Monday mornings were always just that bit more manageable when I knew Lucy Mitchell would be posting the latest instalment of The Diary of Roxy Collins on her blog.
Her funny, warm and relatable series, featuring a single mother of three, looking for love after some disastrous relationships, has since been turned into a popular podcast, read by Lucy (links at the end).
For now though, Roxy is having to step aside – not that she’s very happy about it – while Lucy is busy writing her debut novel.
I’ve been a fan for years and can’t wait to see what she comes up with but first I was very happy when she agreed to chat to me for my latest Behind The Book post.
Let’s start with the big one, what’s the dream writing-wise? And how do you keep that dream alive?
I want to see one of my stories turned into a book. I want to frame the cover and put it on my living room wall. Every night I sit in my writing corner, in the lounge, and glance up at the bare wall, near my book shelves. One day it will contain a framed book cover and I will be so proud of myself.
At what age did you start writing? Were you encouraged at school?
I wrote a lot as a child and excelled at English at school. When I went to university I wrote to my mother every week. Instead of terrifying her with my student adventures I turned them all into little comedies. Mum tells me laughed her head off each breakfast time, as she read my lengthy account of student life, and she knew I would one day do something with my writing.
You write romantic comedy fiction. Were you always interested in that genre? What was the lure?
I enjoy writing stuff that makes people laugh and I also enjoy reading romance. I write about real romances as for years I have grown tired of reading about stick thin heroines with glamorous jobs and angelic children. It is time for the real life heroines with failed marriages, ex partners, unsuccessful diets, money issues and wild best friends, to make an appearance.
Can we talk about your very successful blog? When and why did you start it?
My kids and husband were doing my head in one Sunday back in April 2014. I crept upstairs and started my blog. I wanted a place where I could come out as a writer and gain some confidence.
You’re very open about the ups and downs of a writing life, which I can totally identify with. Was that a conscious decision? I know a lot of authors feel like they shouldn’t talk about rejections, what do you think?
My blog is a place where I sort out my head. I use each blog post to investigate an issue or deal with an emotional problem.
I will be talking about the highs and lows of my publishing journey on my blog.
How do you find time to blog, write, work and I’m sure do a million other different things?
I write in the bath, in motorway service stations, in hotel rooms, in cafes in my lunch hour and before I go to bed. I am tapping out words on dog walks, in lifts and in shopping centres. Writing is a huge part of my life.
Can you talk about your character Roxy Collins? As well as your blog, she also features on Wattpad and a very successful podcast.
Roxy Collins has become an old friend to me. I am so glad I turned her into a podcast and gave her a voice. She’s always in my head and never leaves me. Roxy makes me giggle as I know she gets jealous of new female characters who come into my mind.
The female character who makes it to publication better be tough enough to face up to Roxy.
How important do you think social media is to writers?
Social media has been a life saver for me. I have entered a supportive and encouraging community of creative people who have been like beacons of light for me on dark days.
Who are your favourite authors to read?
I like Stephie Chapman, Victoria Cooke and Roxie Cooper. They all make me smile.
I know you share a lot of writing tips on your blog, do you have a top one you live by?
Keep writing. Even when you are having a tough time, keep writing.
Wise words, particularly at the end there. I completely agree about finding fellow writers on social media too – and Lucy has always been lovely.
You can find her brilliant blog, Blonde Write More, here, read Roxy’s story on Wattpad here and hear Lucy (and Roxy) in action on her podcast on iTunes here. It’s also available on Stitcher and Soundcloud.
A big thank you to Lucy for taking part and sending best wishes for her debut.