We spoke to Giovanna Fletcher – author of Billy And Me – about inspiration, writer’s block and desert island reads. Here’s what she had to say…
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No. I’ve always had a big love of books and always have one in close proximity on the off chance I get to read even a few pages suddenly, but writing always seemed like something other people did – clever people, who knew all the words in the dictionary.
What inspired Billy And Me?
Well, once I’d decided I was going to stop pondering over whether writing was something I could actually do and just do it, I played around with a few different ideas. On the surface people assume the book’s about me. It’s not. In fact, it’s quite far from my reality and that’s what I loved about writing it.
What was the writing process behind Billy And Me?
When I’m writing I give myself a word count each day to adhere to, just to make sure I’m being productive and not sat on social networking sites all day… when you’re at your laptop it’s a temptation many of us continuously fight against (no matter our job description). 1,500 words is my daily target, and I can chill out a little once that’s reached – although, I occasionally plan a day off to see friends and eat cake.
Did you ever get hit by writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I don’t really, but if anything is troubling me within the story I find it best to step away from it and go for a walk to clear my thoughts. I also chew my husband’s ears off if that doesn’t help.
You run a site on Tumblr, too. What do you love most about blogging? When did you first start blogging and why?
Ooh! Well, I actually started blogging because I was getting increasing amounts of photos pinched from my private Facebook account, and there were a few profiles claiming to be me. I was worried what was being said and how they were interacting with people who thought these pages were me, so I set up a Twitter and blog and decided to share things myself. I love it. It’s a place for me to post happy pictures, quotes and thoughts. It’s a very positive place.
Your husband is a singer (Tom Fletcher from McFly) and you’re a writer/actress – do you ever collaborate on any creative projects? Would you?
Over the last few months we’ve actually started singing some duets on YouTube, so I guess we’re already collaborating. But who knows where that might lead… We live in a very creative environment where ideas just grow and take shape.
What advice would you give budding novelists?
Just sit down and start writing. Nothing can happen until you do that. That’s actually a piece of advice that was given to me – it worked.
Who is/are your favourite author/s?
I have so many! Dorothy Koomson, Jane Green and Adele Parks are three I’ve grown up with, so I guess they’re firm favourites. Cecelia Ahern is also up there… I just love the magic her books ooze.
If you had to pick one desert island book, which would it be?
Ah! Oh gosh… War and Peace, that way I’d feel like I’ve achieved something when I finally got off the island.
Finally… Billy And Me has just been released – so what’s next in the pipeline?
Book two, which is currently called You, Him and Me. I’ve just handed in the first draft and am waiting to hear back from my editor… scary times!
Billy And Me (Penguin, RRP £6.99) is available to buy here.