Today is my stop on the The Generation Game blog tour! Below I have an interview with the lovely author, Sophie Duffy.
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I like being on my own, the flexibility and the independence. But writing is much more about team work than I originally realised. Yes, you are alone with the blank page. You have to come up with a story and characters and words. But then there’s your agent, the editor, the copy-editor, the typesetter, the proof reader, the publicist, the blogger, the bookseller. And, most importantly, the reader. I’m always telling myself to keep that final person, the reader, in my mind, as I write, always asking how I want them to feel. If it works for the reader, then it should work for everyone else.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
I’m very fond of Philippa, but I also have a huge soft spot for Wink. I loved writing about the relationship between a girl and an old lady, one without a mother, one without children. When I was a little girl I really did know an old woman called Wink and she really did love Bruce Forsyth. I’ve never forgotten her and it was nice to pay homage to her in the book (though real Wink didn’t have the potty mouth).
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Tea first. Then a strong black coffee midmorning. Thereafter it’s green tea/herbal tea all the way until the sun crosses the yardarm. Then a snifter of a G & T.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Consuming sweets and Facebook.
How do you research your books?
My books haven’t all been too reliant on research as I tend to write about what I know, everyday life in everyday families. But I did have to research for the national events and for my next novel, ‘Betsy and Lilibet,’ I had to do a lot more. I think the best research is talking to someone who is an expert in their field. Also oral/eye witness accounts. And thank goodness for the internet.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Always been a pantser but I have a rough outline of my starting point and where I want to end up, though I don’t know the route. This has got me into trouble in the past so I try to put out a few more markers these days to stop me getting lost.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
‘Swallows and Amazons’ by Arthur Ransome. I used to get lost in this book with its idealised school holidays adventure. Though the only time I’ve actually been sailing was a disaster as we were caught off Lands End in the fog, me sitting on the bow blowing a foghorn every thirty seconds.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
It would have to be Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole – he needs a friend who can put him right on certain things. I’d do my best.
About the Book
Philippa Smith is in her forties and has a beautiful newborn baby girl. She also has no husband, and nowhere to turn. So she turns to the only place she knows: the beginning.
Retracing her life, she confronts the daily obstacles that shaped her very existence. From the tragic events of her childhood abandonment, to the astonishing accomplishments of those close to her, Phillipa learns of the sacrifices others chose to make, and the outcome of buried secrets.
Philippa discovers a celebration of life, love, and the golden era of television. A reflection of everyday people, in not so everyday situations.
About the Author
Author of ‘The Generation Game’ (2011), ‘This Holey Life’ (2012), ‘Bright Stars’ (2015) and ‘Betsy and Lillibet’ (2018)
Sophie Duffy is the author of The Generation Game (2011), The Holey Life(2012), Bright Stars (2015) and Betsy And Lillibet (2018). Her work has won the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Luke Bitmead Bursary, and has been nominated for the Guardian Not the Booker and the Harry Bowling Prize.
She is a writer and creative writing tutor and mentor for CreativeWritingMatters, as well as an administrator for the Exeter Novel Prize and other literary competitions.