Welcome back to my little corner of the internet on this sunny Monday, and I’ve got a real treat for you. As part of the blog tour for Jane Fallon’s new novel Queen Bee, I was able to have a little bit of her time for some Q&A about her book, but also about her writing in general.
Published just last week by Penguin, here’s the synopsis to get you ready before our little interview.
When Laura’s marriage falls apart she needs to find a home for her and her daughter. And quickly.
Welcome to The Close, a beautiful street of mansions, where Laura rents a tiny studio above a garage, and gorgeous Stella is the indisputable Queen Bee – who soon suspects Laura of having designs on her fiancé.
But when Laura unearths the ghastly secret he is hiding, it threatens Stella’s perfectly curated world as well as Laura’s business and friendships. Unless, that is, she can befriend Stella and show her the truth about her soon-to-be husband. But revenge always comes with a sting in the tail . . .
This perfect summer read is just waiting for you! Here’s my interview with Jane.
Hi Jane! Thanks joining me for a bit of Q&A. First question is naturally, how are you feeling about the book release?
Very excited, of course, but it’s a strange time to be bringing a book out. I have no idea how much people are venturing back into bookshops yet.
Which character did you enjoy developing the most – and why, if you can say without spoilers!
Stella was probably my favourite to write for. She’s so awful, she’s fun, but she also has a – deeply hidden – softer side. It’s all front with her.
What’s your usual set up when you write? Do you have a favourite mug or pen that you always use?
I’m very territorial about my mug! It’s huge and a tiffany blue with a flamingo on. I always write on my laptop, so no favourite pen, but I sit in one of two places – on the sofa or at my desk.
Was this an idea at the back of your mind for a long time, or something that sprang into being suddenly?
I’d been wanting to write something about the super rich for a while. Those people who have all the money in the world but no individuality. The kind of people who ask you how much something cost before they tell you if they like it. And I thought bringing an outsider in would be a good way to take a look at them.
What would be your top tip (or tips) for people working on their own novels?
First I would say find your individual style. The whole point of you writing this book is that you are the only person who could write it in exactly this way, if that makes sense. It’s not about agonising over perfectly constructed sentences, it’s about being unique. Secondly I always advise people to plough on through a first draft without going back to rewrite – it’s easy to get stuck perfecting chapter one but actually the whole story will probably change as you get into it so save the editing for later.
Writing is harder work than some people think. So what’s your top way to unwind after a day of writing?
A vodka and tonic and Netflix. I’m also a bit of an exercise nut.
Do you have a favourite chapter in the book?
That’s a hard one. I would probably give you a different answer every day. I do enjoy the chapters with big revelations, though.
Finally, how would you sum up your book in three words?
Funny, gripping, surprising.
A huge thank you to Jane for her time, and to the ever-lovely Gaby for coordinating this blog tour.