If you stopped by yesterday, you know how much I enjoyed Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell. I am thrilled to welcome Jill to A Bookworm's World today. She was gracious enough to answer my questions!
Luanne - Tilly is yet again a character I just loved. Your main characters are always quirky but lovable and the situations they find themselves in are great fun. Do you use any of your own (or your friends) experiences as ideas or settings?
Jill: Hi Luanne, and firstly can I say it’s great to be back on your wonderful blog! I’m so glad you liked Tilly too. My daughter says my characters always sound and act like me, but these days I’m afraid I’m a bit older than my heroines – although I still feel that age in my head. I definitely use other people’s experiences in my books, and settings too. Roxborough is based on Tetbury, which is where I went to school. (Prince Charles and his sons live there now – it’s a beautiful little town.) I may be going back in September for a school reunion, which will be fun, and could spark off a couple of ideas for the next book…
Luanne - Where did the idea for Rumor Has It spring from?
Jill: many years ago I saw an ad in a magazine that said Girl Friday needed, fun job, country house. Just that, no other details, but I’ve never forgotten it – I was so intrigued and my imagination was caught. I’d love to know what that job was like!
Luanne - Have you ever found yourself playing matchmaker with friends or family?
Jill: I don’t know if I have! I know I always WANT to, because (as in my books) I like to be in control and tell everyone what to do. The trouble is, in real life people won’t always do as they’re told. It’s really annoying – don’t they understand I know best?!
Luanne - Missed cues and misunderstandings plague Tilly and Jack. Any dating misadventures you'd care to share?
Jill: Oh gosh, millions. Thankfully I’ve been with my partner for 24 years now, so all the misadventures have faded from my mind. But I do remember chatting to one boyfriend’s mother and saying cheerfully ‘What kind of sad person would iron their pantyhose?’ She gave me a frosty look and said, ‘Well I ALWAYS do.’ Funnily enough, I split up with that boyfriend shortly after that…
Luanne - Your writing always makes me laugh. What makes you laugh out loud?
Jill: Again, all sorts. When we watch Friends at home, we always laugh. And my son is very witty – he cracks me up all the time.
Luanne - Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie? Who do you see playing the roles?
Jill: I find it quite weird to imagine actors and actresses playing my characters – to me, it would be like looking in the mirror and suddenly seeing that your own face has completely changed. I would love Rumor Has It to be made into a film though. I’d flit around in the background doing cameo appearances like Alfred Hitchcock!
Luanne - Is the idea for your next book always there or do you ever suffer from writer's block?
Jill: I try not to think of the next idea too early, otherwise I’d want to get cracking on it before the current book was finished. I wait until I’ve written The End, then start frantically scouring magazines/TV shows/friends for brilliant ideas!
Luanne - How much of a plan do you have when writing? Does it change as the story progresses?
Jill: The plan is always very vague – trying to write it all down in detail at the beginning is doomed to failure because a better plot-twist is guaranteed to come along and knock the rest of it off track at a later stage. Far easier to just make it up as I go along.
Luanne - Do you ever re read your own books?
Jill: I never re-read my own books – or anyone else’s nowadays. Can’t do it any more, which is a shame. I used to love re-reading old favourites!
Luanne - Author signings are a treat for me. Any tales from the other side of the table?
Jill: It’s fun when the fans are enthusiastic. Sometimes people bring flowers and chocolates, which is wonderful, but it’s also lovely when they bring old well-worn and much-loved copies of my books for me to sign. It means the world to me that they’ve enjoyed them so much!
Luanne- And everyone always wants to know what an author is reading!
Jill: I’m just about to start The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I’m hearing great things about. And I really loved Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall – an amazing book.
Luanne - Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Jill: Just thank you again for your wonderful enthusiasm, Luanne. And if anyone want to catch up with me on Twitter, which I love, I’m there as @JillMansell
Thank you so much for stopping by Jill! Can't wait for your next North American release. And thanks to Sourcebooks, I have two copies of Rumor Has It to giveaway! Simply comment to be entered, open to Canada and the US, no po boxes please. Ends Sat. June 26 at 6 pm EST.