Having been through some tough months recently, it is wonderful to have authors to turn to whose books I know are going to have a sense of fun, so it is with great pleasure that I’m interviewing Lynda Renham about her writing today. Lynda’s latest book, Perfect Weddings was published in e-book on 12th April 2016 and will be available in paperback from 30th April. You can buy a copy on Amazon, from Waterstones, and all good bookshops.
Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina’s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
If you’re new to Lynda’s writing, you might like to read my review of one of her other books, 50 Shades of Roxie Brown, by clicking here.
An Interview with Lynda Renham
Hi Lynda. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing in celebration of your latest book, Perfect Weddings.
Firstly, please could you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m thirty five (yeah, right, was that a pig I just saw fly by?) I live in Oxfordshire with my second husband, Andrew. (This one is okay, so I don’t think I’ll be getting a third) We have one cat. He has real attention issues and spends most of the time destroying the furniture in an attempt to get attention. His name is Bendrix, after a character in a Graham Green novel but everyone calls him Bendy. He even bounds forward, knocking me over, to get to the post lady just so he can get her attention, I think he would kill me to get to her. I plan on writing a book about him called ‘We need to talk about Bendy’.
When did you first realise you were going to be a writer?
When I was 7 and a comic published my poem.
You’re a prolific writer. How do you manage to maintain the enthusiasm for your craft?
Andrew has a special whip. It keeps me enthused.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
In my writing room which is named ‘The Beach Hut’ Bendy, the mad cat, often sits with me. I start at 9 and procrastinate for a good few hours, make lots of coffee, look in the fridge a lot and then finally start work. I repeat this cycle until my husband comes home.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
Gothic thrillers, psychological thrillers and autobiographies.
You have a strong comedic element to your writing. Are you naturally funny, telling jokes in real life, or do you have to work hard to get comedy into your books?
I’m told I’m naturally funny and a bit eccentric so that all helps. I don’t tell jokes, or at least when I do, I always get them wrong so I steer clear of them. But comedy seems to come naturally to me.
Some of your titles (like The Dog’s Bollocks) are quite risqué – how do they come about?
Ah, from all kinds of avenues. My husband and I banter about words until we come up with something that sounds funny and fits the title. ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ featured cockneys and someone in the book called a meal ‘the dog’s bollocks.’ The book originally had a different title and didn’t do too well. The reader wrote a review saying how she thought the book was ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ and hence the title change.
You’ve also written as Amy Perfect. What made you use a different pen name?
‘A Christmas Romance’ was my first Amy Perfect novel. I changed the name because it was going to be a romantic novel as opposed to a romantic comedy. I loved writing it and my readers enjoyed it. Book 2 of the Little Perran series will be coming in the summer.
Amy Perfect is also the name of the protagonist in your latest book Perfect Weddings. Why did you name her this way and what can we expect from her (but don’t spoil the plot please!)?
It was a little bit of fun on my part. But her name is Amy Perfect for a reason, just check out the title.
(You’ll get an idea of who Amy is from the blurb at the top of the page too).
If Perfect Weddings became a film, who would you like to play Amy?
Honestly? An unknown British actress because I hate celebrity culture.
Of all your characters, which is the closest to Lynda Renham in personality and why do you say this?
I think it has to be Harriet in ‘The Dog’s Bollocks.’ Harriet is very down to earth like me. Doesn’t suffer fools and is honest. She’s blunt and funny. I related to her more than any of my other main characters.
You’re frequently described as down to earth – how well do you cope in a crisis when life goes awry?
I’m actually the one losing her head while everyone keeps theirs. I’m hopeless and full of ‘What if’s’. Ask me the words I use the most and it will be ‘What if.’
Whenever I read about you I’m always aware of your links to the Cotswolds and your sense of community. How important is geographic location to you?
It’s everything. I live in a small village. We are a tight community. We look after each other. We socialise with each other. It’s rather like being on an island and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the country. There is nothing that makes me happier than donning my wellies and walking through the barley fields.
I know that, despite your light hearted novels, you’ve had pain in your life, suffering severely from Bartholin cysts and being unable to have children for example. How far is writing a cathartic experience or escapism for you?
I used my writing to explore my childlessness many years ago through articles, which I think are still online, to poetry. I don’t think writing is an escape but can be cathartic and my agent is pressing me continuously to write more about it but I feel at peace in that area now and am not sure I want to journey back to those times.
You are very honest on your own blog about your life and I’m certain your posts are helpful to a wide range of people. Is this deliberate on your part or are you just naturally open?
I’m an open book. What you see is what you get.
If you could never write again, what else would occupy your time?
Reading, learning the piano, needlecraft, travelling, learning a new skill.
If you had to choose just one of your novels to be saved from a fire, which one would it be and why?
‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ because it was written during an extension when the house was a tip, my life was no longer private and I felt sure it would be a flop but instead it became my biggest selling novel. Hitting number one in humour and staying there for many months.
If you had 15 words to persuade a reader that Lynda Renham should be their next read, what would you say?
Do you like that feeling you get after a feel good movie? Like a good chuckle or even a laugh out loud howl? Then don’t wait for that feel good film, buy a feel good book. Buy a Lynda Renham. They are guaranteed to cheer you up.
(You might have cheated on the 15 words there Lynda but I’ll let you off!)
Is there anything else you would like to have been asked?
What is my secret temptation? But you didn’t so I shan’t tell you.
(Great question – I shall be using it with future interviewees even if I neglected to ask you!)
Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions Lynda. It’s been great fun having you on the blog.
Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog.