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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Author Q & A Sue Watson

Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder 'what if' . . .
Told with warmth, wit and humour, We'll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.

Title:        We'll Always Have Paris
Author:    Sue Watson
Published By: Sphere
Date:        ebook: June 27th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Author Q & A

Today we are delighted to welcome the lovely Sue Watson to the blog to talk about her new book 'We Will Always Have Paris.
Hi Sue, What was the inspiration behind this novel? 
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of ‘the one that got away.’ Most people remember their first love, their BIG love and who hasn’t wondered where they are now? And faced with a chance encounter with that lost love after many years - what would we say … what would we do? I wanted to explore what happens after all this time, how we change, who we are and if we’re the same people in a different world. I spoke to many people who’ve been through this and it’s been a fascinating and enlightening book to write.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

Actually I was desperate to be an actress, it was my dream to go to drama school, but I ended up playing it safe and doing a degree in English. This lead me into journalism, then I became a TV producer, which I loved and while working at the BBC I started to write my first book. I was just making notes, but the idea for Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes was a big pull and I left TV to write and realised it was what I’d been looking for all my life.

What other jobs have you had? 

At university I worked as an usherette in a theatre – it was as close as I could get to being ‘on stage,’ but sadly the star was never on my dressing room door. After Uni I took a post grad course and became a journalist, working for agencies, then women’s magazines and landed a brilliant job on the TV pages of The Sun. It was great fun and involved meeting and interviewing many celebrities and attending glamorous launch parties, but being young (and stupid!) I thought I shouldn’t be having so much fun at work. I wanted to be taken more seriously so became a TV researcher at the BBC which was also great fun and I couldn’t believe I was being paid for it – that lead me to producing. I’ve been very, very lucky.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?

Amazing! I miraculously managed to find an agent quite quickly – and she was really encouraging. However, she offered my book to all the major publishers and it was turned down – so she dumped me. I was devastated, and had to go it alone with my book, eventually finding a small publisher who wanted to publish it. The road had been long and rocky and the process had taken several years – but the day those copies of Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes arrived in the post was like holding my baby for the first time… well, almost!

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?

I think, if I allowed it to happen I could easily have writer’s block, but I try really hard not to let it in. Some books are tougher to write than others, and I always have the ‘this is rubbish’ days but I keep going and the next day it feels better. Sometimes it’s difficult to lose myself in the writing, especially working at home with a family around. I write in the kitchen because I don’t want to miss anything, but it has its disadvantages especially when I’m in the middle of a love scene and someone’s asking where their clean socks are. I suppose that can be a sort of writer’s block, but I plough on through all the chaos because if I didn’t I would have to stop making stuff up for a living and find a ‘real’ job, and I couldn’t possibly do that!

What motivates you to keep writing?

I write a lot about disillusioned women with disappointing lives – we’ve all been there at some point. But I want to laugh or at least smile about life and recognise we’re all in this together and we can and should do something about it if we can. In the great scheme of things it’s not the end of the world to be overweight, in a frustrating relationship, or a disappointing job – but it affects your life. Many of my readers contact me to say they have identified with my heroines, laughed at my books, then done something about it. I’ve received messages on Facebook that have made me cry and when someone says my books have inspired them to chase their dreams and have the courage to make a change, that’s what really motivates me.

The other motivation is my characters, who never let me rest. I’m ‘in between’ books at the moment and had looked forward to the down time of a couple of weeks with a head free from characters and plots, but I can’t let go. My head is constantly filling with voices - I feel like psychic Sally! I’ll burst if I don’t start another book soon – and I only finished two days ago.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa? 

What a great question. Oh yes. When I wrote Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams I laughed a lot because my hero is hilarious and gorgeous and I loved spending time with him. But he’s not your typical romantic hero – he’s gay and his opening line is ‘I’m not interested in women, so you can’t take me to bed, take me shopping instead. I miss him, he cheered me up if I was feeling low.

And when I wrote Love, Lies and Lemon Cake I fell in love along with my heroine! Faye is a hairdresser in a dead-end marriage and a dead-end job who falls for Dan, a cool, gorgeous Australian who cares and listens and loves her like no-one else. Her husband Craig, on the other hand is a plumber, whose idea of excitement was a wet flange and a flick through ‘Plumbing Monthly.’ I felt like I’d had an affair after writing that book - and kept reminding myself that I wasn’t Faye and my husband wasn’t actually Craig the plumber!

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
1.     Write, write, write. Seems obvious, but stop dreaming about writing ‘that’ novel, just get it on paper.

2.     Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and achieving – that way madness lies. Just focus on you and your writing.

3.     It’s a clichĂ© – but I can’t stress this enough - don’t give up. The rejections, the lack of money and the way some people look at you at the school gate like you’re deluded when you say ‘I’m writing a book.’ All these things, and more, will make you feel like absolute rubbish - but if, after all that you’re still writing, then you might just make it, because half the battle is to just keep on keeping on.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Oh that is just such a good question because I have absolutely the song. My teenage daughter and I don’t often like the same music but we both love a singer called Lily Kershaw. We play her album in the car constantly – and one of the songs really inspired me while I was writing ‘We’ll Always have Paris.’ It’s called ‘As it Seems,’ – it’s beautiful, about the fragility of life, the choices we make on the journey – and the stories we leave behind. The song gives me goosebumps and I can’t hear it without thinking of Rosie, my heroine… and it always, always makes me cry.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book? My heroine in ‘We’ll Always have Paris,’ is in her sixties, and my editor loves the idea of Felicity Kendall which I do too. I also love the idea of Amanda Redman, who is actually in her fifties, but she’s sexy and feisty and fun – and who knows, if they ever made a film she might be old enough by then!

What is your next book about? 

My next book is a Christmas book, the working title is The Christmas Cake CafĂ© – and where ‘We’ll Always have Paris’ is an emotional read written with humour, this is a humorous read with emotion like my other books. The story involves Jenny, a forty-something woman who, having been dumped by her boyfriend on Christmas Eve plans to spend the rest of her life and her Christmases alone with her cat, a tin of Quality Street and Downton Abbey. But her younger sister convinces her – against her better judgement – to go on a Christmas ski-ing holiday, promising roaring log fires and glittering landscapes. But on arrival, things aren’t quite what she expected and the fact Jenny’s suitcase is lost and she can’t even ski is just the beginning of her problems.

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
Jen Lancaster’s ‘Such a Pretty Fat.’
Cry your heart out? Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Want to read it again? ‘Her’ by Harriet Lane
Think more? ‘The Last lecture’ by Randy Pausch
Wish it would be made into a film? ‘The Mistress’s Revenge,’ by Tamar Cohen
Shocked? ‘I Let you Go,’ by Clare Mackintosh
Scared? ‘Behind Closed Doors,’ by BA Parish

Thank you so much Sue for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book. 

Book Angels x

About the Author

Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes.' It was then Sue realised she couldn't stop writing and produced 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake' and 'Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake,' 'Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams,' and 'Bella's Christmas Bake Off.' Her next book 'We'll Always have Paris,' comes out in June 2016.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where she bakes (and eats) lots of cake. She spends much of her time making big decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Peanut Butter ice cream (or both?) while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA,' and procrastinating over her latest novel.

For more info visit Sue's website;
Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

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