WEDNESDAY 08th OCTOBER 2014
I am delighted to welcome the lovely Lucy Diamond, author to several chick-lit novels including The Beach Café, Me and Mr Jones and Sweet Temptation. Lucy’s new novel ‘Christmas Gifts at The Beach Café’ is available to pre-order on Amazon now. I’ve got my order in – get yours here.
First of all, a confession. My name isn’t really Lucy Diamond at all, it’s Sue Mongredien. I’ve used a pen name because ‘Diamond’ is a lot easier to spell and pronounce than ‘Mongredien’ and also because I’ve written lots of children’s books too and wanted to keep the genres separate. (There is actually another Lucy Diamond on Amazon who writes religious children’s books. That isn’t me, though.) I was born in 1970 and grew up in Nottingham. I read English at Leeds University then moved to London and worked for various publishers before I packed it all in to go travelling around the world for a year and a half. When I came back to the UK, I worked in publishing again, then moved to the BBC.
I now live in Bath with my husband and three young children and divide my time between writing and looking after them. You can have a look at my children’s books here.
Grab that cuppa and get snug as we catch-up with the lovely Lucy Diamond.
Hi Lucy and welcome!
The below are questions asked by my Aunt, Tracy Wilford, who is a huge fan and has introduced me to your books.
In Sweet Temptation your main characters, Maddie, Lauren and Jess meet at their local Fatbusters. I really enjoyed their struggles with food and the reactions of those close to them to their weight issues. Why did you decide to write about a weight loss club?
First of all, thank you for having me here – and for reading my books. It’s much appreciated!
Sweet Temptation is a book that’s very close to my heart. Although I have never been to a weight loss club myself, I was quite insecure and self-conscious through my twenties – and it was only when my body produced three beautiful babies in my thirties that my attitude changed, and I started to feel proud of what my body had achieved, rather than fretting about wobbly thighs!
But then I joined a gym and the instructor did that horrible fat-pinching test and told me I was ‘verging on obesity’ (I was a size 10-12!) and all the old insecurities rushed back. In tears, I went home and wrote a blog about how upset I felt, and had the most amazing outpouring of support from readers, most of whom I didn’t know. And even in the depths of despair and angst, I thought – There might be a book in this…
In ‘Me and Mr Jones’ the character Alicia is married to dependable Hugh and as she approaches her 40th birthday she becomes restless and yearns for time to herself. This storyline resonated with me, who was your inspiration for this character?
The inspiration was me! I found turning 40 quite difficult. I had enjoyed my thirties so much that I felt somewhat apprehensive about leaving them behind. I think there’s a tendency to assume that life will suddenly change quite dramatically once you pass these milestone birthdays… funnily enough, it doesn’t. I am happy to say I am enjoying my 40s enormously – I’m sure Alicia is too!
Why did you decide to include recipes for beauty products, breakfasts, summer cocktails, and other plot related information at the end of your books? Have you tested all of the recipes yourself?
I think it’s nice to add a few extras at the end of a novel – and yes, I always test the recipes. I had particularly good feedback regarding the extra material at the end of Summer With My Sister – one lady wrote to tell me she had enjoyed making the beauty products so much, she’d actually started her own business (which has been a great success, and is still going from strength to strength!)
The below questions are from myself, I’d love to hear more about how you work …
I tend to write while my children are at school. I warm up by reading through and editing my previous day’s work, then push on with new pages. I write fairly quickly but edit many times before anyone is allowed to see a single page. My favourite part of the process is when I have completed a first draft – I’ve actually made it to the end! – and I have the pages printed out, ready for me to read the book through in its entirety. I do a HUGE edit at this point – whole chapters cut out, whole characters sometimes, I am absolutely ruthless. For me, it’s only when I’ve got to the end that I can see how the book needs to be balanced, and how it’ll ‘work’ as a whole.
I have always written: diaries, short stories, bad sixth-form love poetry… but it wasn’t until I was working at my first job in publishing that I fell in love with the idea of actually becoming an author myself. Until then, I’d kind of assumed that ‘people like me’ didn’t get to do things like that – but then I started meeting ‘real’ authors and realised that they didn’t conform to a type whatsoever, and most of them were very nice (and quite ordinary!) people. It was really only then that a little daydream became a possibility in my mind, and I thought, Why not?
Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?
I have a lovely little office at home, which is full of books and nice things my children have made me, and a very comfortable armchair for reading page proofs. However, at the start of this year, I began working a day or two a week at a shared office in town. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write with music playing, and other people around me, but I actually love being back in a proper office and feeling as if I have ‘colleagues’ again. (Plus it’s right in the middle of town and I kind of love a bit of lunchtime shopping too…)
And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.
I can’t resist a bit of karaoke… Don’t judge me!
Thank you for being here today Lucy
~Where to find the author~
Love Missuswolf xxx