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Twenty Questions with
Carole Matthews, novelist :
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Twenty Questions with
Carole Matthews, novelist

It’s such a joy and honour to share a publisher (Little, Brown) with Carole Matthews. Carole is the queen of romantic comedy fiction: her books are moving, fun, humorous and gorgeously romantic. Her latest novel, The Chocolate Lover’s Wedding, is a real delight.

Carole lives in what she calls ‘Costa del Milton Keynes’. And she’s prolific: she has written 28 romantic comedy novels and has just delivered her 29th novel. She’s starting her 30th which is a Christmas novel for 2017.

Here’s a little insight into the life and work of the wonderful Carole Matthews – be inspired and enjoy!

Which three words would you use to describe yourself?

  • Gorgeous.
  • Royalty.
  • Liar.

How would you describe your writing style?

Chatty, light-hearted.

What do you love most about writing?

Being in control of the little world I’ve created.

What do you find hardest?

The day I start to find it hard is the day I’ll give up.

Tell us a bit more about what inspired you to write your latest novel, The Chocolate Lover’s Wedding (awesome title by the way!).

It’s the 4th book in my Chocolate Lovers’ series. Every time I finish one of these books, I think it’s the end and then I start to wonder what’s happening to the characters. They’ve become like real people to me.

You are known for writing wonderful romantic comedies– what drew you to this genre? (You might disagree with being put in a category so feel free to say that too!) .

It just suits my nature perfectly. I’m quite optimistic and look for the fun in every occasion. I’ve tried writing dark stuff just to see if I can, but I don’t really like the place it takes me to. My research for rom-coms is fab and generally involves wine and cake.

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Carole receiving an award for Outstanding Contribution to Romance Writing from the Romantic Novelists Association presented by the wonderful Barbara Taylor-Bradford.

What kind of child were you?

I was a typical only child. Quite shy – people struggle to believe that now – and always had my nose in a book.

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

I think I would like to be able to travel through time. That could be useful for so many reasons.

Which fictional character would you most like to meet and why?

Bridget Jones. She spawned a generation of romantic comedy readers. I owe her a lot. I’d like to take a glass of wine or two with Bridget.

Which book do you wish you’d written?

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It’s such a lovely novel.

Do you have any writing tics that you’re forever editing out?

Yes. I write just far too many times. If I could just stop doing that…

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to go walking and, of course, I read a lot. I like to dabble with lots of crafts and currently, have knitting, stamping and die cutting on the go. I’m a big fan of the adult colouring craze. I love films too and a good box set.

Mary

Carole meeting Mary Berry who I gather is a real fan of her novels – lucky thing!

What are you reading at the moment?

Have just finished Bill Bryson’s book, The Road to Little Dribbling. I found myself laughing outloud and becoming depressed at the same time. Britain isn’t the same place as when he wrote Notes on a Small Island twenty years ago. Am about to start reading Elizabeth Chadwick’s historical novel The Autumn Throne. I do love a bit of historical fiction and she’s one of the best.

What’s your favourite word?

Wow.

What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?

Be nice to everyone. Especially on social media.

Which writer do you most admire?

Probably Philippa Gregory. I adore her books.

What song or piece of music would you choose as the theme tune to your life?

‘Mr Blue Sky’ by ELO. I’d like it at my funeral. But, hopefully, not for a while yet.

Where do you write?

I have a three-storey house and am very lucky to have the entire top floor as offices. It gives a modicum of separation between work and home. I did once have a summerhouse which I thought would be terribly inspiring, but I used to fall asleep in it.

What or who inspires you?

I like people who are positive and a little bit driven.

What are your top three writing tips?

  • Sit on your botty at your computer and just do it.
  • Write about what you want to, not the current trend.
  • If you find it too hard to write, do something else. Life is too short to torture yourself.

You can find out more about Carole Matthews on her website, her Facebook page and by following her on Twitter and Instagram.  You can also meet both of us on the 26th of May 2016 at Goldsboro Books for their wonderful, Romance in the Court event.

 

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