Q&A with A.L. Michael

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Today on Have Books, in honour of the release of Nice Day for a White Wedding, I have A.L. Michael joining me to answer some questions about her latest release and the House on Camden Square series.

Hi Andi, thank you for visiting today 🙂 Nice Day for a White Wedding is the second instalment in the House on Camden Square series, did you always have 3 books plotted out or did they evolve from the initial idea for Goodbye Ruby Tuesday?

Me and my publisher always discussed doing a three book series, centred around three friends. I wanted to tie them together with a childhood friend, because I love a bit of nostalgia. However the ideas behind the individual books weren’t plotted, they’ve evolved individually.

The second instalment focuses on Chelsea, was this a conscious decision from the start?

I started with Evie, because that’s who I felt closest to, and was a little scared as I hadn’t written a series before. I thought I’d really miss Evie as I moved on, but actually I was so excited to see Chelsea’s story, I got excited about her as I was writing the first book, and couldn’t wait to get her centre-stage. I didn’t know if the second installment would be Chelsea or Mollie, but it just worked out that way.

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday received a fabulous reaction, were you surprised by how much your readers loved Ruby and the girls?

I had no idea if anyone would like what I was doing, but I guess that’s the same with any book. I felt the closest to the these characters compared to any others I’ve written, and it was such a joy to be able to return to them for two more books. I hoped people would really respond to them and get where they were coming from – I think getting to see characters’ memories really does that.

If The House on Camden Square series was to be made into a film, who would play Ruby and Chelsea?

Good question! I always like to think about that when I’m making Pinterest boards for the books! Chelsea would be played by Natalie Dormer, when she had short, sharp blonde hair. Ruby’s hard! Maybe Lily Cole or Sophie Turner (getting a Game of Thrones theme). Kit, Chelsea’s boyfriend, was modelled on Alexander Skaarsgard.

As well as writing, you are a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, was writing fiction a natural progression to ‘the day job’?

I was writing first, well, I’ve always written, I guess. I started out running standard writing workshops, and then I realised that there was this amazing power of writing to heal, the same way people journal and blog. So I trained in that, but saw them as very separate things. However, the more I started to write to feel good, the more I started realising those themes were appearing in my book. The healing power of creativity was a big theme in Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, and I think it continues throughout the series.

Nice Day for a White Wedding is your 7th book, how was your journey to publication?

I still can’t believe it’s my 7th! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, really. My first novel was published by Stairwell Books, and then Carina picked my up for two books, and I’ve been plodding along, writing more and (hopefully) getting better since then! That makes it sound easy, as if there weren’t lots of rejection letters and writing to magazines and agents and all sorts, but overall it seems to have worked out pretty well.

What is your writing process, are you a planner? Pen and paper or straight onto the computer? Do you have a designated writing space?

I’m trying to become more of a planner! I work from characters and I write snippets of memories or scenes in a notebook first. Then, when I’m ready I start typing up, using the sections to jump from and get me started. Often the middle gets a little fuzzy, so I’m trying to be more diligent in planning, but I like that writing the story is also like discovering it at the same time – sometimes you have no idea what the characters are going to do!

Finally, are you working on your next project? Any clues you can share with us?

Book three in the House on Camden Square series is called Be My Baby, and it’s Mollie (and her daughter, Esme’)’s story, with lots of flashbacks to her teenage pregnancy and her memories with Ruby. It’s finally time for Mollie to get her love story, so I’m pretty excited!
Great answers – thank you so much to Andi for giving us an insight into the House on Camden Square series and her writing process!

About the book

Published: 22nd August 2016 (Carina)

Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…51IXBDSgYhL

Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.

These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancé. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?

The other books in the series are:

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday – Book 1 out now

Four friends have become three. But that’s only the beginning.

Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.

A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?

Be My Baby – Book 3, out 7th November

Keep an eye out for the synopsis closer to the release date!

About A.L. Michael

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of ‘Wine Dark, Sea Blue’, ‘The Last Word’, ‘My So Called (Love) Life’, ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, and her most recent novel ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, based upon her experiences as a London barista.
She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders. Her new three book series, The House on Camden Square, is being released in 2016, starting with ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ released on 29th April.
When she’s not writing, she likes yoga, trying to bake healthy treats and was a hipster before hipsters were hipster. Well, she likes chai lattes and owns a Mac.

Coming soon……..

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