’s a vampire story there too. It’s very dark and disturbing! Clearly there are hidden passions beneath this smiley surface!
Anything you hate about writing? I love writing, it’s the marketing I’m not so keen on.
I guess it’s quite a lonely profession. There’s nothing glamorous about sitting in a room all day by yourself making stuff up! From that point of view, the advent of social networking has been fantastic. If I was in a ‘normal’ office, there’d be those moments in the day where you chat to your colleagues. I think that Facebook and Twitter provide those moments where I can chat to my friends and readers.