AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mandy Baggot
We met with Mandy Baggot, author of Breaking the Ice and Knowing Me, Knowing You at the Festival of Romance in October and couldn't wait to speak to her about her latest tale, Strings Attached. The book was released in September and is a hilariously addictive read! We asked Mandy about her favourites, tips and inspiration behind the novel...
Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.
Intense attraction leads to trouble, intrigue, sun, sex, secrets, salsa and sandwiches!
What inspired you to write Strings Attached?
My characters pounced on me! I never usually have a brilliant idea for a story straight away, for me it always starts with the characters and a setting. George and Quinn (the female and male leads of Strings Attached) were quickly born and the whole idea for the plot came from getting to know them as people. They have both been damaged by their past and I had to understand that before I could move them on. The novel starts off in England but then moves to an area of Spain I have visited a few times. I like writing around places I've been.
Where do you do most of your writing?
At a very untidy desk surrounded by my two daughters' drawings, crayons, Barbie dolls and my husband's paperwork - just because it's next to the printer! When it gets too much I retreat to my bedroom, light some candles and work on my laptop! I have grand plans for a purpose built writing room to myself in the garden but I need to sell a lot more books to afford that!
What is your favourite book?
That's a really tough question! If I had to pick a favourite book of all time then it would be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I love the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff, the whole 'can't be together physically but can never be separated emotionally'. George and Quinn have that same intense connection.
Which part of Strings Attached was the most enjoyable to write?
My favourite part to write was all the after-show parties where George and Quinn first meet. George is busy trying to be professional and Quinn just barges in and seduces her! In fact one of my favourite scenes is when Quinn corners George in the kitchen and he drinks from her bottle of lager. Somehow he makes something as simple as drinking almost erotic!
What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells. It's a story about ordinary girl Sophie meeting up with her pop idol again, having crashed his tour bus years before - of course now she's engaged to another man but will that stop her revisiting her fantasies?
Who is your favourite heroine?
I can't say I have a favourite heroine from anything I've read but my favourite heroine I've written is from my 2012 release Taking Charge. She's called Robyn Matthers and she's 24 going on 15. She's stuck as a teenager because of something that happened in her past - she's like a female Peter Pan - unable to fully grow up. She's a mechanic, definitely one of the boys and she loves ice hockey and eating junk food.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?
Edit really, really well and make your novel as sharp and honed as you can. I'm still trying to perfect this myself - don't be afraid to ask for help! Believe in yourself, your story and your characters!
Are you working on anything else at the moment, and if so can you tell us?
I'm working on a novel called 'Do You Remember?' at the moment. This is about a school teacher called Emma and a French professional footballer called Guy, who meet at the opening of a new fitness centre. However, they've met before...and they fell in love! I am using flashbacks for this novel so readers see Emma and Guy's relationship ten years before and in the present day.
You can find out more about Mandy Baggot and her books at her website.