Behind The Book


Quite often after I’ve finished reading a book I’m left with questions – not necessarily about plot or character development but more about the author and their path to publication.

That’s why I started the Behind The Book series, which is my chance to quiz writers about all the things I’m interested in – and hopefully help others with the same burning ambition to write and publish a novel (or three).

Thank you to all the lovely authors who have taken the time to answer my questions.

My final interview of the year was with Lynsey James who is the author of six books – and that’s despite a careers advisor warning her that writing wasn’t “a good option”. Lynsey talks about writing from the heart and shares her top writing tips.


As a young girl, Carla Burgess wrote boarding school stories, which she also illustrated herself. While she has moved on since then, it was lovely to take a peek at her early work together with learning more about the three books she has written as a grown up.



Jen Mouat has to fit writing around her full time job as a teacher but she says its doable – as long as you set yourself small goals. We talk about where the idea for her debut came from, the significance of Scotland’s National Book Town in her story and stationery addiction.

Jen Mouat quote real


Her first book, The Beta Mum: Adventures In Alpha Land, gives an intriguing peek into the world of the super rich of Notting Hill but how much of it is fact and how much fiction? I found out when I chatted to Isabella Davidson.

Isabella quote

In finishing her first novel, Jan Baynham has got further than most but now she needs to find it a home where it will be treated well. Jan talks about writing A Mother’s Secret, the importance of a good writing group and her hopes of securing a publishing deal.

Jan quote

Best-selling author, Heidi Swain, submitted her debut novel to a publisher’s open submission – and was quickly offered a book deal. On the cusp of releasing book five, she tells me about the joy of being a full time writer.


Inspired by the Twilight series and cult television programmes such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Jacqueline Farrell created a vibrant, mature witch, with plenty of adventures still to be had – whether she wants them or not. She tells me more about her latest paranormal romance.


* Kate Field won the prestigious Joan Hessayon award for her debut, The Magic Of Ramblings. She tells me about what that meant to her and also talks about her second novel, The Truth About You, Me and Us.


* With two successful contemporary romances under her belt – and another on the way – Julie Stock has some amazing tips for anyone interested in “indie” publishing, along with writers in general.



* Jen Gilroy had a target of writing 250 words a day at one point as she juggled a hectic job and family life. Find out how those words added up to his first book in her wonderful FireFly Lake series.



* A clairvoyant gave Jessica Redland the initial idea for her debut novel. Since then four more have followed and Jessica proves to be entertaining and inspiring interviewee.





*If I was going to write books for children I’d want a name as good as A Bogie but is it a nom de plume? I ask Anna about that and many other things.



*Award-winning journalist, author, editor, proof reader and mentor, Keiron Pim‘s last book was named best debut biography in 2016 by The Guardian. Find out what he has to say about writing non-fiction.


* Saga writer Susanna Bavin reveals her top three tips for writers and talks about writing her second book in just six months.


H J Moat had a publisher interested in her debut but decided to go it alone and stay true to the story she wanted to tell.

quote HJmoat





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