21 July 2009
Author Interview: Veronica Henry
1. Can you describe your latest novel in a sentence?
The theme is forgiveness - should you always be expected to forgive in a marriage, or are there times when you should forget your vows and move on?
2. How easy was it to make the transistion to writing novels from scriptwriting?
They are two very different disciplines. Scriptwriting is collaborative, you are very much part of a team, but there are also more restrictions - time limit, budget, continuity - that have to be taken into consideration. It also teaches you the craft of plotting, which was useful when I jumped ship. With novels you have more freedom, but you have to motivate yourself. I love both, but feel I am able to put more of myself into my novels.
3. Which of your books have you been the most proud of? Do you have a favourite?
I love the spirit of Love on the Rocks - the idea of running away to start a new life by the sea, as it very much reflected what I was doing myself at the time - though I didn't end up renovating a hotel like Lisa and Bruno, thank goodness! I think it's a book a lot of people can relate to, as it shows you can live your dreams if you are determined enough. But I love the Honeycote trilogy too - Lucy Liddiard lives the perfect life, with her wonderful house and that mad family .
4. Your books are mainly about different relationships - are you inspired by your own relationships or those of people you, or are they all totally fictional?
My inspiration comes from a hotchpotch of all sorts of things - gossip, magazine articles, a photograph, a set of house details, maybe even a line from a song - all chucked in together with my own life experience and fertilised by my imagination. I would find it very difficult to put a real person into my fictional world - my characters have to gestate and develop a personality of their own before they are allowed in. And often the things you hear in real life would seem unbelievable if you put them in a book - truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
5. How long does it take for you to write your books?
I write a book a year, but it's very hard to say how long it actually takes. I am writing in my head all the time, even in the supermarket or when I'm asleep, chewing over plots. Just because I'm not actually at the laptop doesn't mean I'm not working. That's one of the downsides of being a writer - you're never off duty.
6. What's the best part about being a published author?
When people tell me that they want to live in Honeycote or Mariscombe, or one of the other places my characters inhabit. That's when I know that what I've written is convincing but escapist too. I'm also very gratified when people say that something in my books has made them cry - I know then I have really got under the character's skin and written something moving. My proudest moment was when a soldier from Afghanistan wrote and told me he had read Love on the Rocks and it had given him hope.
7. Have you started writing your eighth book yet?
I've nearly finished it. It's about a celebrity family and how they cope with living in the public eye. Imagine Nigella Lawson married to Oliver Reed, with three naughty daughters! Enough said ...
8.Is there going to be another "Honeycote" book?
I hope so! So many people have emailed to find out what happens to Patrick and Mayday, and I'd love to know myself. The Liddiard family are always up to something, so it would be a shame not to revisit them at some stage.
Thank you so much, Veronica!