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Friday, 23 March 2018

Author Q & A with Lucie Wheeler

Meet Nancy…

Single mum Nancy will do anything for her little boy. Jack’s autism makes life difficult at times, but she’s determined to ensure he lives the best life possible. So, when her best friend Harriet suggests a holiday to Ibiza, Nancy is torn: will Jack cope with the change in routine…will she?

And Harriet…

Workaholic mum Harriet convinces Nancy it’s the break they all need. A chance to have some fun with the kids, away from the stresses of normal life. And she’s determined to switch off her laptop, ignore her inbox, and just have fun with her kids for seven whole days…

Cocktails and kids’ club – what could go wrong?

Title:  Mums Just Wanna Have Fun
Author: Lucie Wheeler
Published By: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 18th March 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon   

Author Q & A

We are delighted to welcome the fabulous Lucie Wheeler to the blog today to tell us more about herself and her brand new book.
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I love writing about parenting and mummy friendships. When I wrote my first book, The First Time Mums Club, I absolutely loved the bond I created between the mums and so that was an important element for me with this book. However this time round, I wanted to show a different side to parenting. Being a mum/dad is different for everyone, however there are similarities and I wanted parents to be able to read this book and identify with the characters and their situations and also, I wanted those who aren't parents to read it and have a little insight to what it might be like for some people. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to having children and every single person will have different priorities and I hope this story gives a little snippet of just two women's journey to finding what works for them.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Actually, no I didn't. When I was really small I wanted to be a physiotherapist and then in my teens I wanted to be a dancer! I actually studied performing arts at college and have a diploma in dance! Writing was always just a hobby for me until I had my daughter when I was 20 - that was when it all changed for me.

What other jobs have you had?
My first job was as a waitress in my local dog racing track! I have also worked in Sainsbury's, in an insurance call centre and part time as a receptionist in a shipping company. When I was pregnant I trained as a beauty therapist with the Brentwood School of Beauty and since having my daughter I have worked at a parent and toddler group, a school and then a nursery! I have also worked with special needs children in a special school. And alongside all this, I was building my writing career... so I have had quite a range of jobs!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
I cannot even express adequately the feeling of seeing your own story in print - It is an incredibly emotional and surreal moment.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
Well I began writing seriously, with a view to getting published, when my daughter was born in 2006. But it wasn't until 2010 when I signed up to do a writing course with The London School of Journalism, that I actually did anything about it. I completed the course, met some wonderful people and in 2013 I sent in my first piece of writing for a competition (the New Talent Award) and I won! It was at this event that I met my agent, Kate Nash, and we spent a couple of years working together, submitting work to publishers and getting rejected! However in 2016, ten years after I began taking myself seriously and believing I could do it, I got the email from my agent telling me that Harper Impulse's editor wanted to meet me. I met Charlotte Ledger at Harper Collins HQ in London and we went for tea and cake. It was in this café that she told me she would be offering me a two book deal and my life changed there and then.

What other books have you written?
I have written some stories that are not yet published but The First Time Mums Club was my first published book in 2017.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Free writing is my go-to if I ever get stuck with writing. I use it with my university coursework too, not just for creative writing. All you do is set an alarm for 5-10 minutes and just write. No thinking, just words on the page. You try to not stall or pause and just keep putting words on the page. If you get stuck, leave a line and keep going - you can always go back afterwards and insert the word you were stuck on. This will normally kick start my brain into action again and generally out of the page or so that I write, I will keep about 20% of it but it would have taken me that whole page of writing to get the content to keep - if that makes sense?

What motivates you to keep writing?
The feeling when people tell me they have read my work and how it made them feel. Feedback, reviews even just text messages from friends and family - authors LOVE to hear when readers enjoy their work.

Where is your favourite place to write? ( can we please have a picture)
M y favourite place to write is anywhere but my house! When I am at home I have lots of potential distractions (washing, cleaning, the dog...) however because of my circumstances I spend most of my time writing at home. I would love to redecorate my office at home to make it more minimalistic and calm and I hope to do that soon, but here is a picture of my current writing space and can you spot my little work buddy underneath the desk... 😊

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Definitely. If I write a sad scene, I feel it. If I am struggling with my own emotions and it doesn't correlate with what I am writing, I can't do it. I have to change what I am writing and come back to it when I am in the right mind set.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Write - don't think about it and even when you don't feel like it, put words down. Don't worry about whether they are good enough, you can always edit out the bad ones!
Surround yourself with the right people - you need to be around people who lift you up and believe in your dream. You want positivity and encouragement because when you have days where you feel rubbish about it, they will be there to push you!
Believe - dreams really do happen but you have to work hard at them. If you believe you can do it, you're halfway there. This is YOUR dream, so believe in yourself and make it happen.

Which authors inspire you?
J K Rowling, Cecelia Ahearn and Roald Dahl  are my biggest literary inspirations BUT I am inspired everyday by authors who choose to create stories. I just love how powerful the written word is.

What are you reading at the moment?
I like to read two at once - Fiction and Non Fiction because each day my brain will need something different. Some days I will need the escapism and others I will need focus, drive and reality. So I am currently reading:
CALM by Fearne Cotton
THE BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
This is an easy one! Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Can you guess why...? 😊

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Oh this is very hard, I am not sure I have a favourite character I loved writing them all! I think someone like Chris Hemsworth would make a good Cameron so I'll choose him.

What is your next book about?
Mums Just Wanna Have Fun is a story about relationships. Romantic relationships, friendships and the bond between a parent and their children. Finding love when it isn't your top priority, learning about yourself and knowing that it is ok to not follow what is perceived as 'normal' are all themes that run through the book . The story also focuses on parenting and some of the trials us parents face such as a utism, post natal depression and adoption.

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

Book Angel x

About the Author

Lucie lives in Essex with her husband, daughter and her English Bull Terrier, Dame, who loves to sit under her desk as she writes and keep her feet warm. Never one to sit still, she always has lots going on in her life at any one time. Currently, she is writing her novels alongside studying for a degree. As a graduate of The London School of Journalism and one eighth of the writing group, The Romaniacs, Lucie is passionate about writing and continues to source new opportunities to share her words with the world. In 2013, Lucie won a New Talent Award at The Festival of Romance and is now represented by literary agent , Kate Nash.

You can also find Lucie spending too much time on social media! She loves to connect with her readers though, so do pop by and say hello to her! She can be found on:

Her Website

all under the name Lucie Wheeler.

She loves reading, spending time with friends and eating chocolate – when she gets to do all three, she's a very happy lady!

The First Time Mums' Club:

Mums Just Wanna Have Fun:

Connect on Socials: 

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