Can you tell us something about your novel, ‘High Heels and Bicycle Wheels’?
In 'High Heels & Bicycle Wheels', we meet TV production assistant Bryony, from 'The Right Side Of Mr Wrong'. So the most unsporty girl on the planet, is thrown together with hot, complex, pro cyclist, Jackson, whose demons are overtaking him. A sizzling one night stand is inevitable, but neither of these defiantly single people expected to meet up again, least of all for a two week road trip. Think camper vans, beaches, and one long, hot, summer that will change their lives forever. This is sexy chick lit, with a whole lot of humour and emotion thrown into the mix.
Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?
As a writer you find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, but often ideas begin with a tiny real life moment, and then grow from there. Bryony was demanding her own story, and then one day when I was out at a cycling race in Lincoln, I saw a TV crew running around the town, with a blonde presenter, in high heeled trainers, interviewing the riders. Kerching! I knew instantly that Bryony was going to be working on a sports programme, and interviewing a cyclist. I do admit to being inspired by a set of pictures of David Gandy wearing very little at this point. Enter Jackson Gale... I like weaving my own experiences into the story, because it enables me to give a truly authentic feel. Bryony’s terror on the tandem was based directly on my own experiences, and I did once have a camper van too.
Can you tell us a bit more about the main protagonist, Bryony?
Bryony marched onto the page fully formed in 'The Right Side Of Mr Wrong' and she refused to go away until I’d given her a story of her own. Bryony is a fun loving, determinedly single TV production assistant, who is used to charming people to do exactly what she asks, but beneath her dynamic, confident exterior she has a lot of issues. She’s also nursing a secretly breaking heart, as the guy she loved from afar has just got married. Then she’s thrown together with Jackson, and for the first time in her life, she’s going head to head with a guy who is just as strong as she is, who she fancies the pants off. So it’s fast forward, to double trouble.
There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I loved writing Bryony’s best friend Cressy, because she’s so different to Bryony, and such fun. Cressy is demanding a book of her own, which she may just get sometime soon. It was also great to have Shea and Brando back on the page again (from 'The Right Side Of Mr Wrong'), because I really enjoy them. Brando has mellowed, but he still has plenty to learn. This is a stand alone book, which you can enjoy even if you haven’t read The Right Side Of Mr Wrong yet.
Did you do any particular research for parts of the book?
Bryony has a fab shoe collection, which was the perfect excuse for hours of online research, and lots of visits to drool over the shoes in Harvey Nics. Some research is SO arduous ;)
Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
I have two first drafts I’m working with, and another two novels at the post-it stage. With a new project I like to have a well worked out structure, and I get to know my characters as well as I know my best friends. Then I begin to write.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Writing is a solitary activity, but joining a writing group, either online, or locally, can help a lot. If you find the right group for you, you’ll get tips, support and inspiration. Try to write something every day – and luckily jokey emails to friends do count as writing. And never give up.
What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
Easy to answer. I just finished 'Stable Mates' by Zara Stoneley. I love Zara’s writing, and this is a fabulous romp of a book, with some great characters, and a brilliant story. If you haven’t read it already, grab it! Now!
Which book could you not live without?
Too hard to answer.
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘High Heels and Bicycle Wheels’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Hot summer fun.
Thanks so much, Jane! :)